Wednesday 22 July 2009

Mulberry Street

Question: What does New York have in spades?
Answer: Rats.
Question: What's so special about rats?
Answer in the form of a question: Remember the plague?

Today is a day like any other in NYC. But then rats start attacking people on the subway, and the bitten start turning on regular folk. Soon the subway is shut down, and then Manhattan is cut off from the rest of city. As more and more people become infected and the infected grow increasingly violent, Clutch and his neighbours seal themselves into their apartment building on Mulberry Street. And still the rat-people come for them. Rats always find a way in.

Strangely the UK DVD title for this film is Zombie Virus on Mulberry Street. It should be noted there are no zombies in this film. Just rat-people. Way to go UK.

Okay, so the movie does read like a zombie film: infection spreads through bite, people are holed up in a poorly defended location, said location undergoes siege by carnivorous non-humans. But still, it's not a zombie movie. When a person is infected by a diseased rat, he or she falls ill and begins to change, ears grow hair, mouth becomes more snout-like, nails turn to claws, and teeth sharpen to a point. Soon a desire for fresh, raw meat takes over, and the rat-person attacks.

The movie doesn't muse on the source of or reason for the outbreak, but stops shy of suggesting the inevitability of such a thing happening. With the exception of Casey, who is home from Iraq with disfiguring scars and who must battle her way across town, the film is light on social commentary, but heavy on the irony. Really though, Mulberry Street is just a movie about New Yorkers turning into rats.

Charlie: What happened to Frank?
Ross: He turned into a big fucking rat.

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