Rats: Night of Terror (1984)


I hate to be mean but the title of this film gives away it’s quality.  Directed by “legendary” horror director Bruno Mattei, this movie focuses on a group of survivors trying to make ends meet after a nuclear holocaust that is supposed to happen sometime this year (2015).  You see, after the holocaust, humanity separated into two classes: the elite, who live below ground, and the common people, who live above ground.   Yes, it would make more sense if their locations were inverted, but such is the logic of this film.

The survivors hold up in a random building they find, which seems to have all the food and purified water they could ever hope for and it seems like an idyll location to live in.  Except for the giant rats that seem to be pouring out of every crevice. The logic of the film is that the below ground people have forced the rats upward and that’s why they are all over the place. Since the film only takes place in this one building over the course of one night (a night of terror), we don’t get to see if the world is over populated by rats, which would help make the argument the characters are making the right decision in staying in a building invested with super intelligent (at least compared to the protagonists) rats who wish to end their lives.

ratscastA war between the rodents and the scavengers breaks out, and lots of violent stuff happens.  Yeah, its a stupid movie, but I can’t get mad at it because it’s never boring and one thing the Italians consistently get right in their film-making is the atmosphere.  This movie drips with a sense of dread that is helped by it’s organ theme music which sounds like a funeral dirge.  It is interesting that in light of everything the film gets wrong that it gets this one thing right.  It’s like seeing an autistic do arithmetic: it doesn’t change your opinion of it’s intelligence but it does give you a higher appreciation for what it can be capable of.

The film is a time capsule of all that was right (or wrong) about the VHS market in the early 80s.  Check it out.



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