WTFW: Rats - Notte Di Terrore (1984)

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WTFW: Rats - Notte Di Terrore (1984)

Once again tonight’s movie suggested by Rob Morganbesser.  Go visit him on Twitter and remind him how much he tortures me with his suggestions.

  • Directed: Claudio Fragasso  Bruno Mattei
  • Produced: Jacques Leitienne
  • Written:
    • Bruno Mattei (Story) 
    • Claudio Fragasso (Screenplay) 
    • Hervé Piccini (Screenplay)
  • Starring: Ottaviano Dell'Acqua, Geretta Geretta, Massimo Vanni, Richard Cross, Ann-Gisel Glass, Cindy Leadbetter
  • Music: Luigi Ceccarelli
  • Cinematography: Franco Delli Colli
  • Editing: Gilbert Kikoïne
  • Studio: Beatrice Film
  • Distributed:
    • Anchor Bay Entertainment 
    • Blue Underground 
    • Lightning Video
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: August 1984
  • Running Time: 97 minutes
  • Country: Italy
  • Language: English

Rats: Night of Terror (also known as Blood Kill and Rats) is an Italian post-apocalyptic thriller movie directed in 1984 by Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso.

After a nuclear holocaust in 2015 the survivors are divided between those who live in comfortable underground cities and the "New Primitives" who live in the sunlight.  A group of these comes across a mysterious village.  Despite the presence of numerous horribly mutilated corpses, the adventurers decide to settle in town after discovering a large amount of food, a greenhouse with various fruit trees and a reservoir of drinking water.  The following night hundreds and hundreds of hungry genetically mutated rats are ready to attack them one by one.

One particularly nauseating scene in Rats: Night of Terror has a rat crawl between Moune Duvivier's legs.  Later, when the bikers find her corpse, the rat crawls out of her mouth, having apparently made itself quite a tunnel. Hungry rodents burst from one character's back, chew on a lot of faces, and ingeniously bite through the wheels of the bikers' cycles, making escape impossible.  In the meantime, there is a lot of annoying infighting and bickering of the sort that has passed for "character development" ever since Alien.  The "shock-ending," featuring rat-faced humanoids, is completely ridiculous.  The film on the whole is workmanlike, and although screenwriters Claudio Fragasso and Herve Piccini throw in enough surprises and icky moments to keep viewers awake, Bruno Mattei never really finds a rhythm.  That's typical of his pictures, which always seem to come across as Lucio Fulci wannabes, without Fulci's sense of mood or style.  Still, for what it's worth, Rats remains one of Mattei's more watchable efforts.

The film was filmed at Cinecittà studios in Rome, using the sets built for Once Upon a Time in America.  In Germany this movie was presented as the third part of the "Bronx Warriors" series by Enzo G. Castellari, because…I have no idea, this isn’t even close to having any resemblance to the Bronx Warriors series.  Maybe because they both have Italians in the cast, but by using that logic “Planet of The Vampires” and “The Godfather” are related somehow also.  In the first attack of a rat upon a human, the rat bites the character Duke's hand and then leaps to his neck and face seemingly and bites there. Later on, however, there is no evidence either on his neck or face when he was clearly bitten on one area or the other or both.  Sharpie pen marks are visible underlining various words and sections of the text screen during the opening text crawl.

Almost didn’t get to the end of this film, it would have had to improve to be abysmal but alcohol made it watchable.  It was two in the afternoon but alcohol made it very much more watchable, then I took a nap.

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