Mulberry Street

Director: Jim Mickle

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Mulberry StreetHot town, summer in the city, humidity on the rise. A good day for the rats of New York.

Mulberry Street (2006) is one of the eight "After Dark Horrorfest" films which were supposed to have had trouble getting distribution due to gross or graphic content.

That's as nonsensical an advertising ploy as one can get, given that such films get distributed with great ease; there's merely too many for them all to get distributed with equal ease. These eight obviously are being distributed.

But I don't care what kind of phony ad hype the distributors trump up so long as I get my horror fix & not too awfully often duped into watching the worthless stuff. Most, but not all, of the films in the "to die for" set were good of kind, including Mulberry Street, so nothing to gripe about here.

This one's quite beautifully filmed & designed, with hand-held camera for swift-action atmospherics. The New York actors keep the performances edgily top notch & gritty rather than the usual B-horror ineptitude.

Indeed they create a fine array of interesting characters: Casey (Kim Blair), an army vet who has half her beautiful face badly scarred. Her boxer barber dad Clutch (Nick Damici, who also wrote the script), tough looking with sweet disposition, & the horny attractive waitress mom (Bo Corre) who lusts for him.

Mulberry StreetAnd there's Larry (Lou Torres) the bartender who fights back. Coco (Ron Brice), a gay black guy, lonely, practically a house mother of the run down hotel from which all residents have been given eviction notices, & believe they're joining forces against developers & landlords rather than the city's rats.

Compare this array of characters to the lackluster all-alike teen-horror cast picked off one by one in all too many horror films. By its actors alone, all of whom appear to relish their roles, this one's a winner.

The main setting is a run-down hotel. The building handiman Ross (Tim House) is first bitten by one of the rats, & begins to mutate during illness, gnawing through the walls to make his own path toward new prey who once were friends.

The news announces that the subways have closed until further notice due to mass rat attacks. It's rabies times a thousand as block by block the city shuts down & the infected populace becomes vicious in their desire to bite new victims, turning into half-rat half-psycho flesh-eaters. One guy turned into Nosferatu who had rat-teeth instead of the usual fangs, a delightful sight-gag amidst all the grue.

When the big fry cook screams "They're not people! Fuckin' rat people!" it's kind of funny because it's exactly how a lot of us would've expressed it if we were in this pickle.

If not for the partial transformations into rats it'd be a pretty straightforward zombie flick. It's nice to have a little extra to it than zombies, though, for a film well above the average.

Continue to next zombie films:
Resident Evil franchise

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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