Of Unknown Origin (1983)

R  |   |  Horror  |  24 November 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,642 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 38 critic

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



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bart Hughes
Lorrie Wells
Eliot Riverton
Louis Del Grande ...
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 ...


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


The terrifying last word in home invasion from the director of "Tombstone" and "Cobra." See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Origem Desconhecida  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Favorite film of Stephen King. See more »


Bart Hughes: [Bart is setting traps] Watch and weep, you furry fucker.
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User Reviews

Peter Weller's almost one man show
2 April 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Though I don't really consider it a horror film, if you are one of many who happens to be afraid of rodents this film will terrify you. Hell, even you you don't mind rodents it might freak you out a bit. Peter Weller is always a great actor, and he stars in this film as Bart, a man who wages an all out war with one hell of an angry rat while the rest of his life begins to fall apart because of it. He is the only leading actor in this film, and he carries it almost completely on his own. His dinner table speech about the dangers of rats was both hilarious and a bit unnerving at the same time. I liked how this film was almost self-mocking in parts, though it always kept a straight face about it and never went to far. The rat's point of view shots really show this. The scenes with the rat were all very well done, congrats to whoever trained the rat. The plot was very original, and I liked how smart the rat was. Always a couple steps ahead of poor ol' Bart. I think I jumped a foot when the damn thing came out of the toilet. Last but not least, that was one heck of a bat he made near the end! Overall, this is a great film. Admittedly it's a bit cheesy in places, but it knows what it is and handles itself very well. Highly recommended.


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