A prime example of the perfect use of the DVD format, Lucertola Media's release of Mario Bava's lost crime thriller is not only a commendable treatment of a fantastic film, but an encouraging footnote in the realm of film preservation. Well known for his lush gothic horror films and lurid giallos, Bava's Rabid Dogs proved an exciting and marked departure from his usual repertoire; unfortunately it would not be fully realized during his lifetime. With principal photography nearly completed, a score composed and recorded, and a work-print of the original negative assembled, Rabid Dogs was struck down by fate just as it was to go into post-production. As producer Roberto Loyola's main financial backer was killed in a tragic car accident, the source of funding needed for dubbing and final editing of the original negative was lost, leaving the nearly completed film in celluloid limbo. Property disputes and legal difficulties due to the death of the investor shelved the film, literally freezing any chance for completion. Over 20 years later, a small Italian production company named Spera Cinematografica found the miraculously preserved film -- thought destroyed and lost forever -- and launched a campaign to raise the funding to complete post-production. With the only unfilmed sequence being a brief prologue that Bava had envisioned, Spera filmed the sequence (beautifully and seamlessly integrated into the film), and completed the film. With a crisp transfer, the film, letterboxed at 1:66:1, appears at times remarkably better preserved than many recently remastered films from the era, showing minimal signs of aging. There is slight compression noise throughout, comparable to many recently released DVDs of older films. The sound, presented in Italian Dolby Digital Mono with English and German subtitles, lacks the extra punch of a full stereo treatment, but remains crisp and clear throughout. With interactive menus, stills and original poster reproductions, a trailer, filmographies, and an essay by Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas regarding the remarkable history of the film, extras are plentiful and gratifying. Lucertola Media has done a fantastic job in their presentation of a film that may have otherwise never seen the light of day.