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Of Unknown Origin (1983) - Blu-ray

4 beers“Darling, I’m home!”

A child’s birthday should be a special occasion. Full of balloons, kazoos, and party hats, there ought to be smiles on every child in attendance…especially when the cake is being presented. The obligatory birthday song follows. And then, as the child leans forward to blow out the candles, there ought to be clapping. Not screaming. But that’s what happens when a giant rat, who refuses to go quietly into that dark night, actually jumps from out of the cake. What. The. Hell.

Scream Factory’s latest resurrection on 1080p, featuring a new 2K scan from an interpositive element, is a Canadian-American horror movie about a rat. To be specific, it is a movie about how NOT to kill a rat. Thankfully, this rat doesn’t befriend a boy. No, in this movie, this mutant motherfucker is all about killing and his target is Robocop himself so you know the fur is going to fly when Peter Weller gets out the medieval toys with which to do a whole lot of damage with.

"This is a B-movie for the sick puppies out there. It is funny, cruel, and completely serves as a jesting metaphor for the idea that every man’s home is his castle."

Charged with a quick pace, Of Unknown Origin is a monster movie that is worthy of its yuppie trappings. In it, Bart Hughes (Weller), a businessman who is fairly handy when it comes to home renovations, completely destroys his own house, which was once so well taken care of by him, as he tries to prevent this mutant rodent from taking over and actually killing him. The frequent appearances from the rodent start out slow and annoying, with the rat doing normal chewing and so on, but it quickly becomes something otherworldly when the creature simply won’t die. Hell, it even growls and ambushes Bart time and time again.

Unsatisfied being at work while the rat continues to live and unable to think about anything but bashing the bastard's head in, Bart, who once was neat and tidy, winds up staying at home in order to kill the monster that is growing in his brownstone. And it is changing him.  There is garbage all over his house.  

Of Unknown Origin (1983) - Blu-ray

The exterminator is unable to do anything effective and, spending all sorts of cash in order to get it out, Bart winds up trusting no one but himself in ridding this vermin from his house. He becomes obsessed as every attempt to kill it fails. His wife (Shannon Tweed) has taken their son to his grandfather’s house and that leaves him with just days to get this growing creature out of his dwelling in order to make it safe again for their return.

Directed by George P. Cosmatos (Tombstone) and written by Brian Taggert (Visiting Hours), there is little fat to this story of an unwanted guest in the house. It is basic and bloody and, like any good Canuxploitation flick, gives us just enough skin (early on from Tweed) to keep all our senses in check as Weller goes about with the task of killing a ginormous rat that has no real reason to be so big. It is, as the (rather poor) title suggests, completely Of Unknown Origin.

As a result of all this madness, the movie works. Weller is fun and sells the destruction with a zeal that propels this movie forward, crossing the finish line by winning the audience over.  And the performance from character actor Louis Del Grande as the all-knowing exterminator is exceptionally memorable.

This is a B-movie for the sick puppies out there. It is funny, cruel, and completely serves as a jesting metaphor for the idea that every man’s home is his castle. Of Unknown Origin is now on blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory.

See one man go from protecting his house to destroying it. Of Unknown Origin is a fantastic thriller.


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Of Unknown Origina (1983) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R.
88 mins
: George P. Cosmatos
Brian Taggert
Peter Weller, Jennifer Dale, Lawrence Dane
: Horror
If it can't scare them to death, it will find another way.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You never said anything about rubber gloves, you boneheaded fart."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 24, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 22, 2018
Synopsis: When not mired in the corporate rat race, Wall Street executive Bart Hughes is king of his sleek Manhattan brownstone ... until he finds his castle under siege by the most determined of home intruders. Forced to enter a rat race of an entirely different sort, Bart takes a stand, with his survival and sanity at stake.


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Of Unknown Origin (1983) - Blu-ray


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- May 22, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Featuring a new 2K scan from the Interpositive, this release from Scream Factory is a real shocker. Scream Factory’s brand new 1.85:1 HD master is detailed and looks better than ever. Some shots, due to the era of the day, are fuzzier than others but the image is reasonably well defined with crisp contrasts and solid textures. Colors are solid, with reds being a standout. Blacks are, too. Surprisingly, there's enough fine detail on display to make this seem revelatory for those used to the previous DVD release. The era-ready color palette looks terrific, too. While there is not much difference between them, the disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo soundtrack.



  • None

Special Features:

Fearuing NEW interviews with Executive Producer Pierre David, Writer Brian Taggert, Actor Louis Del Grande, and an audio commentary with Director George P. Cosmatos And Actor Peter Weller, this release is a great one.

  • The Origins Of Unknown Origin
  • That Rat Movie
  • Hey, Weren't You In Scanners?
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Still Gallery


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Of Unknown Origina (1983) - Blu-ray