HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  Ratboy Hit The Rodent
Year: 1986
Director: Sondra Locke
Stars: Sondra Locke, Sharon Baird, Robert Townsend, Gerrit Graham, Louie Anderson, Christopher Hewett, Larry Hankin, Sydney Lassick, Billie Bird, Tim Thomerson, John Witherspoon, Gary Riley, Brett Halsey, Diane Delano, Courtney Gains, Jon Lovitz, Bill Maher
Genre: Comedy, Drama, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Three teenagers are down at the local dump one evening where they amuse themselves by suddenly switching on the headlights of their car and shooting the rats they see there. However, there is a tale round those parts of an actual half-man, half-rat hybrid who lives there and scavenges, hiding amongst the discarded detritus, and when the teens think they are being watched by the creature they speed off in a panic. Yet the tale is correct, there is a ratboy (Sharon Baird) living there, and he is about to be captured by a couple of ne'erdowells...

The point being that once a freak of nature is placed in the consciousness of society, they can expect to be exploited for their inherent curiosity value by those looking to make cash out of them. A noble thing to do, taking the side of the downtrodden outsider, but here they wanted you to be on the side of the chief exploiter as well, which might not have been surprising when you know that she was the director and the star. No, Sondra Locke didn't play Ratboy, she played Nikki, an aspiring player in the media world who hasn't even gotten her foot on the lowest rung of the showbiz ladder until she hears about the title character.

She heads off to the rescue, claiming to be a reporter, and with the help of two friends manages to extricate the rodent person from the clutches of his kidnappers. There then follows attempts to tame him, which go fairly well in that he falls for Nikki, or at least he learns to say her name, which brings up all sorts of questions the film is reluctant to answer. Questions like, where did Ratboy come from? Why does he look like a rat? Who were his parents? How did he end up at the dump? Why doesn't anyone look after him? What is he, some kind of space alien? What the hell is going on in this movie? Why am I still watching this when I could be watching a far better version of these themes in The Elephant Man?

Stuff like that. Rick Baker designed the Ratboy makeup, turning diminutive performer Baird into a person who looks like they have a Halloween mask on: surprisingly for Baker, his knack for innovation appeared to have deserted him as the results of his latex labours convinced few. So if even the protagonist is obviously a fake, how did the rest of the movie measure up? It's not really as terrible as its reputation, which sounds like faint praise, but it is hard to see who it was aimed at, as for example, if it was a kids movie why does Ratboy, or Eugene as he wants to be called, get a sidekick played by Robert Townsend who drops the F bomb a few times? It was hard to see adults responding to something that sounds like fairy tale material for infants.

Not that there's anything wrong with updating fairy tales, it can make for novel viewing after all, but if the Brothers Grimm recorded this one, it must have passed most of their readers by. It's difficult to separate Ratboy from the controversy that followed it, as Locke had decided after a few years as Clint Eastwood's girlfriend and screen partner that she wanted to try her hand at directing too, and he financed this; soon after, they had separated, Locke had given up acting, and it all got very acrimonious with both Eastwood and the studio, although whether the failure of Ratboy had anything to do with that is too entangled in legal issues to be clear about. What it did seem to usher into existence was Townsend's cult satire Hollywood Shuffle where he bemoaned the lot of African-American actors having to take broadly stereotypical roles like the one he did in this, so some good came out of it. Music by Lennie Niehaus.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3271 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: