Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 26th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1988
Director: Giuliano Carnimeo
Writer: Dardano Sacchetti
Cast: David Warbeck, Janet Agren, Eva Grimaldi, Luisa Menon, Werner Pochath, Nelson de la Rosa, Anna Silvia Grullon
DVD released: January 28th, 2008
Approximate running time: 78 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Shameless Films
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
Synopsis: After receiving word that her sister was murdered Terry flies down to the Caribbean island were her sister Marlis was working as a fashion model. Shortly after her arrival Terry meets a novelist named Fred Williams who goes with her to the morgue to ID her sister. The police have mistakenly identified the woman as Marlis. Terry with the help of Fred discovers that her sister was last seen going into the jungle for a photo shoot. While all this is going on more young women’s bodies start turning up mutilated just like the first victim.
Ratman was directed by Giuliano Carnimeo under the alias Anthony Ascot. Giuliano Carnimeo’s other notable films include Fistful of Lead, The Case of the Bloody Iris, Secrets of a Call Girl and Poker in Bed. Giuliano Carnimeo does a good job capturing the unfolding mayhem and carnage. The deaths scenes are all very effective and gory. The premise for Ratman was based on a story written by Dardano Sacchetti. Who during the horror boom in Italy in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s was the genres most prolific writing often working with director Lucio Fulci. The plot for Ratman is your standard slash and stalk with a very unique twist in the form of its killer who is a genetic hybrid that is half man and half rat.
Much of the film’s novelty lay’s solely on the shoulder of its 2′ 4¼” star Nelson de la Rosa who would later appear as Majai in John Frankenheimer’s The Island of Dr. Moreau. Nelson de la Rosa is perfectly cast as the Ratman. The film comes alive every time he appears on the screen. David Warbeck is once again cast in the familiar role of a chivalrous man who help’s yet another lady in distress. Other notable performances include Janet Agren (Eaten Alive!) and Eva Grimaldi (The Convent of Sinners). To spice things up a bit a shower scene with Eva Grimaldi is thrown in for good measure. Ratman features one of the most delirious tag lines to ever promote a film, “He’s The Critter from the Shitter!” With a tag line like that you know you are in for one hell of a ride. Overall this is an exploitation film plain and simple and one can’t but help be swept away by the bizarreness that is Ratman!
Shameless Films have painstakingly assembled the most complete version Ratman ever released in the UK. Ratman is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Details look crisp throughout and colors look good even if they look faded at times. Overall the transfers look very good considering that it was compiled from several different sources.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio like the video was culled from multiple sources so the quality fluctuates. Despite these minor audio flaws the audio is more than adequate in getting the job done.
Extras for this release consist of trailers for Ratman, Frightened Woman, New York Ripper, My Dear Killer, The Black Cat, Baba Yaga and Manhattan Baby. A reversible covert art has been included with this release of the film’s original poster art.
Overall Ratman is another strong release from Shameless Films that presents the film in its most complete English language version.