Rats and the City

look's like it's last call on mulberry street

I was shocked and delighted when I finally managed to catch the low-budget horror flick, Mulberry Street.

Shocked, that it was a combination of several different genres.

Delighted, that it was so much gory fun.

Part of the Eight Films that were so rotten they could not get a real release To Die For series, Mulberry Street tells the tale of The Big Apple overrun with some kind of disease infested rats who are now attacking people. Once the rat bites a human, they become ill (the humans) and morph into werevermin.

Borrowing from movies like Night of the Living Dead, Nosferatu and 28 Days Later, Mulberry Street manages to rise above the fray due to the odd but likable characters that live in the condemned apartment building on the street the the film is named after. You've got your disabled war vet, a single mother and her son, a drag queen, an old man with emphysema, a former boxer as well as several other colorful folks. What is even more impressive is the subtle way the film addresses certain issues like gentrification, the Iraq war, and the inadequacy of the government to come to the aid of its people during times of catastrophe.

What I found especially pleasing was the relationship between the boxer, Klutch (the film's co author, Nick Damici) and the drag queen, Coco (Ron Brice). It is quite clear that both men are close, and that Coco has helped Klutch raise his daughter, in fact when he discovers that Klutch's daughter is coming home from her stint in Iraq, Coco says, "It will be nice to have our little girl back home". What's even more interesting, is that Coco who is clearly smitten with Klutch, tries to convince him to date the single mother in the building.

If Mulberry Street has one weakness it is the over use of camera tricks, that at first make the film fun to watch, but soon grow tiresome - can't anyone hold a scene in a film longer than twenty seconds these days?

If there were any justice in the world, this is the movie about New York City that everyone would be flocking to instead of that other one, you know the one about the four middle aged, oversexed gals who dress like hookers, have seemingly unending sources of income, and whine about their sex lives ... what is that movie called? Oh well, I seem to have blocked it from my memory.


Anonymous said...

I liked SATC! Its a pleasure for me. This sounds cool, too!

Jo said...

I saw this last year at the Toronto After Dark film festival. It was clearly a fan favourite. I was surprised at how much fun it was. My only complaint is how little screen time we get to see the actual rat people. Total bummer, cause their make-up actually looked good from the little we did see.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this one last night. Wow! Talk about intense! I loved it!