– They’re here! They’re coming!
– God! No!
The year is 250 A.B. in a distant Mad Max world where the planet Earth has been blown to dust by nuclear bombs. A group of bikers are on the look for food and shelter and discover some decayed, empty laboratory in the city. But don’t get too comfy cuz the place is crawling with rats! Big, fat rats. Thousands of them! And like our group of bikers they’re hungry as well and takes a bite out of every human flesh they can jump on. It’s already time to find the flame thrower.
The only believable aspects about this very cheese-smelling low budget apocalyptic flick is the abandoned city set-designs which also was used in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America. And with a pretty decent cinematography, despite the circumstances, the film at least gets the atmosphere and the sense of the apocalyptic environment and surroundings. We also have some gory and graphic moments here as well, the most notable being the lucky rat which we can assume crawls straight into someones vagina and eats itself out of the dead victims mouth. Yum!
And then there’s the… rats. We have some hundreds of them running around the actors feet as they try to make us believe that they fights against them while they also do their very best to not harm them. Because no rats where harmed during the making of this motion picture. And it looks as inept and retarded as it sounds. Not that I want to see rats, or other animals, getting killed, but still. Several rats died of natural causes during the making, though (RIP), but director Bruno Mattei had no budget to waste them. Instead the genius used them as props by throwing them at the actors to make it look like they jumped on their victims. Pure movie magic.
We’re also entertained by a group of actors who mostly couldn’t look a bit scared even if they were paid a million. Instead we have goofy faces, monotone screams and just overall bad acting. All of course Italians which was poorly dubbed with stiff cartoonish lines, like most of the older bad Italian horror films. And if you sense the smell of cheese getting stronger, you’re not wrong. Claudio “Troll 2” Fragasso co-wrote and co-directed (without credit) the film. Other sources says that he didn’t direct a single scene. But just pretend he did, cuz that makes it even funnier. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it was him that came up with the batshit twist at the end.
Director: Bruno Mattei
Writers: Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso, Hervé Piccini
Original title: Rats – Notte di terrore
Country & year: Italy, France, 1984
Actors: Ottaviano Dell’Acqua, Geretta Geretta, Massimo Vanni, Gianni Franco, Ann-Gisel Glass, Jean-Christophe Brétignière, Fausto Lombardi, Henry Luciani, Cindy Leadbetter, Christian Fremont