OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN (1983) Reviews and overview

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of unknown origin poster

‘If it can’t scare them to death it will find another way.’

Of Unknown Origin is a 1983 Canadian-American horror film directed by George P. Cosmatos and starring Peter Weller and Shannon Tweed. It was written by Brian Taggert and based on the novel The Visitor by Chauncey G. Parker III. Produced by Pierre David. Executive produced by Claude Héroux.


Mild-mannered everyman Bart Hughes (Peter Weller) has a seemingly content bourgeois life in New York City. When his wife and child leave for a vacation, Bart stays behind to work on a project that should get him a promotion.

However, some sort of large rodent in his basement starts to bother him and consumes his time. Bart becomes obsessed with it and eventually starts losing his mind while trying to kill the creature, destroying most of his house in the process…

of unknown origin

Of Unknown Origin was released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory on May 22, 2018.

2K Scan From The Inter-positive
The Origins Of Unknown Origin – An Interview With Executive Producer Pierre David
That Rat Movie – An Interview With Writer Brian Taggert
Hey, Weren’t You In Scanners? – An Interview With Actor Louis Del Grande
Audio Commentary With Director George P. Cosmatos And Actor Peter Weller
Theatrical Trailers
Still Gallery


Of Unknown Origin turns the rat race of the 1980s into a literal Rat Race. Throw in some steadily mounting madness, Cosmatos’ capable genre direction, and a fun supporting turn from Louis Del Grande as an exterminator (horror fans will recognize him as the guy whose head explodes at the beginning of Scanners) and Of Unknown Origin is the kind of horror gem that Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release will hopefully help a bunch of new fans discover.” Patrick Bromley, Daily Dead

“Filmed with Phase IV-style macroscopic photography and hideous attention to detail, Of Unknown Origin dashes headlong into the claustrophobic, nasty little world of vermin.” Sean Gill, Junta Juleil’s Culture Shock

Of Unknown Origin is one of the best giant rat movies ever made. Weller is the king of this castle and no giant rat is going to tell him otherwise. The Rat Battle Royale is on.” Dr Gore’s Movie Reviews

of unknown origin

“What makes Of Unknown Origin so great is that director George P. (Rambo) Cosmatos really gets inside the main character’s psyche and makes the cat and mouse… err, rat games personal. I mean imagine if Roman Polanski had directed Willard; that will give you some idea of what to expect from this movie.”Mitch Lovell, The Video Vacuum

of unknown origin dvd

Buy DVD: Amazon.com

Cast and characters:

Peter Weller … Bart Hughes
Jennifer Dale … Lorrie Wells
Lawrence Dane … Eliot Riverton
Kenneth Welsh … James Hall
Louis Del Grande … Clete
Shannon Tweed … Meg Hughes
Keith Knight … Hardware Salesman
Maury Chaykin … Dan Errol
Leif Anderson … Peter Hughes
Jimmy Tapp … Meg’s Father
Gayle Garfinkle … Janis Wycoff
Earl Pennington … Mr Thompson
Jacklin Webb … Newspaper Vendor
Bronwen Mantel … Florence Riverton
Monik Nantel … Secretary
Aimée Castle … Birthday Party Child (as Aimee Castle)
Jesse Grasis … Birthday Party Child
Tara O’Donnell … Birthday Party Child
Amber T. Chase … Dan Errol’s Wife (uncredited)

Filming locations:

Montreal, Quebec although the movie is set in New York City.

Technical details:

88 minutes
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1



Attack of the Rats – article

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