Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rat Scratch Fever

Director - Jeff Leroy (Hell's Highway)
Starring - Ford Austin (Zombie Babies), Vinnie Bilancio (Werewolf in a Women's Prison), and Jeff Burr (Zombiegeddon)
Release Date - 2011
Genre - Horror/Sci-Fi
Tagline - "From deep space, an army of man-eating terror!"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     A few months back I discovered the fine films of Dustin Mills while doing some shopping on  After I found those select few films I went back to amazon and started checking out the people also purchased section when I found this flick here.  After watching the trailer I saw a lot of similarities between this one and those made by DM.  The film looked like it had all the cheese and humor I love when I watch an independent horror flick.  I went ahead and ordered it and threw it on my shelf where I forgot about it.  That is until I started cleaning my DVDs when I rediscovered it and threw it in for a go around.
     The film follows a team of astronauts as they travel to the mysterious Planet X.  While on Planet X the team discover a giant race of rats that feed on human flesh. The entire team is killed by the vermin except for Sonja.  As Sonja tries to return to Earth the company she works for tries to shoot her ship down because they suspect she is carrying a foreign disease, parasite, or any other dangerous pathogen.  The company is correct in suspecting this because Sonja killed a giant rodent unleashing smaller rodents in the ship where she is bitten and infected with one that incubates in her brain.  Her male love interest is actually a special ops agent and begins a crusade against the company that wants to see his lady die before she can annihilate humanity.  He succeeds and is able to get his lady but at a price.  Her skull cracks open revealing a rat that kills his friend before unleashing an army of rats that wreak havoc all over the world.
     I was a little disappointed with this film.  It did not have that cheesy look and feel like the trailer had me believe.  Instead it reminded me a lot of a really low budget Sy Fy film and to be honest I hate most Sy Fy flicks. The acting was hit and miss.  When the film felt like it was being a parody of an action and sci-fi flicks of the 80's and 90's the acting was over the time like most characters were in those films.  This made the movie fun to watch and the actors did a great job at delivering that vibe.  However, when the film took a serious note and, particularly during the scenes where love and affection were presented, the film took on a serious tone and the acting was slightly awkward to watch.  The story was pretty clever and if the film would have stayed consistent throughout it would have been amazing.  Unfortunately, the film never did make its mind up if it wanted to be serious or a parody of films long gone.  For this we lose consistency making the film seem scrambled or just threw together.  Finally, the film has great special effects in both practical and CGI.  The practical are great green screen shots of live rodents placed over the actors making them look ten times their size.  We are treated to a great deal of practical effects and on screen kills.  Also the CGI looks horrible but is meant to look that way making the film feel campy with that cheese factor of 80's doomsday flicks.  Overall, this film could have been so much more but failed.  This film will entertain, for the most part, but has no replay value.


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