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Of Unknown Origin (1983)

 -  Horror  -  24 November 1983 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,389 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 34 critic

A man who recently completed rebuilding a townhouse becomes obsessed with a rat infestation until it becomes an interspecies duel.

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Title: Of Unknown Origin (1983)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bart Hughes
...
Lorrie Wells
...
Eliot Riverton
...
Louis Del Grande ...
Clete
...
Meg Hughes
Keith Knight ...
Hardware Salesman
...
Dan Errol
Leif Anderson ...
Peter Hughes
Jimmy Tapp ...
Meg's Father
Gayle Garfinkle ...
Janis Wycoff
Earl Pennington ...
Mr. Thompson
Jacklin Webb ...
Newspaper Vendor
Bronwen Mantel ...
Florence Riverton
Monik Nantel ...
Secretary
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Storyline

Bart Hughes has a pretty good life, a beautiful wife, a young son, a good job with promotion prospects, and a renovated brownstone in New York. When wife and kid leave for a vacation, Bart stays behind to work on a project that will earn him that promotion, unaware that a certain inhabitant of his basement has other plans for his time. Bart goes a bit bonkers trying to kill this rat, destroying most of his house in the process. Certain allegorical elements tie the household conflict to the "rat race" in his office, but the main event is certainly the night-and-day contest of wills between man and rodent. Written by Chris Holland <stomptokyo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Peter Weller (Robocop) Turns his home into a battleground against an enemy... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

24 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Origem Desconhecida  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Bart Hughes: Keep it up. Just keep it up. I've got friends in Jersey.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in WildCat (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Not to be Underestimated!
4 October 2006 | by (US) – See all my reviews

This movie is about a large, smart rat threatening to undermine everything a worldly wall street climber (Peter Weller) has worked to create for his world. The movie is like it's clever rat...creeping up with more intelligence than should be expected.

Great movies work equally on separate levels so that a wide audience can take what they will from it and still enjoy it immensely. Although technically a B-movie punctuated by 80's camp, it is unmistakable that "Of Unknown Origin" is truly special.

It's unfortunate that this movie has enough unattractive elements to deter a viewer's interest. First of all, it's a "rat movie". When has that ever been a favorable genre? Second of all, Shannon Tweed's involvement, however early in her career, emits an odor of genericness and illegitimacy.

Don't be turned off by all these potentially fatal bad traits. Director George P. Cosomotos and Peter Weller had an interesting, artful collaboration going on in "Of Unknown Origin". The film has a tight focus on theme and story, and goofy, highly entertaining, cult-status-worthy performance bits from Weller. It's a fun film- there's no doubt about that. There may be cheese, but there's also sincerity in how the film refuses to take itself seriously. Also, the familiar moral of the story is shown in so fresh a form that you won't even care.

For a story that works so well on an intellectual level, it's a blessing that the actual rat combat scenes are a great time. As Weller's lost yuppie starts to lose his sanity, his battles with his furry foe become more and more extravagant. Let's just say the conclusion is incredible.

The title refers to the clouded evolution of rats. It also speaks of the burning, unavoidable core of our hearts that is pure and determined to defeat our dark sides. Our consciences? Our God? Or is it just a fear of a big friggin' rat? Ponder that if you'd like, but enjoy "Of Uknown Origin" regardless.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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