MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,867 this week

Of Unknown Origin (1983)

R  |   |  Horror  |  24 November 1983 (USA)
6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,598 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 37 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

"Hand of God" - What to Watch

IMDb sits down with the cast of the thriller drama "Hand of God," including Ron Perlman, Julian Morris, Garret Dillahunt, and Alona Tal.

Watch our interview

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 05 Nov 2010
 
a list of 27 titles
created 09 Dec 2010
 
a list of 31 titles
created 20 Sep 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 02 Jan 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 29 Jul 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Of Unknown Origin (1983)

Of Unknown Origin (1983) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Of Unknown Origin.
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Beloved (1971)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Yanni returns to his homeland, on a Greek island, after several years in London. Soon he is searching for his teenager passion, Elena. She is a married woman now, and adultery leads to ... See full summary »

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Raquel Welch, Richard Johnson, Jack Hawkins
Leviathan (1989)
Adventure | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Underwater deep-sea miners encounter a Soviet wreck and bring back a dangerous cargo to their base on the ocean floor with horrifying results. The crew of the mining base must fight to ... See full summary »

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, Amanda Pays
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the Nazi occupied city of Rome, an assault on an SS brigade draws retaliation from the military governship. "Massacre in Rome" is the true story of how this partisan attack led to the ... See full summary »

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Richard Burton, Marcello Mastroianni, Leo McKern
It's Alive (1974)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Davies expect a baby, which turns out to be a monster with a nasty habit of killing when it's scared. And it's easily scared.

Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, James Dixon
Warning Sign (1985)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A woman working as a security guard in an agricultural research facility finds herself and her co-worker Schmidt fighting to survive against their former friends.

Director: Hal Barwood
Stars: Sam Waterston, Kathleen Quinlan, Yaphet Kotto
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A World War Two adventure involving a group of Allied POWs, Nazis, black market priceless art treasures, Greek resistance, a Greek monastery and a secret German rocket base.

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, David Niven
Razorback (1984)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child's granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr
Wolfen (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.

Director: Michael Wadleigh
Stars: Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Bobby Bishop (Sheen) is a special assistant to the President of the United States. Accidentally, he meets his friend professor Pochenko on the street. Pochenko has time to tell Bishop about... See full summary »

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Donald Sutherland, Linda Hamilton
Crawlspace (1986)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A man who runs an apartment house for women is the demented son of a Nazi surgeon who has the house equipped with secret passageways, hidden rooms and torture and murder devices.

Director: David Schmoeller
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Talia Balsam, Barbara Whinnery
Hungry Wives (1972)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A bored, unhappy suburban housewife gets mixed up in witchcraft and murder.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Jan White, Raymond Laine, Ann Muffly
Q (1982)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

New York police are bemused by a spate of reports of a giant flying lizard that has been spotted around the rooftops of New York, which they assume to be bogus until the lizard starts to ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: David Carradine, Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bart Hughes
...
Lorrie Wells
...
Eliot Riverton
...
Louis Del Grande ...
Clete
...
Meg Hughes
Keith Knight ...
Hardware Salesman
...
Dan Errol
...
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
Edit

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:

Two forces have claimed the house. Only one will survive. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Favorite film of Stephen King. See more »

Quotes

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Imperfect, but effective little thriller
2 October 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

The premise of this film isn't exactly original, but a story like this has great potential both for a psychological thriller and for a fun horror flick...but unfortunately, Or Unknown Origin doesn't quite manage to excel at being either. The focus is more on the battle between man and rat than providing the sort of schlocky horror that the eighties produced so prolifically, which is fine; but it never probes too deep into the psyche of the central character, and the film plays out like a movie that should be fun, but largely isn't. That's not to say that it's a bad film, however, as there are a lot of good ideas on display, and the film also features what may be a career best performance from Peter Weller. The plot sees a man who recently completed the rebuilding of a house being left alone when his wife and child go on holiday. He stays behind to try and win a promotion, but he doesn't count on an onslaught of torture when it turns out that the house he put together has become infested by a rat. What follows is an all out war between man and one of the world's most notorious pests.

Rats are one of horror cinema's most popular animals, and it's not hard to see why. There is a scene in this film that sees the central character make a case against rats, and it really makes you realise the reason why these animals are so often feared. Of Unknown Origin starts out slowly, but builds some momentum half way through when our hero begins his personal war against nature. I wasn't expecting much after the first half hour, but the film surprised me somewhat by the way it eventually comes together, climaxing with an exciting sequence that sees the central character really go off the rails. Peter Weller really is superb in the lead role, and I wouldn't be surprised if this film was the reason he went on to take the lead role in the classic Sci-Fi thriller 'Robocop'. It's a shame that director George P. Cosmatos doesn't seem too keen to get fully inside the character's head, as the potential for a great psychological thriller is definitely there. This film may have been better if it was handled by someone like David Lynch, but despite its imperfections; Of Unknown Origin is still worth seeing.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I saw this in a rat infested theater! DrHerbertWest
Ben The Two of Us Need Search No More fishmarauder
Forgotten Flix in search of rats Danish_Delight
Discuss Of Unknown Origin (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?