Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mulberry Street (2006)

The annual After Dark Horrorfest started in 2006 and since then each year After Dark Films has released "8 Films To Die For". Generally these films are straight-to-video quality, with a pleasant surprise showing up once in a while.

Mulberry Street was part of the 2nd annual Horrorfest, which actually presented nine films, though only eight of them made the short theatrical run, with the ninth going to DVD. It was helmed by Jim Mickle who hasn't done much of any significance from the director's chair, though he does have fairly extensive credit as a crew member, primarily as a grip. Its quite obvious that someone with little directing experience was in charge as there was no real style to any of it. There was a considerable amount of shaky cam during the action scenes, which i attribute to being a product of the times for most modern horror and other than that it was shot very straight forward.

A plague-like disease is spreading throughout Manhattan thanks to the rat population. When bitten by an infected rat or human as it came to be, the victim would soon turn into what can only be described as a ratman. The face would take rat-like features including the pointy ears and teeth. And with any movie of this sort, the infected are very aggressive and violent, always looking to make someone else into a six foot rat.

The story revolves around the residents of a single apartment building. Kay (Bo Corre) is a bartender and single mother of a teenage boy who is caught at work when the outbreak occurs. Her friend Clutch (Nick Damici) is fairly stereotypical hard ass from New York who decided to secure her son and the rest of his friends in the apartment then rescue her. He uses nothing more then a pair of taped up fists to do the dirty work along the way.

And that right there is basically the whole movie. Very little else happens, there are some scenes of action with the rat people which are heavily plagued by shaky cam. The residents who poorly barricaded themselves in their apartments are surviving as the rats have a hard time getting in for the most part, and you really don't care about any of the characters too much. Clutch may be the only exception as he puts his own life on the line for Kay and her son.

There isn't too much else to say. The residents of Mulberry Street were ravaged by disease for a night, and according to the newscast on the television so was most of Manhattan but you couldn't prove it even if you had to. The movie never strays from the neighborhood and keeps everything on a small scale. The movie isn't a total failure however. There is enough action to keep us satisfied, even if it seems fairly pointless since staying in your apartment worked out pretty well. And its not so long as to the point of you getting bored but it could have chopped five or ten minutes off and we would have lost nothing.

I think had they gone with a sillier feel to it all it would have been better. Add tails to the rat people, make them more like rats in movement, something. Anything to add some flair to the movie. As it stands its more or less a movie about the Black Death with a lot less death.


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