More holiday island based fun now with a look back at probably the most terrifying film ever made about a tiny toothed rat man...
Quella Villa In Fondo Al Parco (AKA Ratman, Terror House 1988)
Dir: Giuliano Carnimeo.
Cast: David Warbeck, Janet Agren, Pepito Guerra, Nelson de la Rosa, Eva Grimaldi and Werner Pochath.
Just behind the bins on what looks like exactly the same 'deserted' Caribbean island that features in every other Italian movie shot in the 80's, the local vet, mad as a bucket of spoons Doctor Gary Olman (Guerra whom you may remember from the fantastic Colpo di stato) no doubt sick of sticking his hand up cows arses and delousing sheep on a regular basis has decided to brighten up his day - and possibly revive his career - by combining the sperm of a rat and the ovum of a monkey in order to enter Britain's Got Talent, gain fame and fortune and possibly shag Amanda Holden in the bargain.
But not up the arse obviously.
Anyway after, ooooh what must be minutes of hard work - and with no time to do laundry by the state of his sweat, egg and rat semen stained shirt - Gaz finally succeeds with experiment and manages to create what looks like a greased up midget sex doll with chip-stick style fangs and massive finger nails that contain enough poison to kill a man in a few seconds.
Just like rats and monkeys don't.
Safely - yeah right - locking the beast in a rusty bird cage in his cellar, the doc excitedly prepares to sort out his passport and decide what song the duo should perform whilst leaving Ratty in the capable hands of his manservant cum cook Pedro.
Who to be honest looks like he'd have trouble wiping his own arse let alone babysit a new species, so with this in mind I can safely say that I foresee bad stuff happening.
(in this case, constipation).
But not just yet as it's time to meet camp as Christmas 'New Yoik' fashion photographer Mark (Shark Hunters Pochath looking scarily like an overcooked pork pie) and his 'hot' models who are busy shooting a sexy (well as sexy as you can be whilst clad in the most ill-fitting underwear this side of Belsen) photo-spread on the local beach.
I say beach but it's more likely the local quarry.
Pushed up breasts, boil washed bikinis and wiggling arses abound until one of the models comes across a dead body hidden in a bush.
A body covered in teeny tiny love bites.
Like the ones you would get off a particularly amorous rat.
Or a very horny monkey.
Or more likely if I'm honest your dad after a few too many shandies.
Things soon go from bad to worse tho' when top model Marilyn (Eva 'I shagged Fred Williamson in Black Cobra' Grimaldi, owner of possibly the most luscious lips ever to grace the Italian cinema screen) goes missing.
But not until she's treated the audience to a completely unnecessary, soft focus shower scene.
Realizing his mistake at killing off such a fantastic actress so early on in the movie and now aware that there's no longer any female talent on screen to keep the viewers interested, director Carnimeo quickly introduces Marilyn's sister Terry (stern-faced star of 'Eaten Alive' Agren) who turns up on the island to investigate Marilyn's disappearance.
Within seconds of stepping off the plane she bumps into the well mannered yet vilely shirted man about town Fred Williams (horror god Warbeck, obviously needing the cash for a new suit) who appears to be hanging around the airport for no other reason than to skulk about the taxi rank and pick up girls.
Which is pretty lucky really seeing as Terry is female and also in need of a cab.
Not quite believing his good fortune Fred offers not just to split the fare with her but also to accompany Terry to the morgue to identify a body that may or may not be her sister.
Which as far as first dates go is a wee bit unusual but probably a damn sight more entertaining than some of the dates I've been on.
Luckily the body isn't Marilyn (so that's OK then) but an argument with the local detectives regarding their lack of effort - with everything from investigating her sisters disappearance to their fashion choices - reveals that this isn't the first body to turn up scratched and bitten recently.
In fact there seems to have been a whole slew of toothy attacks on the island recently.
The locals appear to be blaming them all on a tiny toothed hairy tramp who's recently taken to visiting the town at night ..but the detectives reckon that it's all just crazy talk and that the bites were either self inflicted or caused by angry badgers upset at the new road interfering with their sets.
Sets of what we may never know because torn-faced Terry and fright-shirted Fred have decided it's time to do some investigating of their own.
Investigations that will lead them nearer to the hideous secret hidden in the scientists house, a secret more shocking than 'Rat-Man' itself and twice as ludicrous.
But what of Amanda Holden?
You'll just have to watch it and find out.
Giuliano (director of such classics as 'Anna: the Pleasure, the Torment' and 'The Case of The Bloody Iris') Carnimeo's tat filled tale of blood, boobs and tiny mutant rats narrowly escapes consignment to the cinematic sewer where by rights it should have been left and wiped from history, thanks mainly to the casting of the official 'Worlds smallest man' (according to the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records) Nelson De la Rosa in the title role*.
I say mainly but if I'm honest he's the only reason you'd ever dream of sitting thru' this abomination for.
Well that and Grimaldi's arse.
And David Warbeck's shirts for the fashion (un)conscious obviously.
But back to De la Rosa who, at the height (sorry) of his fame measured 2' 4¼" and for whom the role of Rat Man was his big screen debut.
A debut that set him on a course for international stardom that culminated with him co-starring with (and almost getting eaten by) Marlon Brando in the 1996 remake of 'Island of Dr. Moreau' alongside the multi-chinned former Batman 'Val' Kilmer and David ("the kids school fees are how much?") Thewlis as well as inadvertently inspiring Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies before dying at the shockingly young age of 38 from injuries sustained from falling off a Curly Wurly bar he was using as a ladder when painting the dolls house he lived in.
Shit, this is beginning to read like a proper film blog, better get back to some childish comments and puerile humour before Mark Kermode thinks I'm trying to steal his gig.
I mean I've already nicked his hair.
Admittedly both the concept and execution of the 'Rat Man' character leave a lot to be desired (a quick painless death being the most obvious), De la Rosa imbues the role with such a feeling of gleeful menace (and a nice line in teeth) that it's nigh on impossible not to get dragged kicking and screaming into the movie's rather madcap plot in much the same way as your dad does to your wee sister when he's having one of his 'turns'.
Whether he's scampering along corridors, perving over Grimaldi's arse whilst she showers or just popping up out of a toilet to bite some unfortunate girls arse, Del la Rosa's performance (and the state of his feet) is truly horrific.
Tho' not as horrific as the clip of him dry humping a floor and using a cheap pestle and mortar for a makeshift sex display on the hit Venezuelan teevee show Sabado Sensacional.
Which can be found here if you really need to see it.
just don't say I didn't warn you.
Totally lacking in gore, a sensible plot (which goes to show that even writers as great as the legendary Dardano Sacchetti have off-days), halfway decent direction or anything remotely resembling any talent behind the scenes whatsoever, Rat Man more than makes up for these minor faults by soaking it's audience with a veritable golden shower of 80's style breasts, an abundance of ill-advised crash zooms and freeze frames via an almost stalkerish obsession with long lingering shots of Grimaldi aforementioned (once or twice) arse, all topped off by a frankly magnificent synth score from Stefano Mainetti.
As a bizarre footnote Mainetti was last seen (heard?) composing the score for The Word of Promise, an American audio adaptation of the Bible featuring such luminaries as Jim Caviezel, Richard Dreyfuss, William Hurt and Lou Gossett Jr.
But unfortunately no Amanda Holden.
Well you can't have everything.
* That last sentence only really makes sense if the print you watch was called Rat Man obviously, if you're reading this and saw it when it was called Terror House then I apologize for the confusion, as for Quella Villa In Fondo Al Parco I really have no idea what that means so really can't comment.