[box cover]

The Rats

Terrorists are on the attack in Manhattan, ruthlessly targeting centers of commerce and infrastructure, but it's nothing a little rodent profiling can't deal with. In the shiver-inducing tradition of Ben (1972), Of Unknown Origin (1983) and Deadly Eyes (1984), this made-for-TV shocker banks its thrills on the almost universal human loathing of rats. Madchen Amick stars as the driven manager of an upscale NYC department store at the epicenter of a vermin population boom. Anyone wondering where Vincent Spano has been all these years since he disappeared from the cover of Tiger Beat in the mid-1980s need look no further than hot-shot exterminating expert Jack Carver, brought in to deal with Amick's critter crisis. While The Rats features neither the alarming absurdity of Ben nor the claustrophobic weirdness of Of Unknown Origin, it's a surprisingly diverting infestation flick, mostly due to the sorely missed charisma of its AWOL leading duo (who are very charming together) and the hair-raising presence of its title terrors. Although most of John. J. Lafia's direction is pedestrian and some second unit material appears to be shot on a supercheap digital video format rat-haters will find it irresistibly nerve-rattling, and not without a few campy surprises. Fox presents The Rats in a decent anamorphic transfer (1.78:1) and both Dolby Digital 5.0 and Dolby 2.0 Surround. Includes a "Wild on the Set" behind-the-scenes featurette. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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