The movie Of Unknown Origin (1983) follows a successful businessman who becomes obsessed with exterminating a giant rat that has invaded his newly renovated home.
Bart Hughes moves into a Manhattan brownstone that he has spent a year renovating as a dream home for his family. When noises from an unknown origin start keeping him awake, Bart becomes irrationally obsessed with killing what he believes to be a single rat in the walls.
The movie Of Unknown Origin (1983) shows Bart’s fixation on the giant rat consuming him as it continually evades his traps. He starts neglecting his family and work responsibilities, devoting all his energy to stalking the rat he sees as his worthy opponent.
As Bart’s obsessive hunt intensifies, he tears up walls and floors trying to outsmart the rat. His wife and colleagues begin to worry about his psychological stability. In the gripping finale, Bart’s body is shown being removed from the house – whether he succeeded or the rat ultimately won remains ambiguous.
With its ending and the overall premise, the movie Of Unknown Origin (1983) serves as an unconventional take on obsession and madness featuring minimal on-screen violence or gore.
- Peter Weller as Bart Hughes
- Jennifer Dale as Robbie Lazzaro
- Louis Del Grande as Dan
- Maury Chaykin as Howard
- Kenneth Welsh as Foster
The film is based on a novel called The Visitor by author Chauncey G. Parker III.
Director George P. Cosmatos went on to make Cobra (1986) and Tombstone (1993).
No actual rats were used in the movie due to Peter Weller’s objections.