Bart Hughes has a pretty good life, a beautiful wife, a young son, a good job with promotion prospects, and a renovated brownstone in New York. When wife and kid leave for a vacation, Bart stays behind to work on a project that will earn him that promotion, unaware that a certain inhabitant of his basement has other plans for his time. Bart goes a bit bonkers trying to kill this rat, destroying most of his house in the process. Certain allegorical elements tie the household conflict to the "rat race" in his office, but the main event is certainly the night-and-day contest of wills between man and rodent.Written by
Chris Holland <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is the story of a man (Bart Hughes played by Peter Weller) who becomes obsessed with a little rat problem he's having at his newly renovated house. Instead of focusing on Bart's growing insanity, the director unfortunately showcases the rat as a vicious and dangerous beast. Although there are some quite effective closeups of the rat-villain, we never really feel any threat emerging from this little creature. Bart's obsession seems all but unbelievable. It's implausible that he would not just move to a hotel or try (harder) to contact an exterminator. Also, the movie just doesn't seem to have any real purpose. After a quick showdown it just ends, leaving some plot lines (Bart's job, his relationship to his family) unresolved.
"Of Unknown Origin" is still a very watchable movie. The pacing is quick and Weller does a pretty decent job in this one man-show. Had director George P. Cosmatos added anything to make it more than a mere monster movie, "Of Unknown Origin" would no be the obscure left-over from the early 80's that it is.
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