Directed by : John Lafia
The film opens up on visions of a still innocent New York City, carefree
people going about their business, while in the shadowy depths, awful things
are teeming and awaiting their time to burst out into the open. What can be more carefree
than a young woman trying on a new outfit in a chic department store? Suddenly, she reaches out for her clothes on the
floor and something bites her hand. A few days later, we find her in the
hospital, fighting for her life. Doctors say that her illness is
due to a rat bite.
Seeing this, the store public relations manager, Susan Costello
(Madchen Amick) hires the best exterminator in the city to eradicate any rat problem in
the place. The exterminator is Jack Carver (Vincent Spano) who, at first, comes
across as a little fresh, but Susan, who's used to speaking to visiting
royalty, isn't about to let herself be intimidated by a rodent hunter,
no matter how cute or fearless.
Once they get past the initial bit of friction, they work well together.
Both are gutsy people, bootstraps achievers; friendship develops
rapidly, and in its stride, more than a little mutual attraction. But,
never mind this, there are rats to be attended to.
They set out to inspect the rode (rodent) situation which turn out to be
immensely worse than estimated. In fact ,once the lights go off, the
store is litterally alive with the critters. Things get really interesting when they go down below, to the basements,
and then further down, into the trash and rubble filled passages, the
crumbling underground, an all connecting network of condemned cellars,
sewers and subway tunnels. It is mysterious, creepy, and slimy with
dripping waters and faraway sounds echoing. Then ,there are rats of
course, rats everywhere. After a while, Jack and Susan find the
"roosting" nest, where live millions of the furry beasties.
Once they return to the surface, they have to contend with rats of
another specie: the administrative types, the store owner and the
Health Department spokesperson mostly want to pass the buck, and keep
business humming as usual. But, after a deadly rat attack on a subway train,
Jack and Susan realize that they have to take things in their own hands.
Upon closer examination, the rats are unusual, how so? I'll give you a
hint : Does anyone remember an animated film called "The Secret Of
NIMH"? Alright, that's all I an going to say...
Only after a solid piece of investigative work and with the help of Ty (Shawn Michael Howard) Jack's pixi-ish assistant
and Amy, Susan's precocious daugther, will they find out what makes
the rats tick, and use that knowledge to destroy them in a breathtaking
finale. But are they really destroyed, mmmh? One never knows, does one.
I won't lie to you, the film has a pretty elevated yuck factor with the
rodents and their ugly rattitude, but it is more than compensated for
by Jack and Susan's humor and charm. To say that these two look good
together, (or individually, for that matter) would put me in the category
of Mistress of the glaringly obvious; plus, they are quite funny as
well; Susan is a cool, sophisticated executive who hasn't forgotten her
humble background (her father was the super in that very same store)
and doesn't mind too much getting down and dirty. Jack has every little
boy's dream life : Making a fine living stalking and hunting creatures
that aren't even cute. frightening his customers a bit may be one of
the perks of his business: He is a well of rodent information and
often volunteers such scrumptious tidbits as :"In New York City, you are
never more than five feet away from a rat."
We know that disaster films with a God's-creatures-running-amok-theme isn't quite original,
but where these go, it was hightly enjoyable, well paced and exciting, the characters are likeable
and the actors do a great job, moreover, it is pretty neat visiting the underbelly of a big city.
So, we liked it. Now, all we need to know is where and when it is, if ever, going to be released.
THE RATS PHOTO GALLERY
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