A poor writer discovers that a species of rats has banded together to impersonate humans and supplant them unnoticed, in a manner reminiscent of the transformations in Eugene Ionesco's ...
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Janko Popovic Volaric,
A poor writer discovers that a species of rats has banded together to impersonate humans and supplant them unnoticed, in a manner reminiscent of the transformations in Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros, or the covert conspiracy of pod-people in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This film's story is based on a book by the Soviet writer Alexander Greene.Written by
A very nifty, Dali-esque credit sequence ushers us in to a film full of atmosphere and dread, but just fall short of the mark of being a great film. Still, I'm glad I stumbled upon it.
In a Croatian town young writer Ivan is struggling to make ends meet, and no one cares, because everyone else is struggling to make ends meet too. The country is going through a very bad economical downturn and Ivan has been forced to try and sell his books on the streets, and it is in this flea market that he meets mysterious girl Sonja. Sonja shows him kindness by giving him her scarf, but during a protest on the street the two become separated and Ivan go to the park to sleep on a bench, having been evicted earlier that day...
Ivan must have one of those faces, because even though the patrolman in the park tells him he can't sleep on a bench, he does show him a huge empty bank that he can use for a few nights, as long as he keeps his mouth shut about it. Ivan agrees, and accessing the bank via a sewer grate, he finds an empty office to bed down in. He's too hungry to wonder why someone has stashed a huge amount of food in one of the cupboards, and is also delighted to find that the phone still works, which means he can try and track down Sonja.
It's about this point I started wondering if anything was going to happen and it was about this point that the director flew from Croatia to my house, kicked down my front door, rushed into the living room and hoofed me in the nuts, shouting "YES, something is going to happen." And he was right! Hearing music, Ivan creeps through the bank to find what looks like a huge dinner party/orgy going on in the main entrance, only some of these people look a bit...odd. About two minutes later, everyone is called to stand before a shadowy figure who we soon find out intends to take over the world...someone who thrives in poverty and disease. Der Rattengott!
It's a kind of They Live situation involving rats, with Ivan finding himself joining up with a very small group of people going up against an increasingly large amount of rat humans who love getting jobs within the civil service. Paranoia also sets in as it turns out they can imitate people Ivan knows. Can he find a way out or is he rat nuggets? My kids have two rats, I wonder what they would have made of this one if they weren't more intent in climbing up my trousers and punching me in the scrotum for a laugh.
It looks like there wasn't much of budget for this one but it's good to watch the increasingly paranoid Ivan trying to get around town without losing his marbles. The rat/human effects are that great though, but the film's atmosphere is dark and broody. The only problem is that there's maybe too much brooding and not enough munching, as following the initial discovery of the rat people, things don't get manic enough. Still, it's short and well worth sitting down for.
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