4 user 7 critic

The Year of the Rat (2003)

Making a studio film is a huge collaborative effort, whether it's an epic period blockbuster or a small horror movie about a lonely man and his pet rat. This is a behind-the-scenes ... See full summary »



On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Producer
Himself - Director of Photography (as Rob McLachlan)
Himself - Camera Operator
Bill Carraro ...
Himself - Executive Producer
Mark S. Freeborn ...
Himself - Production Designer (as Mark Freeborn)
Himself - Animal Stunt Coordinator
William Shane Grisco ...
Himself - 'Socrates' Trainer (as William Grisco)
Himself - Head Trainer
Jack Hardy ...
Himself - 1st Assistant Director
Himself - Editor
Herself - Actor and Glen Morgan's Wife
Himself - 'Willard Stiles'
Matt Swan ...
Himself - Locations Production Assistant
Julie Ng ...
Herself - The Chick Making This Documentary
Jack Cruikshank ...
Himself - Grip (as Jack Cruickshank)


Making a studio film is a huge collaborative effort, whether it's an epic period blockbuster or a small horror movie about a lonely man and his pet rat. This is a behind-the-scenes documentary that follows the filmmaking process of the feature film, "Willard" through the eyes of a film student, who soon discovers that making movies isn't anywhere near as glamourous as those EPK specials would like the public to believe. "The Year of the Rat" exposes the innards of filmmaking in such a way that even without the glamour, it doesn't make the process any less fascinating or romantic an idea; that we can still find the making of a movie about killer rats an amazing and compulsive act. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

7 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Jahr der Ratte  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

this film would never have been made without the belief and support of the amazing Willard crews on either side of the 49th parallel See more »


References The One (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Interestingly, Julie Ng presents herself as a giddy first time filmmaker while at the same time giving a remarkable look behind the scenes of one of 2003's most underrated films.
12 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

As a making-of documentary, I loved how much time was spent showing the actors and director actually on set rehearsing scenes, even practicing certain lines and actions in various ways to see which one looks the best. I hate when behind the scenes documentaries are nothing but interviews with the cast and crew with random shots of filming edited over them. I like to be able to see and hear what went on during the making of the movie, and Julie Ng succeeds in showing that aspect while at the same time avoiding dull moments.

Ng does, however, commit the cardinal sin of editing interviews. She cuts away while someone is talking. Dialogue, interestingly enough, is very easy to edit, interviews are not, especially when you have a large number of them and want to edit them together. Jumping from one interview to another with nothing in between gives kind of a jarring sensation, and it makes the film seem muddled and disorganized. Look, for example, at Looking Back at The Hills Have Eyes, another good making-of documentary that does the same thing.

Even worse, at more than one time, Crispin Glover, for example, is cut off in mid-sentence. He'll say something like 'what happened that day was…' and then Ng cuts to someone else. There is a way to edit together footage of multiple people talking about the same thing, and cutting people off in mid-sentence is not it. She does, however, manage to get some interesting footage for film fans, including one scene where R. Lee Ermey talks briefly about when he was working with Stanley Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket. She just edited some of it badly.

There is a curious procession of tone throughout the film, from the fascination with the idea and excitement about the possibilities at the beginning to the eager participation during production, which gradually becomes frustration about certain difficulties and, ultimately, disappointment that the film did not receive the good public response that everyone involved believed it deserved. I also liked that it talked about how they were able to generate the most public interest in the movie because it starred the 'Eccentric Crispin Glover,' probably because he was about 90% of the reason that I wanted to see the film, and because he was something like their fifth or sixth choice for the role.

I would also certainly encourage you to watch the music video Ben, which Crispin Glover directed to promote the film, and which I believe he sings himself. The music in the film is one of its best features, and Crispin Glover's music video, which at first seems a little goofy, it actually very well made and is even a good song. His audio commentary is pretty interesting, although he is talking so fast that it is sometimes hard to follow him, and it's odd that he could turn in such a good performance for the movie but it's so obvious here that he's reading his commentary from a prepared script. No matter.

Despite it's technical post-production flaws, The Year of the Rat is a great making-of documentary and an excellent addition to the Willard DVD which is probably more impressive than the movie itself, which I have to say was pretty impressive.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

'Black Panther' Costume Creations

"The IMDb Show" visits Ironhead Studio founder Jose Fernandez, who reveals how the stunningly detailed Black Panther costume was created.

Watch now