Horror Movie Review: Ratman (1988)

He’s the critter from the shitter.

Ratman is a 1988 Italian exploitation horror film directed by Giuliano Carnimeo with one of the best taglines ever. It’s the only thing most will remember from this low-bar flick, aside from a fair amount of gore and shower scenes.

The plot surrounds an experiment that sees a scientist inject rat sperm into a monkey. Why? Something about winning a Nobel prize and showcasing the experiment at a conference. Not that it really matters as the end result is a mutated small creature (played by Nelson De La Rose). One with sharp teeth, claws, super-strength and a bloodlust.

Ratman manages to escape though and goes on a murderous and violent rampage throughout a small Caribbean island. Its first victims being a photographer and one of two of his swimsuit models. The other model (Eva Grimaldi) manages to escape but promptly disappears causing her sister (Janet Agren) to come looking for her.

Alongside a TV mystery writer (David Warbeck), the pair begin to eventually uncover the truth around the rat/money hybrid. Will they be able to stop it or will they just become more victims of its rampage?

This is not a good film.

A cheap, 80’s splatter-fest looking to cash in on a boom that had long since waned, Ratman’s biggest problem is just how bland it is. There’s nothing fresh here, it’s filled to the brim with clichés and is downright boring at times. When the action does kick in, normally shot horribly up close to the shrieking creature, it marginally improves. Mainly due to the brutality of women being ripped apart by its claws and teeth.

It’s hardly worth putting up with the sub-par acting, horrid dialogue and poor effects for those moments though. Ratman would have been better served being a silly, tongue in cheek kind of film but instead it’s far too serious.

An utterly forgettable slice of Italian exploitation horror.

  • The Final Score - 3/10
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