Somehow this movie escaped me for far too long. I’d never seen it – never even seen previews or the box cover in stores– and didn’t hear about it until I read Adrienne Barbeau’s memoir There Are Worse Things I Could Do. She devotes an entire chapter to it, calling it only “The Rat Movie,” which is a hilarious account of no-budget movie making. Even still, my interest wasn’t that great until she wrote about the young leading lady, who she described in…shall we say…less than complimentary terms. So I looked the movie up and lo and behold, that young leading lady is none other than Tower Farm fave Maria Ford.
It held the number one spot on my Netflix queue that night.
Well, Burial Of The Rats is everything Adrienne wrote it would be…and more. For starters, the credits insist it's based on a story by Bram Stoker. Which is strange, since the lead character in this movie is named Bram Stoker. Did Stoker write stories about himself? Is this an autobiographical film? This much is never made clear. However, anytime a movie stars Maria Ford and claims to be based on the work of a classic author (see: The Haunting Of Morella, Necrinomicon: Book of the Dead), you know you’re in for a journey filled with insane dialogue, overacting, and lot (and lots) of boobs.
This movie scores big time within the first 10 minutes. Bram is kidnapped by Maria, who is wearing this period-realistic thong costume under her robe:
Maria is apparently part of an of all-women rat kingdom, ruled over by Queen Adrienne, who controls the ladies and hundreds of rats with her magical flute. Yes…you just read that sentence correctly. She actually calls herself “the Pied Piper’s twisted sister” – a line that must have Dee Snider pissed as hell over his missed opportunity at the greatest band name ever.
Oh, and for no specified reason, Adrienne uses an adorable mini-guillotine to behead rats sometimes:
The all-women kingdom is pretty awesome, and even boasts Linnea Quigley in a non-speaking role amongst its ranks. The ladies are generally either topless or wearing fur bikinis, and come off exactly like the centerpiece skit in the comedy Amazon Women On The Moon, which features the similar premise of an all-girl kingdom turned upside-down by men. In this case, Maria starts falling for Bram – a strange development, considering a) he killed her sister, b) she’s presumably been a lesbian until now, and c) Bram looks like this:
Nonetheless, you know where this is going. Leave it to a man to screw a good thing up.
Let’s talk for a moment about Maria. In short, she’s awesome. Making absolutely no attempt to appear like a woman from the 1700s (or 1800s? 1600s? Oh, who the hell knows…), she speaks in her patented 90s-California-sex-kitten voice and manages to bear her ass in every single scene by wearing a thong that rides so high on her hips it comes off like the most extreme locker room wedgie ever:
The other women are mainly Russian, I think (it was filmed in Moscow), and dubbed to wonderful effect (in other words, appearing drunk). Several of them also bear a striking resemblance to Julianna Margulies at various stages in her career…for example, this pair, who seem to be showing us how much Julianna has changed between Ghost Ship and “The Good Wife”:
The rat gals go around on nightly “raids” – attacking establishments that prey on women, such as a monastery full of lecherous monks and a brothel that recruits kids. While I think we’re supposed to dislike the rat women, they’re actually doing really good work, and had my full support. Unfortunately, Maria is kidnapped (during a sword fight which must be seen to be believed) and so Bram must be “initiated” into the rat kingdom so that he can go rescue her. This initiation, by the way, consists of drinking the blood of one of the women and then being stripped naked in front of the rest. Which, at least to me, doesn't actually seem that bad…until it’s revealed that he’s also been forced to paint this logo on his back, which is just embarrassing:
Anyway…blah blah blah…we finally get to the climactic battle between women, rats, and men in colonial-wear, looking about as authentic as those actors who walk around Colonial Williamsburg making tourists uncomfortable. In an incredibly stupid move, the Queen breaks her flute during a fit and ends up being attacked by her own rats. Well, that’s what we’re told happens. However, by studying the following screenshot, it appears that the rats actually just stumble upon a pan of spaghetti sauce:
So, anyway, clearly this movie is wonderful. I’d like to personally thank Adrienne Barbeau for making it, and even more for writing about it and bringing it to my attention. I'd like to think that if Bram Stoker were still be alive, he'd be really proud that something he wrote was turned into a masterpiece of boobs, rats, and Prego meat sauce. What more could an author ask for?