When I read the synopsis for “Hood Rat” on Encore the other night I was shocked. The movie, apparently taking its title very literally, is about a bunch of bums being eaten in the hood by mutated rats. And it’s starring Ice-T. Shot in 2001 and allegedly directed by Leslie Small, although I feel that her director listing should definitely have a set of quotes around it, this movie rapidly climbed my charts as one of the worst of all-time.
This fine piece of cinema epitomizes the great kinds of shitty-TV that much of the decent, bed-minded folks of the world miss by hitting the sack too early(read: having a life). What follows is a true-life account of my watching experience. I’d say it was a plot summary, but there really wasn’t much of a plot occurring. Instead, Small and Ice-T dribbled weird, confusing scenes around in a cinematic version of a Jackson Pollock painting.
I confess, I missed the beginning of the movie. That being said I don’t think I missed too much plot or character development. From the moment I turned it on, spotting the always angry-as-a-black-panther-at-a-Klan-meeting face of the one & only “Kop Killa”, I knew I was in for a good ride.
The movie started, for me, with a few bums sitting around drinking grain alcohol & mumbling about death. This was the best shot, most well-put-together sequence in the entire movie. Within minutes of beginning my viewing experience I had already seen 6 different kinds of malt liquor, 2 random bum beatings and what appeared to be voodoo. Excellent.
The main villain, a bum that bore a striking resemblance to Tyrone Biggums from Chappelle’s show, was out for vengeance on the rest of his housing project. This need for revenge was quickly lost in the shuffle of close-ups of rats, close-ups of bums flailing around as they were eaten to death, and more close-ups of rats.
Instead of cutting and/or editing, the “director” seems to have alternated the ‘I-movie Pro” settings between “fade-in” & “Fade out.” During nearly every rat attack scene the director would cut to an insanely tight close-up of a rat sitting there. . .well, being a rat. It was blood-curdling.
Approximately every 11 minutes the film degenerates into weird, often times psychedelically shot montages of people being eaten by rats. These montages are only interrupted by MORE montages of shaky close-ups of the people of the projects being eaten. These close-ups prove only that the film was so under budget that they couldn’t even afford BIG rats. They appear moderately sized & simply stand around a lot.
The award for the Best death in “Hood Rat”, which I consider to be a prestigious honor since it was, essentially one long “people being mauled” movie, goes to: the junkie sitting on the pot, attempting to get his heroin on that gets bitten in the ass & simply dies. Later, much to my horror and amusement, the rat that bit him on the butt can be seen crawling out his mouth.
I’m not sure at what point this guy arrived but 1 character of note was a camo-wearing guy who had an eye-patch & appeared to be a ghetto version of Jake “the Snake” Plissken from “Escape from New York. However he more than makes up for it by later telling a horde of rats that they will “suck his d— tonight” then dousing himself & his Astro Van in gasoline & lighting himself on fire w/ an “I’ll see you in hell” blast. This character instantly becomes my favorite due in large part to the fact that he looks like a mixture of Levar Burton & Captain Crunch.
(SPOILER ALERT: Oh wait. . .no one’s going to watch this one anyway.)
14 minutes before the movie is over, Tyrone Biggums realizes the error of his ways. He, in a moment of pure script-writing brilliance, keeps a gigantic amount of gasoline handy in the basement of his housing project. He stumbles upon the random 12 boxes of TNT that must be in the basement of all tennant buildings & claims that he’s excited about cooking the rats alive.
He blows everything up. The credits roll and I find myself legitimately disappointed that Ice-T doesn’t finish out this hour and a half train-wreck with a gangsta rap about rats.
Is this movie a must-see? Only if you’re an idiot like myself. Or high on PCP.