Monday, 23 June 2014

Review - Rat Man (1988 - Dir. Giuliano Carnimeo (as Anthony Ascot))

Here we go then with David Warbeck's effort in his first round replay against Radha Mitchell. The title didn't really inspire me but I thought that Rat Man may contain some entertainment value in terms of sheer stupidity. Added to that it was written by Dardano Sacchetti so it could feasibly be okay.

Rat Man just cements my feeling that Dardano Sacchetti and Lucio Fulci did their best work together. Apart, well this is the kind of abomination we get. (Fulci can't claim to have done any better on his own, see Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 for evidence.) At least Rat Man has some semblance of a story. Well, vaguely anyway.

A mad scientist fellow decides it would be in the best interests of society if he could cross a rat with a monkey. Amazingly enough, especially with the film's title, he succeeds. He is so pleased with himself he thinks that he may possibly get a Nobel prize. What for? For creating a creature that lives in sewers and shows its backside to passersby? Mmm, maybe. The titular Rat Man escapes from his minuscule cage and goes on a rampage of scratching. (In a bid to further increase his chances of gaining the Nobel prize the scientist gave Ratty poisonous claws. Great.) Fred Williams (David Warbeck) and Terry (another one of Fulci's chums, Janet Agren) are on a search for Terry's model sister who is busy working with a photographer. In Ratty's stomping ground. Or should that be Ratty's pattering ground?

This is a bad film. Not quite up there with the aforementioned Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, but still, it's very bad. Obviously this is an exploitation film. It has gratuitous nudity and also the use of one of the world's shortest men, Nelson De La Rosa, who later went on to work with Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau, possibly inspiring the character of Mini-Me. He plays the title role, replete with savage looking rat teeth. But despite being an expoilationer, it's not particularly funny. In general, it's dull. It follows the pattern of a character going off on their own, then getting clawed and severely deaded. Repeat until asleep.

David Warbeck does nothing to improve the proceedings. In his defence, he doesn't get masses of screen time. We spend most of our precious time with Terry's sister, Monique and her photographer chum. It's similar to Rutger Hauer's role in Hemoglobin. Do the job. Get Paid. Go home. Forget it. It doesn't look like a phoned in performance. More like it's been texted.

Any gore? After all it's only just been released uncut by Shameless. Not really. I only watched it yesterday and I can't remember anything that should have troubled the censors. 

It's not really a disappointing film because I wasn't expecting that much. But due to the lack of fun I found it a completely tiring experience. I can't see Warbeck recovering from this. It seems as though he's just given Mitchell a free pass to the next round.

If you like this you could also try:
Pieces, Willard.

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