42nd Street Cinema

Rats: Night of Terror (1984)

Bruno Mattei's horrendous post-apocalyptic creature feature, Rats: Night of Terror/Ratti - Notte di terrore

Starring: Ottaviano Dell'Acqua, Geretta Geretta, Massimo Vanni, Gianni Franco, Ann-Gisel Glass and Jean-Christophe Br├ętigniere.

Rats: Night of Terror is an example of the worst Italian trash cinema has to offer, directed by Bruno Mattei, Italy's most unimaginative director, under his usual pseudonym of Vincent Dawn. Rats, like other Italian post-apocalyptic movies, borrows from Mad Max (1979). Although more appropriate to the film's production date, Mattei is most likely to be cashing-in on Castellari's Bronx Warriors 2/Fuga dal Bronx (1983).

The film is set 225 years after the Planet's surface and the civilized World has been destroyed by nuclear bombs, the remaining population has been split into two factions. The society who live underground and those who have chosen to live on the surface, this faction are known as the scavengers. The plot centers around a group of scavengers, who arrive at a deserted town in search of food, they discover that the town is completely overrun by man-eating rats. With no escape, they must work together to try and survive a night of terror.

While Rats: Night of Terror isn't as fun as Mattei's previous schlocky zombie outing, Zombie Creeping Flesh/Virus, it still retains that 'Mattei feel', to put that 'feeling' into words it would have to be; the cheap production values clashing with great cinematography.

Unfortunately, the film fails to convey any sense of atmosphere, furthermore when an attempt is made by Mattei to build suspense or terrorize the viewer, it is immediately quashed and becomes utterly laughable, due to the indifference of the uncooperative rats, which, are haplessly tossed towards an overacting cast, who're chewing their way through a terrible script.

The repetitive use of Luigi Ceccarelli's ominous synth moans and occasional noodling effectively halts the film's pacing, in a sense that, it feels like the narrative never actually goes anywhere with any real intent, and that the cast just run around to the sounds of Ceccarelli, in a derelict building, frightening furry critters with fire.

There is a twist to the ending of Rats, which was probably put in just for the hell of it. However, I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it and if you have already, then I'm sure you'll agree with me that, it's one thing definitely worth watching the film for!

2 Stars


Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway] said...

I agree about the final twist being the only moment of value in this utterly incompotent and inexcusably abysmal film. It's not even bad in a funny way!

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I know that it is quite harsh to judge a book by its cover but I read that title and I guessed that it was a bad movie and I wasn't wrong about it.

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This a lot of dumb. I believe Kurt was implying that the computers were killing people.

The "I'm white" scene is considered part of the pantheon in an alternate universe where dumbness rules over all. Oh wait, our universe is like that too.

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