42nd Street Cinema

Ratman (1988)

Giuliano Carnimeo's trashy and bizarre Ratman/Quella villa in fondo al parco.

Starring: David Warbeck, Janet Agren, Eva Grimaldi, Luisa Menon, Werner Pochath and Nelson de la Rosa.

I had wanted to see this oddity for a while, so when I finally got my hands on a copy, I was eager to sit down and hopefully enjoy it. Understandably so, I didn't expect it to be very good, however, after reading that Warbeck was in a lead role it only added to my building anticipation. Sadly, Ratman is so bad not even Warbeck could save it. Alongside Warbeck, the film also stars two other exploitation actors, Janet Agren, an actress who in my opinion is a wildly underrated Eurohorror 'scream queen', who can also be seen in Lenzi's Eaten Alive/Mangiati vivi! (1980) and Fulci's City of the Living Dead/Paura nella città dei morti viventi (1980). As well as the gorgeous Eva Grimaldi, previously seen in one of D'Amato's nunsploitation movies, Convent of Sinners/La monaca del peccato (1986).

The plot is wafer thin, beginning with a geneticist's narration. Explaining how he has successfully merged the sperm of a rat with the ovum of a monkey and thus, creating a hybrid of the two animals. The hybrid, nicknamed "mousey" by the scientist, is portrayed by Nelson de la Rosa, also known as Mahow. Nelson's dedication to the character "mousey" truly shines, as he appears to be the only cast member who cares about the quality of the film. Unfortunately I couldn't help feel some pity for the little fellow, who is clearly being exploited for everything he's worth and undoubtedly among a lot of audiences people would find his appearance comical, rather than creepy.

Meanwhile, a photographer and a small group of models are shooting on the island. After one of the models is killed by the ratman, police believe a maniac is on the loose. Terry (Agren), the sister of Marlis (Grimaldi), one of the models. Terry is told that her sister has been killed and she must identify the body at the morgue.

Upon landing on the island, Terry meets novelist, Fred Williams (Warbeck). He accompanies her to them morgue, where Terry discovers that the murdered girl isn't her sister. Now, with her sister missing, Terry and Fred must locate Marlis, before it's too late.

While the film does indeed contain a lot of misogynistic killings and bloodshed, it isn't actually that gory. The scripting is absolutely atrocious and the film's dubbing only serves to exacerbate it.

I still find it hard to believe that Giuliano Carnimeo ended up directing this dire piece of cinematic trash, but to quote an early line from the film, "It's true, we'll do it for the money". I think that line perfectly summarizes Ratman and the crew behind it.

Definitely one for the trash completists.

1 Star


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