Years after a nuclear holocaust has decimated the population and scorched the earth, the survivors are divided between those that live in underground cities, and those that live up top called the "new primitives". A group of these come across an abandoned and strange village, where the only sign of life is hundreds of rats. They take a look around and discover food and water, they also discover the remains of several badly eaten corpses. Instead of taking as much of the food and water as they can and moving on, they decide it would be better to bed down and stay the night. It doesn't take long before the hundreds of rats turn into thousands, and the group are their intended meal.
The acting is hilarious, virtually every actor is massively over the top and it makes the film almost feel like a cartoon. All the men are adequately butch and argumentative, the girls are mostly good looking and act hysterical most of the time, screaming at everything. The most recognisable member of the cast is Geretta Geretta who played Rosemary the year later in Lamberto Bava's Demons, she's the one that puts the mask on at the start and becomes the first to turn into a demon. It's directed by Bruno Mattei who had a reputation for being a hack, he's even been called the "Ed Wood of Italian filmmaking". His films tended to have very low budgets, awful dubbing, gory effects and hilarious dialogue, Rats: Night Of Terror has all of that and more. As bad as some people think Mattei was, all the films of his i've seen have been very watchable, I actually love one of his films called Hell Of The Living Dead. There's a bit of gratuitous nudity, the effects are done quite well, the mutilated bodies of those found near the start of the film look very good. Ridiculously, the film was released in Germany as the third part of Enzo G. Castellari's Bronx Warriors series of films. The ending is absolutely sublime, it's abrupt, shocking and funny at the same time.
The dvd from Blue Underground is region 0 and will play on any machine, the picture quality is mostly excellent and the sound is fine, ignoring the bad dubbing of course. No subtitles are available. The extras are a Bruno Mattei biography, a trailer and Hell Rats Of The Living Dead, a nine minute interview with Mattei which is the same as on the Hell Of The Living Dead dvd. It's subtitled as Mattei does the interview in Italian. It's a fun interview where he admits that if he could, he would re-shoot all his films. He also expresses that Rats was influenced by Night Of The Living Dead with the zombies being replaced with rats, he also tells of the difficulties in shooting the film using guinea pigs that were painted to look like rats.
Rats: Night Of Terror should be awful, to a lot of people it will be awful as the several one star reviews suggest. I actually found it to be a fun, gory film that doesn't take itself seriously at all. I did think about giving the film four stars, but considering that it's not even my favourite Bruno Mattei film, I think three stars is fair.