I’m just going to begin this revoltin’ review by saying Valley of the Rats is one hell of a hard fright flick to review…but I’m going to do my level headed god damn best…
The long and the short of the narrative goes as follows: A dude is accused of killing his girlfriend, but isn’t formally charged with the crime. So, that being the case, he rents a limo, and rides around town following leads and having philosophical debates with various shady dudes about the evil city and how it relates to existence. As more of the case is revealed via flashbacks, the narrative becomes loser, the dialog more sparse, and the end result is akin to having a fever dream while watching a classic giallo flick (think sex, violence, and symbolism in equal measure).
I’m not going to beat around the bush here my creeps; Valley of the Rats is about as nontraditional a film as you will find. Using the giallo sub-genre of Italian horror as it’s spring board, the whole affair soon devolves into a phantasmagoric eye-orgy of blood, boobs, and dream logic that is all-in-all quite enthralling to behold…and as bizarre as the material is presented, the overall gist of the story is easy enough to grasp. Also a huge plus is the inclusion of Tristan Risk as Juliette…she is a horror biz vet, always gives a solid performance, is a welcome presence for your’s truly.
As for the problems one may face with Valley of the Rats, let’s begin with the most obvious; the presentation of the film’s story. The easiest way to describe this is as a tone poem that had a dream that it was horror film…the whole affair relies on rhythm of image (rather than word), to get it’s tale told, in near operatic fashion! I love and applaud that bold move, but for many it will leave them unsatisfied, especially if they crave a more traditional narrative. Also on the downside, this is a mega-low budget production; so expect some less then stellar cinematography in places and some sound issues. Finally, Raresh DiMofte was awesome as “the killer”, and I wanted more of him!
To sum it up, Valley of the Rats is a new spin on the beloved giallo genre…with the arty elements cranked up to the nines…it won’t be for everyone, but for those that love off-the-charts surreal low budget entertainment you will be richly rewarded!
For more on Valley of the Rats from Horror Fuel head here!