tisdag 8 maj 2012

Rat scratch fever

Brought back from a doomed space mission, an army of giant rats develop a big appetite for Los Angeles residents.

Well, the plot for this little nugget of joy was enough for me to buy the movie, especially after viewing the trailer that is a feast of loving cheese full of tacky models and full size mutant rat heads. Yes, I had to own it and as soon as the dvd arrived I sat down in front of the tv (to my girlfriends great pain. Not a fan of cheesy monstermovies I'm afraid to say) and started to worry. Can this really be good? 105 minutes of low budget monsters can be painful if the heart isnt in the right place. So, let's get down to brass tacks. Rat scratch fever is essentially a throwback to 50s monstermovies such as Quatermass experiment and First man in space. A previously unknown planet is discovered on the other side of the solar system and an expedition is sent to explore. They find remains of a dead civilization and somehow manage to wake an army of giant killer rats. All but one of the crew is killed and the final survivor, sexy Sonja, manages to get away in the spaceship though not before a rat sneaks its way into her vagina, taking over her completely. She returns to earth (with a bunch of rats hidden onboard), at first not realizing that she has a rodentproblem in her brain and wanders about in the desert while the company in charge of the expedition tries to find her before she reaches Los Angeles and brings on the end of the world.

First of all, I have to applaud the makers of Rat scratch fever for bringing back the fine plot device "Rat enters body through vagina", something we havent seen since Bruno Matteis lovely Rats: Nights of terror. I'm sure some of you out there will see this as horrible exploitation but to me it is just another fun way to get that very sentence you really like to hear yourself uttering while watching a movie: "Yes, they did do just that!". And for the squeamish, it isnt actually shown. Any movie which features this is good in my book.

The first thing that strikes you when you watch the movie is the very apparent cheapness of the effects, very much Bert I Gordon on a tenth of his budgets. A "normie" would probably look at this and dismiss it as low budget crap but for a person like me who has seen quite a few of this type of movie it is apparent that quite a lot of work went into making it look like this. Remote controlled cars are used as vehicles, rats are simply superimposed onto photographs (just like in Bert I Gordons movies), cheesy full size rats are all over the place and there are tons of simple models ready to be blown into bits. The point is that the simple cheapness of all of this is not just that it makes you smile while watching it but also drives the plot forward in the most efficient way possible. All of the needed set-pieces are there and the 105 minutes flow by in a good pace. Another positive is the fact that the movie is played almost completely straight (apart from a few "actors" who barely can keep themselves from smiling as they sit on cheap sets enhanced by some simple digital trickery) and the acting is way better than I expected, especially Tasha Tacosha as the rat-infested astronaut and Randal Malone chewing scenery as the Company man in charge of hunting Sonja down.

Oh, I had such a great time with this and I realize that I will repeat myself now because I have written the exact same thing in other reviews - this is proof that great ideas and a bit of ingenuity can be as good as a shitload of money. Rat scratch fever has a lot of that and if you are into a bit of low budget mayhem - Rat scratch fever is a must buy.

1 kommentar:

  1. Need to get it! After watching Creepies I guess this is my kinda movie!