“Cronenberg was one of the reasons we got into this is in the first place,” cries Sylvia Soska, only for her identical twin sister, Jen, to cut in. “Remaking a Cronenberg film is a dream!” she yells. “He’s one of our greatest influences and a Canadian hero. I’m not a fan of remakes, but I was horrified that someone [else] might make a poor remake of his film!” Now it’s Sylvia’s turn to jump in: “And it was kosher [to do a remake] because David remade The Fly!”
The Cronenberg body horror movie that’s getting reimagined – you might say turned inside-out, like that poor baboon in The Fly – by the Soska Sisters (American Mary) is his 1977 sophomore effort, Rabid. In the original, Rose (porn star Marilyn Chambers) is involved in a motorcycle accident, receives an experimental skin graft and develops a phallic stinger that slides out of an orifice in her armpit to feed on people, who then go on a frenzied spree. The remake has the same core concept but locates Rose (Laura Vandervoort) in the fashion world.
“Our Rose has a full career,” nods Sylvia, before Jen inevitably takes over. “The two films back-to-back are such a great example of male gaze versus female gaze. Rose was a victim of her circumstances in the original; this one is more like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man because you know what it’s like to have powers, to be in Rose’s shoes.”
Plus, all of the men are dicks. “A lot of the male crew would look over and go, ‘Men are ridiculous sometimes, aren’t they?’” Sylvia laughs. “It’s kinda like American Psycho. I remember people were saying to [director] Mary Harron, ‘You’re promoting violence against women’. And she said, ‘Women don’t look stupid in this movie, men do.’” Jen agrees. “It’s like, ‘Does somebody have rabies or is he just a fucking asshole?’” she grins. “The movie is revenge porn. How many times have women walked down the street and had to put up with these situations? But they can never turn into blood-sucking fiends and get their revenge. So it’s so nice to see that!”
But here’s the big question: when are the Soskas going to remake Cronenberg’s deeply disturbing twisted-twins horror, Dead Ringers?
“I’d love to make an HBO show where you get to live with those characters,” says Jen. Sylvia is also on board, saying, “We have this ongoing joke that we want to remake Dead Ringers but switch the genders and switch them from being gynaecologists to proctologists. And instead of going into drug addiction, we’d go into black magic.” She laughs, loudly. “Because I don’t know how much you’ve studied the occult, but that’s all in the butt!” Rabid is available on Blu-ray & DVD now.
Looking for more horror in your life? Check out our list of the best horror movies.