Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
"Ratboy" is a perplexing movie about a perplexing hero - a little creature that is half human and half rat and combines all of the least interesting characteristics of both species.
The rat boy lives in a garbage dump somewhere in the hills above Los Angeles, in a hovel furnished like a cross between a tree house and a rec room. Then he's flushed out by a couple of yahoos who think they can make millions by exhibiting him, and the movie turns into sort of a mini "King Kong" (1933) - complete with the scene where the creature breaks loose at the ceremony where it is being exhibited to the public.
I guess the rat boy himself is supposed to stir the same sorts of emotions, as "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" or "Pinocchio" - miniature quasi-humans with high spirts and loneliness in their eyes. But the key ingredient in any fable like this is the story of how the creature originated. Unless we can complete the sentence "He is like this because..." we are looking at a freak instead of a protagonist. And the rat boy remains unexplained throughout the entire movie.
Instead, the film turns into an attack on the crass commercialism of modern American society, with special emphasis on the media. Sondra Locke, who directed the film, stars as a slick operator who hopes to benefit from her friendship with Ratboy. She meets him by posing as a reporter, but before long she's a full-fledged promoter, renting a Los Angeles theater so Ratboy can have his own press conference.