Thursday, November 25

Rats: Night of Terror (Rats - Notte di terrore) (1984) - TDK SUPER VIDEO Japan VHS

Imagine a band of leather-clad marauders from Giuliano Carnimeo's Exterminators of the Year 3000 taking a break from...err...marauding to take refuge in a bombed out and abandoned city. Upon discovering mauled corpses and "high tech" blinking light panels in their chosen building, they decide to stay for the night only to be overran by increasing hordes of rodents. With Italy's post apocalyptic answers to Miller's The Road Warrior still churning, it's commendable that Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso totally diverged from that usual with Rats.

Maybe out of a lack of funds for action sequences, the infamous pair craft something vaguely akin to Night of the Living Dead within the sub-subgenre's "after the fall" template. There's also a lack of the obvious, wholesale Hollywood rip-off scheme ol' Bruno specialized in. Actually, the only aspect that recalls a mainstream hit is how hairy lead Ottaviano Dell'Acqua looks like Kurt Russell in The Thing when wielding a flamethrower.

Despite being Mattei's most legitimate stab at legitimacy, it's a shame Rats never has an ignition point into anything interesting. The direction isn't completely inept, just boring, giving the "toss rodents at actor" attacks zero zip or intensity. After the group's arrival during the opening credits, Rats flatlines far too quickly as the titular trash creatures begin to pick off the humans in rather unsatisfying fashion. TDK's "Super Video" Japanese cardboard slipboxes are rare, but this particular (otherwise uncut) presentation has some optical fogging to genitalia in the Lucifer/Lilith "sex" scene. I guess a fuzzy glimpse of a hotdog and an upside down triangle of pube is far worse than a couple of mice running around on fire...


Buscemi said...

You probably knew this already but it's illegal to show genitalia on-screen in Japan. I seriously don't know why.

Jack J said...

It used to be but not anymore. They changed the laws a few yrs back.

Unknown said...

wow what are the odds of us both watching this ridicules film in the same week how did you like the carpet with the rubber rats glued to it ? you dare tread upon the staircase?

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