*/**** Image C Sound C Extras C+
starring Vincent Spano, Mädchen Amick, Shawn Michael Howard, Daveigh Chase
screenplay by Frank Deasy
directed by John J. Lafia
by Walter Chaw In a peculiar case of "how much do I cop to," I admit that I felt a surge of excitement upon first beholding the cover for the DVD release of The Rats, largely because it resembles a great deal the artwork for an edition of English horror author James Herbert's Rats from many moons ago. After searching the credits diligently (and futilely) for any mention of the hale Brit's stamp of approval, it was with considerably less excitement that I beheld proper the latest from poor Vincent Spano and Mädchen "Didn't you used to be on 'Twin Peaks'?" Amick. The Rats is fairly typical monster-/Seventies disaster-movie fare, also following in the faded footsteps of Willard and Ray Milland's perverse cult classic Frogs. The main difference being that in our post-modern amusement park (Entropy! Get your tickets now!), the picture isn't so much about even something so banal as eco-paranoia, but about itself and the genre that it simultaneously lampoons and aspires to.