Of Unknown Origin (1983)

R  |   |  Horror  |  24 November 1983 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,641 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)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

2 wins. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Beloved (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 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
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
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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
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
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
Link (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A zoology student must try to out smart a murderous and super-intelligent orangutan.

Director: Richard Franklin
Stars: Terence Stamp, Elisabeth Shue, Steven Pinner
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The story of a widow (in West Virginia) who takes in a drifter who she believes killed her husband. She begins to fall for him but cannot be sure if she should trust him.

Director: David Saperstein
Stars: Peter Weller, Kathy Baker, John Glover
Sole Survivor (1983)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A lone survivor of a plane crash is haunted by a feeling unworthy of survival. Dead people start coming after her to collect her.

Director: Thom Eberhardt
Stars: Anita Skinner, Kurt Johnson, Robin Davidson
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Passengers on a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease. Nobody will let them off the train so what happens next?

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Martin Sheen
Curtains (1983)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Six young actresses auditioning for a movie role at a remote mansion are targeted by a mysterious masked murderer.

Director: Richard Ciupka
Stars: John Vernon, Samantha Eggar, Linda Thorson
The Tunnel (1988)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A painter becomes obsessed and begins an affair with a mysterious woman who was touched deeply by one of his works.

Director: Antonio Drove
Stars: Jane Seymour, Peter Weller, Manuel de Blas


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


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

Did You Know?


Favorite film of Stephen King. See more »


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


Features The Old Man and the Sea (1958) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of my all time favorites!
7 January 2004 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

Of Unknown Origin is an overlooked gem of a little movie. Not really a horror film, except that something does indeed go bump in the night, and often too. No, this is more of a psychological drama and Peter Weller bangs one out of the park with his performance as the yuppie forced to go to war with a rat. The movie gets down right primitive and to the point, and it's all Peter Weller and some excellent rat photography. I watch this movie about once a year and it's one of my all time favorites. The film isn't dated and the dvd transfer is good so check it out if you're looking for something a little different, something of quality, and not your normal run of the mill mindless horror flick.

17 of 20 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: