For some unknown reason a mad scientist creates a nasty little creature that is part rat and part monkey. One night the little fellow escapes from his cage and goes on a vicious killing spree.
It’s a well-known fact that I’m completely and utterly terrified of monkeys, and to be honest I’m not too fond of rats either (I think it was because I saw films like Willard, Of Unknown Origin, and Deadly Eyes when I was a kid and they all traumatized me)The thought of the two animals I fear the most being combined into one creature scares the living shit out of me, so I was pretty sure that Rat Man was going to give me a major case of the wiggins and just make me feel uncomfortable in general. It didn’t, but I will admit that the title character is a freaky, brutal little bastard that I wouldn’t want to tangle with.
I’ll be the first to admit that the premise of the film is hokey as hell, but at the same time it’s also different and original in its own way. How many movies can you think of -other than Dead Alive, which didn’t hit the scene until four years after the release of Rat Man-that features a rat monkey creature? I think that the idea is actually pretty unique and it works just because it is so weird and out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s the most brilliant movie idea ever or anything, but it is definitely something creative and interesting.
One of the reasons that I liked the movie was due to the fact that it was actually pretty damn gory. The rat monkey doesn’t mess around and has a blast tearing his victims to pieces thanks to his sharp teeth and claws. I was surprised by the rather large body count that took place by the time everything was said and done and the gore hound in me was satisfied by the fact that most of the death scenes were pretty damn bloody and graphic. The rat man is a tough and fearless little shit who has no problem attacking people twice his size, and he does an impressive job of dishing out a huge amount of damage on these folks (including several men who are much bigger and stronger than he is). If you enjoy a good old fashioned violent, blood-soaked movie that features people having their flesh shredded then this movie is right up your alley.
On the downside there are a couple of things that I didn’t care for. Some of the scenes (that didn’t involve someone being mauled or having their throats ripped out) go on for way too long and are quite boring. I also didn’t care about any of the characters (except for Marilyn who was played by the very hot Eva Grimaldi, whose shower scene is reason enough alone to check out this film) and I just wanted the rat monkey to tear their faces off as soon as possible. Speaking of the rat monkey (which was played by the late Nelson de la Rosa, who stood a little over two feet tall and had the distinction of being the world’s shortest actor), I thought that it looked horrible. It reminded me of a skinnier and mentally handicapped version of the Zuni hunting fetish doll that menaced the late great Karen Black in Trilogy of Terror mixed with a watered down version of Vermin, the sometimes villain of Spider-Man who could control rats. Some of the scenes where it is stalking its victims are laughably bad (why don’t they just kick it really hard when it comes rushing toward them from across the room instead of just standing there watching it approach and screaming at it? Then again maybe I’d do the same thing, I’ve never been attacked by a killer rat monkey) and come off as just plain cheesy instead of scary.
Rat Man is without a doubt one of the weirdest movies I’ve seen lately, but for some reason I liked it for the most part. It isn’t without its share of problems and you really have to suspend your disbelief during certain scenes (the ridiculous ending comes to mind immediately), but overall it really is an enjoyable time waster. Check it out, and if you don’t take it too seriously you will end up digging it.
Rat Man (1988)