The Rats Are Coming – The Werewolves Are Here – USA, 1971 – reviews

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‘If you don’t have the guts – stay away!’

The Rats Are Coming – The Werewolves Are Here – aka The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! – is a 1971 American horror film written, photographed and directed by Andy Milligan. The Constitution Films production stars Hope Stansbury, Jackie Skarvellis, Noel Collins and Joan Ogden.

It was initially filmed in London, England in 1969 as Curse of the Full Moon back-to-back with Andy Milligan directed films that included The Body BeneathBloodthirsty Butchers, and The Man with Two Heads.

Additional scenes – that contain many references to Charles Dickens and briefly feature the rats in the title – were filmed nearly two years later in Staten Island, New York, at the request of producer William Mishkin to pad out the short running time and to cash-in on the success of box-office rodent stars Willard and Ben.

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The eccentric Mooney family live in a large house in England in the early 1899. Invalid patriarch ‘Pa’ Mooney (Douglas Phair) is a retired medical doctor who claims to be 199 years old and talks of Jules Vernes.

His eldest daughter, Phoebe (Joan Ogden), more or less cares for him and is head of running the household. His eldest son, Mortimer (Noel Collins), is a businessman who conducts the finances of the family and contributes to the family income.

Younger daughter Monica (Hope Stansbury) is a sadist who keeps live rats as pets and frequently mutilates them and other small animals. Youngest son Malcolm (Berwick Kaler) is a halfwit with animalistic tendencies in which the family keeps him locked up in a room of the house with live chickens.

The family has a secret: they are all werewolves! They are natural born, not made, werewolves who turn once a month on the night of the full moon and Pa Mooney has been researching for years to find a way to break the family curse.

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Youngest daughter Diana (Jackie Skarvellis) returns home from medical school with a new husband, a former classmate named Gerald (Ian Innes), which Pa Mooney heartily disapproves of. Pa tells Diana that she is the last hope that the family has to overcome the ancient curse since she is the only member of the family who does not turn into a werewolf on the night of the full moon. Will Diana succeed?

However, Diana is eventually revealed to have other plans, and on top of that, she has her own secret to why she is “different” from the rest of the werewolf Mooney family…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

‘It takes a certain kind of person to appreciate a movie like The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!. But that kind of person is richly rewarded with a bizarre, angry and ugly film that has the energy of a live production. A live production of shrieking hate.’ Devin Faraci, Bad Ass Digest

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‘ … I found this movie fascinating — maybe in the way highway accidents and public arguments between enraged relatives are fascinating. Somehow all that bile and venom and hate got under my skin and made it hard for me to look away. And I think there’s something to be said for a movie that can get to you like that, however badly made it is on a technical level.’ Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies

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‘The acting is on a level of early John Waters, and there is very little humor in the movie to get you through the shouting and the amateurish camera work. But, once you get past the student film aesthetic there is something that is undeniably pulsing about the content in this film. You just have to have a black soul to find it.’ Julius Kaffendorf, The Other Films

Main cast:

  • Hope Stansbury – Blood
  • Jackie Skarvellis
  • Noel Collins
  • Joan Ogden
  • Douglas Phair
  • Ian Innes
  • Berwick Kaler – The Body Beneath

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We are grateful to Zombo’s Closet and Temple of Schlock for some of the images above

Wikipedia | IMDb | Internet Archive

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