35 user 39 critic

Of Unknown Origin (1983)

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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2 wins. See more awards »



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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


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?


The movie was "originally released in a longer version" according to 'Rating the Movies'. See more »


Meg Hughes: [Meg sees the house is a wreck] Oh, my God! Bart, what happened?
Bart Hughes: I had a party.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Classic of its kind
4 August 2003 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

A horror spoof classic, thanks to an incredible performance by Peter Weller as a New York executive being driven to the brink of madness. His battle with a supersized, quick-thinking rat is almost incidental to what is going with him throughout the film. The battle between man and rat at the end is predictable but delicious in its ferocity, and the scene where Weller gears up to do battle is the most memorable moment in a movie full of memorable moments -- including one where he almost loses his hand!

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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
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