This hybrid has – in its teeth, and under its nails – a very potent poison, one that produces a kind of instantaneous Leptospirosis. Its bite or scratch will kill a human being in just a few seconds.”
The lead-in is impossible to miss. Mad Scientist gives his Greasty Manservant feeding instructions for the beast, who reveals that “Mousy” has been growing crazy-strong on his strict raw meat diet. The Scientist and Greasy leave the rat warehouse, and in the very next frame, Mousy’s cage is empty! Buckle your seats, kids. Giuliano Carnimeo's Ratman is going to be a gnarly ride!
The flesh-eating hybrid snacks on a tasty, meat Popsicle while peering through tropical foliage at a sunny scene of swimsuit models frolicking on a beach for a sufficiently douchey photographer named Mark (Werner Pochath), who is snapping off shots of their sand-covered crevasses. Everything is going along swimmingly with the shoot until the lovely Marlis (Eva Grimaldi) discovers a decomposing body hidden within a rock formation.
Peggy (Luisa Menon), the New York Doll, is already running late for a date when the taxi cab she is riding in blows a tire. Incredulously, the driver tells her that “it’s the third one today, and I just don’t have any more spares!” She will, most unfortunately, have to walk the rest of the way. At night. Through the rough part of town. In a backless, mock snakeskin dress, and plastic pearls. To cap it all off with a glass of Pee Soda, the cabbie still makes the Senorita pay for the ride! Ahhh, ZUT!!!
While on her midnight stroll, the Doll
Peggy's would-be assailant turns out to be a sketchy-looking Latino dude with huge he-hooters. Definitely not the kind of guy you want to have to do a striptease-at-knifepoint for, if ya know what I mean! Unfortunately, the New York Doll
Fade to an airplane landing in the late afternoon sun. Fred Williams (David Warbeck), All-Amerian Writer Hero, shares a taxi cab with a stunning, young woman named Terry (Janet Agren) on her way to the morgue to identify the body of her missing sister. A true, old-fashioned gent, Fred accompanies the woman while she attends to the loathsome task of seeing a loved one laid out on a slab like cold cuts at a cheap buffet. But, wait…
You’ve frightened me for no reason!”
She’s in the jungle, on an assignment!”
Back to the modeling… The next shoot is a steamy (if not a bit jerky), full 4 minutes’ worth of Marlis prancing around, wet and braless, in an ill-fitting tank top, and (hello!) cut-off jean shorts. A walkman is clipped to her hip for added flair and a hip, sporty jaunt. Accessorize!
After slipping into a nearby cave while possessed by the driving, primal urges conjured by the photo shoot, Marlis discovers her second body on the job. Who's a lucky girl?
She blows off with the photographer (never in any hurry to inform the authorities about their grizzly finds) to grab their pal Monique, and get the fuck out of Dodge. But lo, and behold: Ratman climbs up out of the toilet and attacks poor Monique just as the dude is getting to her door (which rests at the end of a labyrinth of dangerous safety hazards, I might add).
“What happened to her?”
Coincidentally, shortly after discovering Monique’s body, The Mad Scientist, Ratman’s creator, smokes Mark with his car and then takes him to his swanky lair so that he may attend to his wounds. Meanwhile, Marlis engages in one of the most viewer-friendly shower scenes these glow-in-the-dark Kitty eyes have ever seen. Post spritz-bliss, she hears some freaky, squealing noises coming from outside the window, and bolts out of the bathroom in fear. The beast's shadow is spotted darting across the hallway. At last, the hybrid has returned to his Master!
It’s Marlis’s presence; the Ratman is drawn to her, because he wants to spawn with her. It’s typical rodent behaviour, really. After narrowly escaping his bestial advances in the boudoir at The Mad Scientist’s lair, she rushes to Mark’s side for comfort and safety. After climbing into bed with him, she realizes that he’s already been shredded up pretty thoroughly by the Ratman. At this point in my discussion of the film, I should add that Eva Grimaldi is quite adept in the Art of the Terror Face. A face like hers makes one long for the next bloody disposal, simply to catch a glimpse of the wonderful ways in which her sinuous features will contort.
Mark the Photographer lies dead on the bed (his chest still moving up and down quite perceptibly, however) while the Scientist and his Manservant begin combing the joint for Ratman. Don’t worry, baby. I’ll explain it all to ya later.
Silly mortals! You think you can foil Ratman in his desperate search for world domination and bloody revenge on those who first created, and then caged him? Nofuckingway! The hybrid brute goes on a feeding frenzy while his unliberated rat pals look on from their cages, crying to get in on the action.
“Mousy” finally bites the hand (erm, face) that used to feed him, tearing a big ole strip off of the Scientist before taking him down to finish the job on the floor. Nice moves, little guy! Marlis hears the commotion from outside, and realizes that she is now alone with the horny, hybrid murder-monster. And also, that the recently departed Dr. Demento has the car keys on him! She makes a valiant attempt at retrieving them in order escape, but everything is coming up Ratman!
Marlis manages to put some wood between them (pardon the pun), but the Ratman claws through the door like it’s made of cardboard, which actually appears to be the case. Again, she stealthily gets away, and rewards herself by going into the fridge for a cold, refreshing Coca Cola Classic. Seriously! Meanwhile, Fred and Terry are still tooling around like a pair of idiots, trying to solve The Mystery of the Model’s Whereabouts.
Finally, day breaks back at the Rat Ranch. Marlis greets the dawn in a pair of pastel yellow shorts, and a flirty blouse tied at the midriff. Back to the fridge for some more… Ratman!!! Starsky and Hutch finally zero in on the missing model, just in time to find her lifeless corpse lying face-down and bloodied in the kitchen, having fallen prey to Ratman’s mighty paw.
The pair (who actually don’t seem that perplexed upon discovering Marlis’ body) head to the police station with some information that could crack those other homicide cases wide open. For some reason, the po-po just don't want to buy a story about a half-rat/half-monkey creature who feeds on human flesh. They are given Marlis' personal effects (which contain a Super Terrific Bonus Prize), and instructed to go back to America and get on with their lives.
All aboard Flight 106 to Ratsville! Please be sure to check all your flesh-eating monsters at the baggage claim. Thank you for flying Bloodcrazy Hybrid Airways, and have a safe and pleasant journey!
3/5 Kitty Skulls = Wait for this one to hit the Bargain Bin.