idol friends & rivals | week 4 |547 words
We All Have The Movie…
Critics have never been of the right mindset to appreciate a movie such as Ratman And The Manticore From Mars. From the stunning opening credits to the film music's final, bombastic chords, this little gem is something approaching a masterpiece.
From Anatoly Vargas, the director who brought us Alien Overlords Of Andromeda and Toad-Spawn Of The Serengeti, "Ratman" is one of the finest action movies of its time. The tension, the explosions, the fight-sequences, the blood! Who could ask for more?
There are those who say that the special effects for the ogre wars are laughable, but Vargas was working with budget constraints during that part of the filming. Contrast those scenes with the verisimilitude of Ratman's fangs—or of the trash-infested alley that is Ratman's base of operations—and you can see the level of quality Vargas could have accomplished with more funding!
The T-Rex in the movie's chase scene may be historically inaccurate, but what movie couldn't use a dinosaur or two? Consider also the symbolism that the dinosaur represents. Ratman is being pursued by his past, by the destructive influences in his life, and by choosing to remain the Fanged Crusader he risks isolation and the threat of death. Truly, the life of the Ratman is a lonely one. The images of clocks and emptying hourglasses strewn throughout the film ensure that we are forever reminded of it.
While the Manticore from Mars is not an actual manticore (or even from Mars), only the most literal-minded would scoff at its size and appearance in the film's second act. Yes, it would seem that the manticore is actually a praying mantis filmed with a fluorescent filter, but we must keep the larger goal in mind. Ultimately, isn't a giant praying mantis scarier and more disgusting than almost anything?
It is easy to forget that, at its heart, Ratman is a love story. Surely, we can all root for the wily possum who catches his eye? The tender interludes between man-beast and marsupial provide a foil for the rough exterior Ratman puts on for the rest of the world, and the stirring strains of "Before The Garbage Truck Comes" (you may have seen the music video) cannot fail to move all but the most cynical heart.
Some people have taken issue with the sudden appearance of the Rockettes in the movie's final action sequence, and yes—a Sears employee cafeteria is an improbable location for a group of chorus girls, not to mention the accompanying fireworks. Still, one cannot underestimate the value of a good production number! The choreography may not be Busby Berkeley, but the use of the orange, turquoise, and yellow plastic bucket-chairs is absolutely inspired.
The film's sequel, Ratman and The Radioactive Wrestlemaniac, is obviously not as good, but everyone is entitled to an off day. Vargas has brought us years of entertainment, and the man's genius cannot be denied.
In recent months, there have been rumors of a new movie in the works, a foray into either horror or philosophy titled Satan's Blender. Oh, the possibilities! I'm on the edge of my seat just thinking about them, and film fans everywhere should be, too.
Wherever Vargas goes with it, "Blender" is sure to be as hot as anything Spielberg could ever dish out!
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