THE RATS ARE COMING! THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE!
The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! came out of a venture Milligan made to England in 1969, a period in which he shot four other films. The thing that should be noted about The Rats Are Coming! is that it started out as a standard werewolf story. The film remained on a shelf for three years whereupon producer William Mishkin released it with what must be one of the great exploitation titles of all time. Mishkin took inspiration from the then hit success of the killer rat film Willard (1971) and had Milligan shoot additional rat scenes for the film some ten or so minutes that were filmed back in Milligans home in a Staten Island mansion in which Joan Ogden tortures rats and then buys a pack of them from a strange man in the town. In pointed reference to Willard, one of the rats is even named Ben.
However, the moment that The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! opens, it telescopes down from a great exploitation title to the near unwatchable. The camerawork Andy Milligan shot all of his films on 16mm is shoddy and utterly amateurish, while the sound recording frequently renders the dialogue as all but inaudible. Milligan lacks almost anything that even vaguely approaches directorial style almost all of the film consists of a group of people sitting around a big house pretending to be Victorians with the camera pointed in their direction. Milligan has little idea how to cut up a scene dramatically and most of the film is static medium and wide angles. The Victorian period is not very convincingly conveyed as we can see modern electric light switches on the walls in the rooms.
The plot is set up so that it is supposed to be a big surprise about what the family fear is about to happen but surely the very title has clued us in that we are watching a werewolf film. The rest of the show is the tedious family squabbles going on in the house, which mostly consists of talking scenes with little action or drama. There are occasionally some mildly perverse scenes with Joan Ogden whipping and tormenting the backward Berwick Kaler and of she torturing and killing rats. Even the title seems a big letdown as there are hardly any rat scenes, while the werewolves only emerge in the last few minutes.
Full film available online here:-