Rats - Notte di terrore (1984) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
43 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Mean-spirited claptrap
insightstraight29 January 2004
There are far too many movies which fail to give us someone in the film to sympathize/empathize with, whether through ineptness on the part of the director & actors, or because the characters are so vile/empty/cardboard/venal/pointless/useless that one doesn't want to admit they are the same species as ourselves.

The only sympathetic characters for me in "Notte di Terrore" were the rats who, far from being menacing, were in fact huddled miserably together, busily trying to clean from themselves the black goop with which they had been coated in a clumsy attempt to make them look menacing. As for the human characters -- I simply could not wait for all of them to be dead! If these were the survivors who were supposed to repopulate the planet -- let the rats have the whole damn world.

Not only do the rats have to suffer being gooped up, they have the further indignity of being repeatedly tossed at bad actors. And Italian animal rights laws evidently being looser, many rats are obviously injured or killed for the sake of action effects, including several which are clearly burned alive. Would that they could have given their lives for a more worthy film.

I hope this movie isn't intercepted by some alien civilization out there, because it would serve to convince them of the need to exterminate the human race. For the good of the universe.
24 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Oh boy. They don't come funnier than this.
Blor1 March 1999
This is probably one of the funniest movies I have ever seen in my entire life. Rats is hilariously inept and goofy beyond imagination. First of all you have the scenes of Rats attacking. You can almost spot the stagehands throwing the rats towards the actors... then there's the scenes of horror when the actors discover some evil, nasty mutant rats... who just sits there, doing nothing that would resemble anything remotely scary. And lets not forget the conveyor belt. There is a scene where our bold and poorly dubbed heroes try to get away from a teeming mass of mutant rats... and the mass consists of furry things (who does not even move) on a conveyor belt. Oh boy, oh boy. Then there's the ending... This movie would be an awesome doublebill with Bruno Mattei's equally inept Hell of the living dead. They sure don't come funnier than this.
13 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Funny as hell
Red-Barracuda21 April 2010
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.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Stupid machine needs a kick in the balls!" -Video
Scott11 July 2002
I can't believe I haven't commented on this movie before! This was one of the first bad horror movies that I watched that got me hooked on B-movies. This is like a legend to me, alongside Blood Feast and Laserblast, that has helped pave the way for finding the most obscure of B-movies know to man. But enough about the legend of "Rats: Night of Terror," let's talk about the movie.

After I was done laughing and rewinding so many parts of this video, I began taking down the best quotes from the movie, and believe me, there were a lot.

"Stupid machine needs a kick in the balls!" -Video

(with flour all over her head, dancing around) "I'm white! I'm white!!" -Chocolate

(sounding really important) "I read it in a book" -Deus

"Stupid thing doesn't work any more! Sh*t! SH*T!" -Kurk

(while holding a spike, not a gun) "You make one move, and I'll blow your guts out!" -Chocolate

All these quotes and so much more make this movie all the more enjoyable to watch. Seeing rats constantly fall out from the ceiling, watching people being bitten when a rat is simply falling on their head then rolling off onto the floor. The only feeling I felt for this movie, was one girl who WOULDN'T STOP SCREAMING! No matter what it was she saw, she screamed her head off, and it drove me crazy! I was rooting for her to die first. And even though she didn't die first, she did die, and I cheered.

If you ever decide to watch this movie, don't drink while you do it, because you'll miss most of the good little stuff of the movie. Stuff like characters using spikes to try and hold rats at bay. This is a movie you need to soak all of it in. Enjoy.

**Final Judgement** Stupid movie needs a kick in the balls.

20 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of those movies thats SO bad it's good!
danhunter-110 September 2005
This is quite literally a piece of sh*t of a movie but should you avoid it? Hell no! It's quality crap, i saw this when i was about 7-8 and it scared the hell out of me, i saw it again with a friend after he found a copy in a 2nd hand store a few weeks back and i was crying with laughter the whole way through, what was i EVER afraid of?! You have to watch this film just for the STUPID 'plot twist' at the end that sums up the whole movie as you wet yourself at whats supposed to be a terrifying conclusion.

Just watch it! If you can BEAR it all the way through it's well worth it ;-) Happy watching
14 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Rats = Junk
john-coles-111 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A very poor movie! Normally i love cheap horror movies - or any cheap movie that has evil little things scuttling about in the dark trying to kill the human characters, e.g "Ghoulies", "Critters", "Munchies". This Vipco production bored me though. "Rats" is overly long with mediocre special effects and hyperactive synth music. Set in a post-apocalyptic desert town, a bunch of scruffy human survivors find fresh food and water - and thousands of rodent killers! The human characters display few redeemable qualities, bickering, poor leadership from a bearded bloke called Kurt, a woman who spends the whole time screaming, a curly haired bloke called Video who spouts nonsense etc. Credit to the producers for making the rats into a faceless, emotionless hoard who hunt down the humans with sheer numbers. However they then ruin it as Kurt turns up and quite clearly napalms a few of the (live) furry co-stars after one of the humans finds a bottle of the "hard stuff" and falls into a sewer. Any producer that permits important members of the cast to be burned alive makes me dislike this film even more. You can quite happily leave the room after 20 minutes, come back 20 minutes later - and the plot will not have advanced at all. The only difference you will notice is that there are less of the annoying humans on screen (as a couple will have wandered off and gotten killed by the rats). However, that's not to say that it is a complete waste of time. The Italian-English dubbing is very funny. Some excellent over-the-top dialogue. There are some impressively gory moments. The set design has a convincing weather-beaten, grimy look about it. The scene where the rebellious human "Duke" tries to escape the town, panics and decides to throw a grenade at some rats on his truck, even though he too is ON THE TRUCK is absolutely hilarious in my view. The very last 30 seconds of this film are also funny - they would have been quite profound, had the director/writer not made their audience sit through a load of poorly done set-pieces and slow plot development. Not clever.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
yet another Bruno Mattei turkey
Jonny_Numb29 January 2003
"Rats: Night of Terror" is the umpteenth variation on the old people-trapped-in-buildings-battling-zombies theme that George Romero started with "Night of the Living Dead." The fact is, zombies can be very scary, but rats aren't--they can be silly, or, in the case of this movie, boring and completely unthreatening. Bruno Mattei, who also directed "Night of the Zombies," succeeds in getting a few bad laughs out of this whole ordeal, but I found the characters and story to be very dull regardless of 'camp quality.' Since I was falling asleep while I watched this, I wound up fast-forwarding through the last half, stopping just in time to hear the idiotic 'scientist's explantion' as to why the rats were taking over. One final note: ever notice how all the people in these post-apocalyptic movies dress in the height of 1985 Euro-fashion?

8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A step above your normal low-budget horror
sick_boy420xxx25 June 2001
What starts out looking like a poor Mad Max type of film about a post-apocalyptic nightmare ends up a fairly well-done low-budget horror flick about a gang of futuristic nomads attacked by a whole lotta nasty rodents who are hungry for humans. The film unfolds as the rats slowly take control of the situation and trap the humans in ruins of a long-abandoned city, and prepare for the siege. The violence is pretty graphic as the rats seem to kill people from the inside out, and there are some nasty scenes of rats popping out of dead bodies. This one should satisfy horror fans with its violence, somewhat interesting storyline, and a bizarre and unusual ending. Recommended for fans; one of the better killer rat flicks.
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Rats! What a terrible movie.
The_Void30 January 2007
It's the sort of plot line that could go either way - but if you've seen any of Bruno Mattei's other efforts, you probably already know which way this one went. The film is something of a cross between John Carpenter's influential (to Italian filmmakers) Escape From New York, and James Herbert's book 'Domain' - which the film may not have taken influence from since it was released in the same year as this nonsense, and I'm not sure that Bruno Mattei could actually read. The plot follows a war of some sort, which has left the population decimated. One half lives above ground, the other under - and now they have flesh eating rats to contend with. The rats themselves are hardly fear inducing as they're not giant or even menacing, and basically they're just your usual bog standard rats. The script is ridiculous and there is pretty much no attempt to capitalise on the horror of this situation as Mattei prefers to keep the focus on his ragtag bunch of characters, the most ridiculous of which is a bald idiot with a triangle on his head. On the plus side, the music isn't bad (despite being highly derivative of a number of other soundtracks) and there are some nice kill scenes even if most of it isn't really visible. Overall, there's not a lot to recommend Rats for - and therefore I don't.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Would be funny if it wasn't so mind-bendingly dull
Michael A. Martinez24 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A very similar film in tone to Mattei's previous film HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD, RATS also has its fair share of stock footage (nice monument valley flyover in the opening), though the music is actually original.

What could have been an interesting concept (much like the later PLANET OF THE APES movies or the game KKND where nuke mutants battle advanced underground dwellers) is totally ruined by the idiotic decision to focus this movie on an assault by killer rats. The whole crux of the film completely relies on the rats to be scary enough to keep up the suspense, but they fail right off the bat. There's nothing scary about them - just the fear of stepping in or accidentally eating their feces.

What kills this film even more is Mattei's hands-off directing approach. You can tell the actors were not given any instruction and to just improvise in the many lengthy wide-angle shots of everyone. There's minimal close-ups to heighten drama, and frequent overacting. It's all quite amateurish besides the lighting and music (which is good besides the snooze-inducing main overture). What little gore there is is so badly done, it's not even laughable.

Mattei did MUCH better with his far more entertaining (and funnier) action films in the late 80's. His "best" work in horror/sleaze would be the two women-in-prison films he made around the same time as this film. RATS is just boring. A huge bummer. I don't know why Mattei himself considered this his best film... I've seen more of his work than most people (I adore ROBOWAR and STRIKE COMMANDO) but I absolutely loathe this sleep-inducing film.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews