One hundred years after a nuclear war has devastated the planet, society has been reborn into two factions; the underground society and the scavangers above in the wastelands. A group of ...
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One hundred years after a nuclear war has devastated the planet, society has been reborn into two factions; the underground society and the scavangers above in the wastelands. A group of scavangers on bikes come across a town infested with flesh eating rats, and soon the gore is spilling everywhere. Written by
Ah, these were the days for sure. Rats is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror by the one and only Bruno Mattei. If you've seen anything else by this guy you will no doubt know exactly what to expect. You'll be aware that you are going to see a shoddy but enjoyable trash-fest with many laugh-out-loud moments of unintentional humour. This film is full of typical Matteisms. It's ram-packed with extreme over-acting, over-the-top maniacal laughter, stupid chat and atrocious dubbing. It's got lots of gore, comically unthreatening monsters and moments of alarming non-political correctness. It's unashamedly derivative and incurably cheesy. And yet despite - or perhaps because - of all this, its loads of fun.
Like many bad films there is a scrolling text introduction. This is an easy way for cheap-skate film-makers to give us the background story and context without having to go to the trouble of conveying this information cinematically. Anyway, it basically boils down to the fact that the Earth is scorched after a nuclear war and some people live underground, while others live on the surface. A band of the latter pitch up at an abandoned settlement and discover that the previous inhabitants had been killed by super-intelligent nasty rats. Guess what happens next.
In a lot of horror films the most interesting characters are the villains and monsters. Not in this film. The rats for the most part act in a completely indifferent manner. This of course makes for some very funny moments when our heroes act as if they are a terrifying threat. A couple of such scenes spring to mind. Firstly when the gang mount a set of stairs covered in rats, the implication is that this is a super-scary moment, while the reality for all to see is that not only do the rodents pose no hazard whatsoever, they also are actually actively hiding away. Secondly, the scene where the leader of the gang wards off the hordes of rats with a flaming torch is properly silly as not only are the creatures a good twenty metres away in a small utterly unthreatening group but they also approach the flaming stick with zero concern when it is finally thrown on the deck. Prior to this silly scene, we are treated to what can only be described as the rat conveyor belt. This somewhat incredible cinematic device is a 'special effect' created for the film that is evidently supposed to suggest hordes of scary rodents moving forward menacingly. It doesn't. It looks like a conveyor belt with 2D rat-shaped cut outs stuck on it. It's quite something else. It does have to also be said that seeing as this is an Italian production there are a number of scenes where the rats are quite obviously getting battered or burned. They are thrown at actors, kicked by actors, have heavy objects thrown at them and set on fire by flamethrowers. With this in mind I'm very surprised this one got a BBFC certificate to tell you the truth.
In all honesty the gang are a lot more memorable that the rodents. One of them is called Video. He is supposed to be a computer genius, yet he says things like 'stupid machine needs a kick in the balls'. Another character called Deus is supposed to be the brains of the bunch as he has a shaved head with a little triangle drawn on it. At one point he goes into a long spiel about how rats lived in the days before the War. He qualifies his rambling rubbish with the line 'I read it in a book'. He says it so ludicrously portentously that it is laugh-out-loud funny. The only black character is a woman called, wait for it, Chocolate. At one point she covers herself in flour and says something along the lines of 'I'm white like the rest of you, ha ha ha'. Right on baby. The final character I shall draw your attention to is a guy called Duke. He is the villain of the group and is relatively unremarkable. Until is death that is, when he stands in an armoured vehicle with a grenade and then notices that there are some rats in the car with him, so he does what any sane person would do he throws the grenade at them and blows himself up.
If you haven't already worked out then I have to say that this film was a bit of a comedy classic. It mixes cheap sci-fi with gory horror and levels it all off with a dollop of unintentional stupidity. It's a riot. And wait until you see the ending. If you thought things could not get any more ridiculous, you are in for a treat.
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