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Ratman Print E-mail
User Rating: / 14
Written by Chris Mayo   
Sunday, 20 January 2008

AKA: Quella Villa in Fondo al Parco, Terror House, The Rat Man
Directed by: Giuliano Carnimeo
Written by: Dardano Sacchetti
Produced by: Fabrizio De Angelis
Cinematography by: Federico del Zoppo
Edited by: Vincenzo Tomassi
Makeup effects by: Franco Giannini
Original Music by: Stefano Mainetti
Cast: David Warbeck, Janet Agren, Nelson de la Rosa, Eva Grimaldi, Anna Silvia Grullon, Pepito Guerra, Luisa Menon, Werner Pochath
Year: 1988
Country: Italy
Language: Italian (English dubbed)
Color: Color
Runtime: 82 Minutes

Going into an Italian film called Ratman, one must realize it isn’t a Batman spoof.  Ratman is not a super hero.  Ratman is the antagonist of the film.  When a scientist sets out to garner fame, he combines the sperm of a rat into the ovum of a monkey.  The outcome produces a hybrid creature with fangs and claws containing enough poison to kill a man in a few seconds.  With this creature contained, the scientist plans to transport the rat-monkey to a “genetics congress” for further study and achievement.

Enter New York photographer, Mark (Werner Pochath, The Shark Hunter) into the picture with some hot models on a sexy photo shoot in the Caribbean.  The only problem is people are turning up dead, and it seems like a rodent-like creature is the culprit.

When Marilyn (Eva Grimaldi, Black Sabbath), one of the models, fails to return home her family begins to worry.  Marilyn’s sister Terry (Jane Agren, Eaten Alive), flies to her location and coincidently meets Fred ( David Warbeck, The Beyond) outside the airport while simultaneously hailing a taxi.  They share the cab, and Fred decides to accompany her to the morgue to identify a body that may be Marilyn.  The detectives show no sign of competency in finding Marilyn, but instead find other bodies scratched and munched.  After several bodies materialize (that aren’t Marilyn) Terry and Fred decide to do some private investigating of their own.  If they aren’t careful they might succumb to the Ratman.

Nelson de la Rosa stars as our pintsized Ratman, measuring in at very petite 2' 4¼"!  In 1990, he was even certified by the “Guiness Book of World Records” as the smallest man in the world.  While I don’t believe Ratman appears all that menacing upon first glance, what sends the message home is the fact that it has the intelligence of a monkey and its sharp fangs and claws contain deadly venom that can instantly kill.  Ratman shows varment-like characteristics, and does a Hell of a lot of squeaking and scurrying around in the shadows.  An atmospherically creepy shot occurs when he scampers up a shadowed curtain while Marilyn sleeps in the nearby bed.  There is no safe place it seems, for he even pops up from the toilet.

Ratman isn’t as gory as it could be, but its lack of gore doesn’t totally detract from the movie’s enjoyment factor.  We get a great soundtrack by Stefano Mainetti that without a doubt has an 80’s Eurohorror charm.  As well Ratman has its fare share of nudity, including a shower scene with Eva Grimaldi which won’t disappoint.  While Ratman isn’t a perfect achievement for Eurohorror it is a welcomed entry especially with the uniqueness of our villain.  Surprisingly there has yet to be a legitimate DVD release for Ratman (other than the X-Rated Kult German release), so here’s hoping one scurries along soon.  If you’re a fan of anything written by Dardano Sacchetti, and don’t mind a lack of gore than Ratman is sure to please.















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