In Manhattan, when a client is bitten by a rat in the dressing room of the Garsons Department Store and contracts Weil's disease, the manager Susan Costello is assigned to hire and give all the necessary support to the best exterminator in New York, Jack Carver. The efficient Jack and his assistant Ty find a colony of mutant rats and try to convince the health department administrator and former partner of Jack, Ray Jarrett, how serious the infestation is. But the politician Ray is interested in covering the problem to protect economical interests of powerful groups. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Stylish Susan Costello (Madchen Amick) is PR at Garvers Department Store in New York City. An unsuspecting customer is bitten by a rat in one of the dressing rooms and develops a serious disease. More sighting of rats at a nearby swimming center, and at Susan's apartment, suggest a plague of the rodents is brewing, and they appear to be overly aggressive too. Jack Carver (Vincent Spano) a suave professional rat exterminator and Susan together try to stem the plague of killer rodents, which extends to the Underground Railway, and finally ends at the swimming pool in a very suspenseful sequence, while the Health Department hope the whole thing will go away, and try to sweep it under the carpet. This is much better than the average thriller TV film thanks to some good special effects, and the general fear most folks have of Rats, especially feral ones in mass. In fact giant spiders ("The Haunting of Toby Jug" "Funnelweb"), rats, and snakes ("Lair of the White Worm" "Anaconda") all figure largely in horror literature. James Herbert wrote about London being invaded by rats in one of his first novels, (The Rats), but in this case the city is New York, and the rats have been mutated into something seriously aggressive, especially in huge numbers. Some possibly true and disturbing facts about the rodents in the city come to light in the script, which is reasonably sane for this type of movie. There are some well designed moments of horror - the janitor ends up in a very nasty situation being eaten alive. The cast have most unpleasant encounters with the little critters, making D. W. Griffith's putting Lillian Gish in a scene with a couple of rats ( in the days of the silent films ) seem like a summer picnic. She (Gish) managed to gain some publicity from the fact she allowed rats to crawl about her at the time. I'm not sure of the almost unknown cast of this feature gained as much notoriety, although perhaps they should considering the number of rats involved. However we are more skeptical today as digital effects can create the most awful situations without the actors being much impaired. Altogether the film will probably increase your phobia for Rats if you have one, and maybe start one if you haven't. Caution - don't watch the movie if you're squeamish.
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