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  • Rat Man

    Probably one of the last notable Italo trash horror films. Coming out in 1988 when Italian Genre films were dead and buried unless they were produced by Aristide Massacessi or Argento's brother.

    Rat Man is essentially a creature feature/slasher movie with the gimmick being that monster is a barely 2 foot tall midget in makeup going on a rampage. Directed by usual Spaghetti Western director Giuliano Carnimeo (who also of note directed the pretty good Post Apocalyptic flick Exterminators of the Year 3000 and the well received Gialli Case of the Bloody Iris) and considering this was his 2nd to last film he directed it has a modicum of style to it.

    You also have Janet Agren and David Warbeck (who is regrettably dubbed) teaming up trying to solve the mystery of the Rat Man in which all of their scenes feel like inserts and they have almost no impact on the main story.

    Why do I like this one? It has a certain appeal for being one of the last of these movies. It also has Warbeck whose presence is appreciated however minor it was and some gore and one fantastic euro babe. There's also the toilet scene. I wouldn't consider it a top tier "so bad it's good" Italian horror in league with a Mattei film but I'd still recommend it.

    "Ah! By god's balls what licentiousness!"

    Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Alex K. View Post
    I wouldn't consider it a top tier "so bad it's good" Italian horror in league with a Mattei film but I'd still recommend it.
    Agreed. It's good, solid trash. They don't make them like this anymore.
    Rock! Shock! Pop!

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    • #3
      I've wanted to check this out since Nelson De La Rosa was an unofficial mascot for the Red Sox.

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      • #4
        It's a fun little flick, Paul. It's one Amazon Instant Video and held by a NA licensor who I think is legit.
        "Ah! By god's balls what licentiousness!"

        Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom.

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        • #5
          I think I'd disagree with Alex's premise that this was the last memorable Italian horror film, as there are quite a few from the 1990s that I enjoy. However, 1988 was something of a watermark, I guess. (LA CASA DELL'ORCO, which I love, came out this year, as I recall.)

          On the other hand, I do fully understand your enjoyment of RAT MAN; it's a pretty good little film, I think, with some good atmosphere of the kind that only Italian films of this era seem to be able to achieve. The Shameless disc is fine.

          Didn't the actor who played the titular 'rat man' turn up in Richard Stanley's THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU?
          'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

          http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
          'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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          • #6
            Well, I said it was one of the last. There's a few others like Spider Labyrinth but the well was going dry at this point. 1990's mostly had the last few genre films produced by Masacesi's Filmirage or by Argento and his brother like Soavi's The Sect and The Church.
            "Ah! By god's balls what licentiousness!"

            Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom.

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            • #7
              Yes, it was certainly at the fag end of the 'boom' and films like this were getting more and more difficult to get off the ground or, I would guess, distribute within a marketplace increasingly saturated and controlled by Hollywood - hence why so many of the more interesting Italian horror films of this era were produced for television (eg, PER SEMPRE and LA CASA DELL'ORCO, produced for the short-lived BRIVIDO GIALLO television series). Luckily, sometimes these television productions found theatrical distribution in some overseas territories - for example, Japan. I guess the only people who could get horror films made for a cinema audience off the ground were those with the 'name' and clout to court financiers - hence the Argento clan continuing to produce horror films after the mid-1980s.

              Then, on the other hand, in the 1990s there were some very good Italian horror films like THE ARCANE ENCHANTER - but they largely struggled to find distribution, it seems.
              Paul L
              Scholar of Sleaze
              Last edited by Paul L; 12-30-2013, 12:40 PM.
              'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

              http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
              'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul L View Post

                Then, on the other hand, in the 1990s there were some very good Italian horror films like THE ARCANE ENCHANTER - but they largely struggled to find distribution, it seems.
                That's Pupi Avati though. He's definitely a name in Italy and is generally not regarded as a horror director despite a few titles here and there.

                I think had Fulci lived a few more years and saw the Wax Mask through he may have made a few more films with his growing U.S. fan base. And it's frustrating when you watch Wax Mask because you really see the potential it had if Fulci had directed it.
                "Ah! By god's balls what licentiousness!"

                Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alex K. View Post
                  That's Pupi Avati though. He's definitely a name in Italy and is generally not regarded as a horror director despite a few titles here and there.
                  Avati's lack of name outside Italy, at least at that time, probably ensured that THE ARCANE ENCHANTER, superb though it is, struggled to find distribution outside Italy. I remember reading about that one when it came out, but it took almost ten years before I was able to track down a copy.

                  I think Stivaletti's WAX MASK is fine. I don't know if Fulci, at that stage of his career, would have delivered a much better film, to be honest. I remember following the development of that film during the 1990s, as I had high hopes for it. I don't know about the ups and downs of his reputation in the US, but as far as I can remember over here he always had a pretty strong following amongst horror film fans that carried over from the impact of his zombie films in the pre-Video Recordings Act era. Aside from those that the BBFC banned (CAT IN THE BRAIN, NEW YORK RIPPER), some of his films were quite well-represented on video over here during the 1980s and 1990s - I remember the UK VHS releases of THE BEYOND, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, VOICES FROM BEYOND, etc, used to be fairly ubiquitous in independent video shops and market stalls.
                  'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

                  http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
                  'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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