15 July 2008


Rats : Night of Terror
Italy - 1984
Dir. – Bruno Matei (as Vincent Dawn)
Anchor Bay, 2002, DVD

Low budget Italian post apocalypse crap, introduced by some really grainy scrolling text & narration followed by prolonged shots of a dirty but fashionably dressed (for 1984 Italy anyway) gang driving about. Arriving in some kind of abandoned village/town they descend cautiously into the subterranean buildings where they find a welcome cache of food, much of which they proceed to throw on the floor in celebration. At the same time they discover a great deal of equally meat hungry fanged rats, who only take one kind of lip.

Behaving like an 80’s slasher movie version of the Scooby Doo gang, we know we’ll get some fluffy “horror, but we’ll also not only get boobs, but (since it’s Italian) also sausage. Here now, the film begins to cycle through it’s basic shot rotation; shot of “scary” rats, people reaction shot, gory aftermath, broken up occasionally with some banal vapid dialogue.

During the first night of Mattei’s requisite synth-goth soundtrack, we get less than frightening death of lovers while at the same time, another member of the group is attacked and gnawed by a few rats and, in a stroke of merciful genuis, his friends set him on fire to ease his suffering, everyone feels bad and is finally, if a little suddenly, terrified of the rats, despite their otherwise unmotivated rodent performance.

Soon the rats have driven a psychological wedge between the group who’s internal rivalry leads them to a near re-enactment of Night of the Living Dead’s climactic survival tactics argument. Nevertheless despite flamboyant, exuberant fearmongering hyperbole, the rats remain unconvinced of their own powers, requiring a scattering of food on the floor to keep them in place for each shot.

Soon after more rats/reaction/gore shots it becomes rapidly evident that we’re going to run out of rubber rat chewed corpses, so the plot we’ve been waiting for until now is quickly recited by a found voice-recording and concluded by a corny but good, twist in the cheap-but-sincere Mattei (Hell of the Living Dead) style.

Watch the Rats trailer at CultTrailers.

Awesome (if innacurate) Poster/One Sheet included as an insert in this DVD version.

Cover for an Anchor Bay Mattei double feature DVD and a Region 2 DVD respectively.

1 comment:

rl said...

This might be your funniest review yet, dude.