Saturday, December 17

Ratman (Quella villa in fondo al parco) (1988) - 1998 Albatros Co., Ltd. Japan VHS

My best guess is that Ratman's production company, Fulvia Film, figured it would be a solid investment to build a horror feature around one of the shortest people alive, Nelson de la Rosa, for merely exploitative marketing purposes. De la Rosa plays the titular "rat man" created by a loon scientist in the tropics that escapes from his birdcage to murderously reek havoc on anyone who crosses his path.

Veterans David Warbeck and Janet Agren literally fly in for a payday, and while still looking great, only inhabit maybe forty percent of the runtime. The rest is devoted to a photographer (Werner Pochath), his top model (the busty Eva Grimaldi), and said scientist running afoul of the vicious, rodent version of Shortround. Spaghetti western stalwart director Giuliano Carnimeo was probably dying inside a little more with each passing day on set with the realization of just what he's helming. Certainly not primo Italian trash, but its always welcoming to see either Warbeck, despite not being dubbed by himself, or the beautiful Agren in such bygone hokum cruelly exploiting an individual's natural circumstances in life.

Albatros' VHS benefits from being fairly recent and looks great considering the murky lighting. The picture is framed oddly with a large top bar and very slim bottom bar but nothing seems trimmed. The tape starts with this trailer for Deadly Ransom (1997) and one specifically made for Ratman's Japanese video release (seen here). Also I'd bet the three mutilated limbs seen on the front cover below are actually snipped from real death photos. No idea why the Ratman is donning a red smock since he never does in the film. Maybe Albatros was trying make a connection to the crazed butcher-knife wielding midget in Don't Look Now (1973)...?!


Jayson Kennedy said...

It seems that Shameless DVD has Warbeck dubbing himself? Anyone know if this is true?

Jenn said...

I have a VHS copy of RATMAN, although this is far more spectacular looking. And way better than the actual movie. I really really want to love a movie called RATMAN but I can't bring myself to actually do it. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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