Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 3/10/2011...
Rat People Attack
This film rocks. An interesting take on zombies that remains both entertaining and intelligent. Low budget filmmaking is very hit or miss. This film is amazing. It creates a sense of dread and maintains it throughout.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sean S. (Phishman) from SOUTHAMPTON, MA Reviewed on 11/27/2010...
Great zombie movie! From much of the same vein that 28 days later came from. Very dark,and gritty with an interesting take on the zombie genre.
I like to consider myself somewhat of an authority on the Zombie movie genre. I love them but am also very critical of them. I have seen most of the zombie movies throughout the years, some great (ex: Night of the living dead, 28 days later) but some others should have never seen the light of day (ex: Return of the living Dead). In my opinion the best zombie movies are the dark and gritty ones, the ones where the zombies don't talk or have goofy make up on. The plot should be driven by the characters will to survive and the social dynamics between them with at least some character development. And above all else there should be under no circumstances CG zombies or mutated monsters that don't resemble people which Resident Evil can be accused of at moments.
Having said that, if you even remotely agree with the above statements you will love Mulberry Street. This movie shines bright in each of the above mentioned categories. The pacing is great. It doesn't just through you into the action to start it seems to lure you into it. There is good character development for a horror movie as that seems to be the first to get to the cutting room floor in this genre unfortunately. All and all this is a very well done movie. This was the first of the after dark horror fest movies that I have seen and was really not expecting much going into it. I was very impressed with the quality of the cinematography and the editing, many mainstream movies don't even have the quality presented here.The only complaint that I have about the movie is that the ending seemed a little rushed but it is certainly not enough to spoil a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience.
The bottom line is if you like zombie movies or even just the horror genre in general you will enjoy this movie.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jorge S. (jorgito2001) from WESLEY CHAPEL, FL Reviewed on 5/19/2010...
Very interesting take on the "zombie" genre. I really enjoyed this one, plenty of tension, scares & gross outs..and something missing from most horror movies nowadays, you actually CARE for the characters and you get ticked off when some of them *GASP* die! Definitely belongs in the top tier of the better After Dark Horrorfest films over the last few years (which I think is saying a lot). Be sure to watch this one in the dark cozied up with a loved one.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Chris Pandolfi | Los Angeles, CA | 11/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Mulberry Street" is not so much about rats who turn humans into flesh-eating monsters in New York City. It's much more basic than that: it's all about tension and about how much can be crammed into a single story. The rats are more of an afterthought, really--they may serve as the catalyst for a medical crisis, but when their job is done, they conveniently disappear. That's a good thing, because at a certain point, we don't pay attention to them anymore. What we do pay attention to is how the tension builds. And that's why this movie is so effective; it does nothing but build itself up, and it keeps building even during the end credits. I repeatedly asked myself what would happen next, and that's always the sign of a good horror film, especially one so taut, brooding, and fatalistic.
The best thing is that it tells an understandable story without lingering on extensive character development. The first named billed in the opening credits is Nick Damici, but that doesn't mean he plays the main character. I don't think there is a main character in this film; it takes place in a rundown New York City apartment located on Mulberry Street, and the people who inhabit it live in a kind of community. Damici plays an aging boxer named Clutch, who eagerly awaits a visit from his daughter. Clutch's friend is Coco (Ron Brice), a gay man who probably has stronger feelings for Clutch than he would care to admit. But Clutch seems to show an interest in Kay (Bo Corre), a single mom who gets by as a bartender. Her son, Ross (Tim House), is a detached teenager, showing no interest in school or in life. The only thing he seems to be interested in is photography, and he takes plenty of pictures even within the confines of his room. The building's elderly men--Charlie (Larry Fleischman) and Frank (Larry Medich)--function on dependent levels; one wheels an oxygen tank around while the other seems to be getting confused about things.
The one character who exists outside of the apartment complex is Clutch's daughter, Casey (Kim Blair), a military officer on her way home from serving in Iraq. Her face is covered with scars, and she tires to cover them up by letting her bangs down. She initially doesn't say or do much, but we still get the sense that's she's incredibly insecure about the way she looks, and is probably more insecure about her military status. There's a moment when a train platform custodian thanks her for her service to her country; she says a polite thank you, but doesn't express any pride or show any sense of accomplishment. In a later scene, in which she rides a train, a woman talking on a cell phone sits in front of her. This woman gives subtle yet significant signals, indicating that Casey's scars are making her uncomfortable. Casey picks up on this, and tries to compensate by letting her bangs down once again.
It isn't until the rat crisis that she begins to apply herself. The same can be said for the characters in the apartment complex--a large rat, thought to be dead, bites the building's superintendent. Soon after, he begins to feel funny. Hair grows on top of his ears. His sense of smell becomes inhumanly strong. He develops a taste for raw meat. The tenants don't suspect anything until they start watching the news; apparently, a full-blown epidemic has taken hold of New York City, one so deadly that the American government has decided to quarantine Manhattan. Rats have bitten people all over the city, and it doesn't take long for these people to transform into mutant creatures with a taste for human meat. It quickly becomes a matter of survival, pitting a handful of Mulberry Street residents against an entire apartment full of flesh eaters.
I'm probably making this film sound like a low-tread rehash, but that really isn't the case. This is a story that doesn't depend on a scary idea, but rather on how it shapes itself around a scary idea. Since many of the characters are engulfed in shadow, and since most of the terror is hidden in complete darkness, not much is seen when the creatures attack. A lot of what happens to the victims is left up to the imagination, and that's rarely done in horror movies these days; we have to think about their fates, and thinking is always scarier than actually seeing. There a point at which one creature is trapped in Clutch's closet; when Coco reopens the door he sees that the creature has chewed its way through the ceiling, meaning that it's now loose within the walls of the apartment complex. It doesn't matter where it went or if we even see it again--all that matters is that we no longer see it and that we don't know what will happen next.
The concept of rat/human hybrids terrorizing New York is downright silly, yet the people behind "Mulberry Street" were able to make it seem real. And consider the fact that a hint of satire runs all throughout: a billboard for developer displays the slogan "The Neighborhood is Changing," and a newscaster solemnly reports that help isn't arriving fast enough for the hundreds left alive in Manhattan. The President (whoever that is in this story) has declared a state of emergency, but information is being gathered too slowly to be of any real help. This only adds to the sense of isolation felt by the Mulberry Street tenants, increasing that overwhelming sense of What Now. This is a dark, unnerving story, one that refuses to let the audience relax."
Ian M. Enriquez | San Francisco, California United States | 11/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say this film caught me by surprise and is one of my favorite horror films ever made. The genius behind the film is the excellent writing that focuses on the depth of relationships between the characters. As the film starts off, you get a glimpse of the various characters going through another day in their lives. Meanwhile, you catch glimpses on the TVs in the background that something bad is beginning to happen in New York, but life goes on. The spreading epidemic is nothing but background noise.
Needless to say, the situation spirals out of control and hits home as the tenants of the building fight for lives as the city falls apart around them. I almost cried twice, but the end had me bawling (and I was not the only man in the theater who was reduced to tears, but the intense emotional climax of the film).
The writer/star of the film wrote a prior film about the unspoken love between men and that theme returns in this film as a gay tenant struggles with unrequited love. I have rarely seen a gay character handled so sensitively in popular cinema- much less a horror flick. These are very real characters, not a bunch of models, scientists, sheriffs, or other horror cliches. Don't miss this movie!"
Rat salad anyone?
E. Barrios | N.Y.C. | 02/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Holy cow! I'm not one to get all excited by an indie horror movie but this movie would have to be the exception.
The people of NYC are under attack by rats. The government has quarantined Manhattan and all hell's broken loose! Those who've been bitten have mutated into "rat people."
This movie makes you care about the characters which makes it that much harder to see them die. I really liked this flick and highly recommend it."
Rat zombies take control of NYC. Sure, why not?
Sid the Elf | North Pole | 09/22/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For the second year in a row we have been graced with the After Dark Horrofest. Well saying "graced" my be a bit overboard considering almost every film developed under this festival has been a disaster to sub par at best. We love the horror genre and encourage the whole indi film movement but there has to be some substence to what we're watching or why bother? Short on budget doesn't mean it has to suck. All it means is you have to rely less on killer effects and dish up a good story with some realistic chills. Mulbery Street actually succeeds in this way to an extent. Not so much scary but the concept definately has a chill factor. Who wouldn't get scared by being preyed upon by rat zombies in a tenament home?
Our story takes place in a New York City tenament home where 6 seperate residents are dealing with the fact that their complex will be demolished due to an urban renewal. One great aspect of the film is the believability of these characters. It's not a bunch of young kids aimlessly running around getting picked off as in the typical horror flicks of today. It's actual real people living their everyday lives. The main character is a former boxer and his close friend who are awaiting the boxers daughters return from Iraq. Then there are a couple of guys who live on the upper floor, one being an elderly man who needs an oxygen tank to survive, and a single mother and her son. So you start to actually care for the characters instead of routing for them to vanish. As they all go about their day the super is trying to get the water to work in the boiler room. While working he's bitten on the arm by a rat. Within minutes he begins to have strange symptoms. He goes upstairs to rest and starts to see hair growing on his ears.
The more time that goes by the worse he starts getting and it becomes obvious to everyone that something strange is going on. The news continues to report rat attacks throughout the city. Roughly every five minutes new breaking news appears stating the rat attacks are becoming so frequent they must suspend all subway service and want everyone to remain inside. What they don't know is that these rats are passing some strange virus around which are turning the infected into rat like zombie creatures. It's a lot like 28 Days Later but with a different storyline. From here on out you follow each tenant as they work together to save themselves from the rat zombies. It does become intense at times and overall is an enjoyable and creepy film. The use of atmosphere is key in this one. They really did a great job driving home the chills in that way. The camera lighting is very dim and you get a very claustrophobic feeling while inside the cramped apartments.
Overall the film was good with some flaws. But why be so cridical on an independent film. Considering the small budget they did a great job. The focus on atmosphere was awesome and the acting was really good. A couple cool facts about Mulberry Street is how they had to shoot essential footage in the middle of the crowded streets of Manhattan without any official permission to film there, and how all the actors in this film are friends or in some way related to the director, so none of them received any payments. Not bad when you factor all that in. So if you're looking for a great film you won't find it in Mulberry Street. But if you go into it expecting an above average indi flick you will really like it. It's definately worth checking out. "
After Dark is excellent, Kim Blair scintillates
James Bergstrand | 04/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The After Dark series is a great collection for horror-flick lovers out there. All the films have good stories, and although most had low budgets, I think it adds to the appeal. There are a lot of great, gritty horror scenes in this collection. I particularly enjoyed "Mulberry Street" which has a young, up-and-coming actress named Kim Blair. Blair gives a chiling performance fighting off the infestation that plagues Mulberry Street until its haunting, climactic ending. She is defintiely a rising star in the industry and I hope to catch her in future releases. Defintiely worth the money!"