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Hot Rats

Studio: Smash Pictures » Review by Disco Dirge » Review Date: 11/9/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

GENRE: Straight Feature
DIRECTORS: Narcis Bosch
STARS: Michelle Wild, Stacey Silver, Anna Nova, Bamboo, Sylvia Lancome, Bibian Norai, Carmen Vera, Malena, Lea De Mae, Sophie Evans, Nacho Vidal, Steve Hooper, Ian Scott, Ramon Guevara, Jose Play, Torbe, Andrea Moratti, Greg Centauro
LENGTH: 130 mins without bonus material

Should porn make sense? Not in the traditional spear and slit sense, but in the narrative angle. Actually, the question seems better framed in the following manner: should a feature length adult title which hopes to sell you on both the balling and the backstory make a rational lick of storyline logic? Does it matter if the movie is as aggravating as a case of blue balls you once got from your old college cock tease? Should the tale even try to sail into sagacity when there is plenty of pussy and prick to get us over the odd parts? Well, if you're director Narcis Bosch and your making a homage to every mindfuck motion picture to come out in the last decade or so, the answer is a resounding NO! Indeed, his film, Hot Rats is indecipherable from start (what the hump does that title mean?) to finish (which it just kind of does, with a grandstanding group sex whimper). Bosch, an international wunderkind with a vocal cult following can apparently do no wrong when it comes to combining XXX action with visions from his all night absinthe jags. People just seem to gravitate toward his mishmash of poon with the peculiar. Yet to this critic, the combination of carnality and craziness is near lethal to any real log launching, and yet, there is an absolute aura of erotic energy within his weird-ass wrangling. So, apparently the issue has a couple of complimentary conditions. First, should a sex film be forced to be salient? And if the answer is a negation, how much does its irrationality really matter? As to the latter query, the proof is in Hot Rats' highly unusual pud pudding.

The DVD:
Imagine taking Jeanut/Caro's The City of Lost Children, inserting one of David Lynch's more beautiful if nearly incoherent cinemascopes (say, Lost Highway), garnish with a fuck film filled with characters named (and sometimes dressed) as famous fairytale entities and drown the entire enterprise in hardcore group sex scenarios, and you have a vague vision of what Hot Rats is all about. Sort of. This award-winning weirdness from director Narcis Bosch tries for situations mostly foreign to regular adult entertainment, fusing symbolism with shorthand to create a XXX-istential porno that supposedly has something to do with parallel realities, human embodiment of sin and really awful overdubbing. Maybe in its native tongue which may be difficult to decipher since this is a Spanish/French production featuring actors from Germany, Italy, the Eastern Bloc and various other continental locales the basically incomprehensible storyline would make sense. Like a lewd Into the Woods, or a grab-ass Brothers Grimm, the lucid narrative has something to do with The Devil helping Little Red Riding Hood become a movie star. Except, all the she-Satan really does is introduce her to several smut scenarios. Red attends a school for the performing arts, except the only acting on the syllabus involves sucking dick. Indeed, for every explained element in the film, something comes along to toss clouds in the carnal coffee.

The cast is first rate. Nacho Vidal has a nice, nasty presence as "The Wolf" (he is also called 'The Wrath', 'The Wraith', and just plain 'Nacho'). Sadly, after the very first scenes (both straight and sexual) in the movie, Nacho's enormous knob says "bye-bye". Stacy Silver has an odd quality to her attempts at acting that don't quite match with her balling abilities. Maybe she's actually TRYING to put on a fictional characterization for her storybook heroine Little Red Riding Hood, but the mixture of mannered and amorous never really gels. Michelle Wild has looked better than she does here. Hampered with a near-Nazi outfit and a really bad hairstyle, she comes across as a more campy than alluring Antichrist. And Sophie Evans as Snow White (also referred to often as "The Lust") is more or less non-existent as an entity in the film. After a couple of lines of dialogue, she too copulates and then disappears. There are lots of awkwardly ambiguous moments in Hot Rats (including the head scratcher of a title) that will hamper the hardcore fan's overall enjoyment of this otherwise funky film. None of the males make any manner of individual statement, and such interesting performers as Bamboo seem lost in scenes that make very little narrative sense. Hot Rats could just be a fever dream experienced by some over/under sexed psycho whose spent far too long thinking he or she is Lewis Carroll, but the overall impression is of something that thinks it's perfectly straightforward, and then winks at you, knowing you have no idea what is going on.

But this is a sex film, you say, who gives a wet queef? Who care what the plot is trying to pull over on us, just as long as the humping is hot. And granted, Hot Rats does give a flaming rodent about its prick and pussy points. There is only one "couples" scene in the set; the rest is all group gropes of varying numerical intensity. If you enjoy seeing complete fuck and suck free-for-alls with limited interpersonal passion and lots of inventive/artistic camera work, this movie will more than satisfy your sensibilities. But Hot Rats also attempts antics that it has neither the time nor intent to fulfill. The finale is a bogus bukakke experiment that doesn't really stick to the Far East requirements for such a cum-a-thon, and most of the action is unlike Surf City's male to female ratio. There are 4 guys to every girl in most of these sequences, so if you like to see the flopping faculties of Euro-trash as they skitter around the outskirts of a poon pile looking for a place to plant their pork, Hot Rats will definitely provide those nookie nuances. The action is rough, aggressive, over-the-top, twisted and just a wee bit repugnant, as anything goes and cums in this anarchy of aardvarking. If you're hoping for full descriptions of the ballistic balling that occurs in this movie, this review will not provide it. Instead, it will walk you through each scene in the film, trying to figure out just what in the world this movie is trying to say.

The Story:
Nacho Vidal shows up in an overcoat and hat, looking like a refugee from a film noir, and he directly addresses the audience. He says he is Nacho the Wolf and has just escaped (best guess from Hell) and is looking to get out into the world by making a phone call. He gets a goofy operator, and the two share a strange "Whassup" password moment (the password, naturally is "Hot Rats"). Suddenly, in a direct rip-off of the drug-injecting flea from The City of Lost Children (Heck, it even looks like the same CGI rendering) Nacho is bitten by a bug and dragged off by a couple of nurses. And you know what comes next:

Scene 1: Anna Nova, Bibian Norai, Nacho Vidal
Setting: Surreal Hospital Operating Theater

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Sex Positions: Hand Job, Blow Job, Dueling Head, Tit Play, Tit Fucking, Deep Throating, Face Fucking, Cunnilingus, Fingering with V to M, Mish, Ass Gaping, Spitting, Doggy with Alternating Lady V to M, Jousting, Dick Mouth Kisses, Pile Driver, Strap On Action, DP in Reverse Cowgirl Mode, DP in Cowgirl Mode, $hot in Mouth, More $hot on Vagina, Oral Clean Up

Anna and Bibian really give Mr. Vidal's viper a good workout as this sweltering showboat of a scene starts Hot Rats off with a big, bawdy bang. Too bad then that it also represents the best fuck fest in the entire XXX aspect of this film as well. Director Bosch is a brilliant cameraman, keeping the penetration perfectly framed while finding ways to accentuate the passion between the parties. His compositions announce their artistic and sexual intentions, and we never feel lost in the complex positions. Switching between real time and slow motion, as well as incorporating interesting editing and design ideas, it is easy to see why Hot Rats is so heavily praised. Sadly, this will mark the last time when such a sentiment can be stated. Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Suddenly, we shift gears. The nurses phone the Devil (who is driving a CGI car through a spooky looking digital countryside) and tell her that he Nacho has been caught. Satisfied, she drives on. Suddenly, like a whiplash jump cut to a carnal version of Pink Floyd's The Wall, a teacher is going Titanic on her students. She is cursing and swearing, using all manner of filthy phrases ("My Pussy is Dirty", "Suck My Big Fat Cock") for some odd reason. Calling up one of her students to the desk, we are introduced to Little Red Riding Hood. All she wants to do is be a star. But the teacher tells her that she has to learn to suck cock first. Calling Ramon up to the desk as well, the blowjob begins:

Scene 2: Stacy Silver, Bamboo, Carmen Vera, Ramon Guevara, Jose Play, Greg Centauro
Setting: Classroom
Sex Positions: Blow Jobs, Dueling Head, Doggy, Cunnilingus, Mish, Ball Play, Deep Throating, Tit Play, Anal Reverse Cowgirl, Fingering, DP in the Cowgirl Mode, Anal Doggy Pile Driver, $hot on Faces and Mouths

Our first of three group scenes in probably the best of the balling bunch, mostly because Bosch and his cast keep the creativity to a minimum. This is straight to the gut suck and fuck, no oddball issues or deranged dimensions to deal with. There are three girls and three guys and with talent the likes of Silver, Vera and Ms. Boo, the dudes can barely keep up with the dicking. There is a very strange sequence during this shark down that does put a slight damper on things. Bamboo suddenly stops the straddling and browbeats the participants for their paltry performances. After the minor admonition, the carnality continues. The point? Who knows? Score: 7 out of 10

Next, we witness the domestic bliss under which Red lives her everyday life. While trying to unclog a sink in her retro-50s trailer, she is constantly harassed by her bad-toothed, obese stepfather. Finally standing up to the stink bomb, she wonders why he won't leave her alone to be an actress. Replacement pappy has four lessons she must learn before hitting the big time and all of them have to do with dick, pussy, ass, and spunk:

Scene 3: Stacey Silver, Torbe
Setting: The Double Wide Trailer Home of Little Red Riding Hood
Sex Positions: Blow Job, Cowgirl, Reverse Cowgirl, Doggy, Anal Reverse Cowgirl, Implied A to M, $hot in Mouth.

If you want to know why fat guys don't fuck in porn films, just take a look at tubby Torbe as he taints Stacey Silver with his portly pumping here. Wielding a wiener that should make post-op trannies secure in their shortened manhood and looking like he last bathed around the fall of the Berlin Wall, this chunky choad may be the perfect embodiment of the stinky stepdad, but his full fart form just doesn't make for appetizing action. Silver tries to sell it though, looking like she's porking a true stud, not a stuck pig, in her various vice-filled formations. Like gonzo dipped in brown gravy, this husky humpfest is rather unappetizing. Oh yeah, and the faux Cockney accents don't help here. Score: 3 out of 10

Apparently responding to some plea or prayer by our heroine, the Devil arrives and asks Red if she'd like to be in the big time. Apprehensive at first, but still very curious, Ms. Hood decides to check out what the She-Goat is offering. Turns out, it's some big peckered putz in a swing:

Scene 4: Michelle Wild, Stacey Silver, Andrea Moratti
Setting: Hell's Hallway? The Inferno's Entryway?
Sex Positions: Blow Job, Dueling Head, Dick Whipping, Doggy, Cunnilingus, reverse Cowgirl, Alternate Lady V to M, Salad Tossing, Tongue Fucking, Ass Slapping, Anal Fingering, Anal Reverse Cowgirl, A to V to M to V, Cowgirl, Alternate Chick Fucking, A to M, V to M, Pussy Whipping, $hot in Mouths.

Here is a case where Bosch's brave vision completely crucifies a decent cock and cunts session. Wild and Silver are pros, and they know how to handle their man meat (even if it is in the rather fey packaging provided by Mr. Moratti). Once they start the snatch snacking and pole polishing, our director diddles with the editing and camerawork, turning what could have been hot into something almost incomprehensible. We miss some of the action (it is cut out and replaced later) and there is very little flow to the fucking. One minute Moratti is taking a tasting from the swing, the next he is laying on the ground cowgirling a gal. The overall feeling is fuzzy, not fiery and it renders Wild and Silver's sexuality somewhat inert. A more calm, focused approach would have saved this scene from itself. Score: 4.5 out of 10.

After successfully screwing for the Fallen Fuck Angel, Red gets the password (again "Hot Rats") to visit a nymphomaniacal Snow White. Snow is not happy to see this ho, so she challenges her to some carnal capering. When the beefy Butcher shows up to describe how he slaughtered one of the Three Little Pigs, Ms. White gets all worked up. Soon, the remaining porkers read: guys in hog masks get to rut in something other than their own filth as the fornication begins:

Scene 5: Stacey Silver, Sophie Evans, Ian Scott, Steve Hooper, Ramon Guevara
Setting: Snow White's Bedroom
Sex Positions: Cunnilingus, Blow Jobs, Dueling Head, Shaft Action, Salad Tossing, Doggy, Cowgirl, Standing Cowgirl, Reverse Cowgirl Anal Reverse Cowgirl, DP in the Cowgirl Mode, Scissors, Pile Driver, DP in the Reverse Cowgirl Mode, $hots in Mouths

Combining the best elements of Scene 2 with the worst cinematic masturbation of Scene 4, our next group spunk session is overloaded with jagged jump cuts and whiplash position peculiarities. Almost as if Bosch got caught up in the heat and intensity generated by the copulating cast (one has to admit, these people really get their fuck freak on when they want to), his lens work and mise-en-scene is erratic, redundant and totally libido lowering. Again, it must be said that these foreign friggers pound like they have a purpose, and if captured in a much more comprehensive approach, this scene would score well. But Bosch's whirling dervish designs destroy what looked to be one amazing pussy and pork party. Score: 5.5 out of 10.

Apparently pressing ever closer to her desire for stardom, the Devil has one more way to circumvent Red's wishes. She invites the little lady to her Inferno showdown, where two hot honeys take on all "cummers" in a big time battle royal consisting of blowjobs and butt fucking. As the contest begins, both Satan and Red take the squared circle to show the participants how to properly puff peter:

Scene 6: Lea De Mae, Michelle Wild, Stacey Silver, Malena, Silvia Lancome, Half the Know Male Universe
Setting: Beelzebub's Boxing Ring
Sex Positions: Multiple Blow Jobs, Massive Dueling Head, Mish, Cowgirl, Reverse Cowgirl, DP in the Cowgirl Mode, Gaping, Anal Reverse Cowgirl, Ersatz Bukakke, $hots on Faces and in Mouths.

OK, it's an orgy. It's about a dozen guys glomming onto five to six women (you can't really get a clear picture of the parameters). Penises are flapping in the breeze and gals are jonesing on jocks to beat the band. If you are into this manner of massive smut scenario, you'll probably love Bosch's version of this pump station sequence. The camera is calmer here, picking and choosing groupings to focus on, and giving us a feel for the fuck and suck before moving onto the next element. Though advertised as a bukakke scene, there is one minor moment of cum drinking (mostly, it's spit mixed with some small amount of spew) and even then, the vast majority of the man mud is spilled all over the actresses' bodies, not swallowed like a juicy Jell-o shooter. Instead of going out with a real old fashioned gang bang, this massive mons and meat manipulation is erotic as well as chaotic. It completes this package of surreal sex installments on a decidedly ambiguous, artificial note. Score: 6 out of 10.


That's right, that's it. No real explanation. No return of Nacho and his hot Latino love muscle mania. Even the CGI seems to have jumped ship. If by reading the between-scenes descriptions above you think you have an idea about what Hot Rats is all about, take the Dirge's word for it: you WON'T have a clue. All the material making up the plot description is based completely on inference, speculation, and a dream someone once had after eating too much marinated eggplant salad. Director Bosch is looking to expand the mental horizons of hardcore and if anything, he succeeds in completely fudging up the formula. Indeed, this is probably the first XXX film where the story matches up with the sharking 50/50. That means that there is always the possibility that the incomprehensible narrative can befoul the fucking, and that's exactly what happens in Hot Rats. Just when this movie gets some good head or cowgirl, or DP on its story shoulders, along comes a digital shot of a subway, or a weird sequence of inexplicable dialogue to muck things up. Honestly, the lines spoken by most of the cast sound like they come from a different script completely. This lack of match-up, this inability to properly weigh the wantonness against the weirdness makes Hot Rats something of a letdown. Not really bad, but not as great as the hype would suggest, this is one experimental porn that fails the lewdness litmus test with an overabundance of anti-fuck froufrou.

The Video:
All hampered hardcore aside, this movie looks damn good. Presented in a clear, crisp 1.33:1 full screen transfer, all aspects of Bosch's vision are kept viable and vibrant in this DVD treatment. Though occasionally hindered by pixelation during some overly dark sequences, and no matter what the image looked like, the CGI would still resemble the lower end of the technological scale, Hot Rats is still one of the better looking adult film titles to be released this year.

The Audio:
As an international production with cast members from various parts of the world, it is not unusual for Hot Rats to have as many audio options as it does. After choosing a language setting at the opening menu (better know your national flags) you can watch the film in Spanish, English, French, Italian, or Polish. Oddly, the only subtitle option is Portuguese. The Dolby Digital Stereo is excellent, with a nice balance between atmospheric and sexual dynamics. The overall mood is eerie and a little unpredictable, but this is still a great sounding DVD presentation.

The Extras:
Hot Rats comes in a 2 disc DVD package. Disc 1 contains the film proper, while Disc 2 stores the bonus features. The added content includes a photo gallery (both from the film and for the gals separately), some rather rote biographies and a trailer for the film. But the best elements are the Blair Witch style 'making of' and the informal behind the scenes Q&A. The interviews give us insight into who the performers are, their thoughts on the film and their personal sexual preferences. The more bizarre extra is the Making-Of. Using the faux format of a TV show called The Negative Zone, the entire production is presented like some lost footage discovered at an abandoned mental hospital (where Hot Rats was actually filmed). Under the narration of "Dr. Craven", we see a day-by-bay breakdown of the shoot, with hardcore and hauntings both getting equal exposure. While the sanitarium locale is creepy, it would have been nice to have just a bit more information on what Bosch and his cast actually thought this film was about. Still, from a purely technical standpoint, this is a very impressive DVD package.

Final Thoughts:
Okay, the Dirge has to admit it Hot Rats completely fucked with his head. Instead of providing untold hours of constant arousal, the story sent his...ummm..."spirit" crashing to a stunned shrivel whenever its loud, obnoxious bewilderment came calling. This is the very definition of a rollercoaster ride for the rod, a movie that perks up the pecker only to rapidly toss it down like a parent with a puking baby. The sex is great. The story sucks inflamed man ass. This makes the Disco Dirge Peter Meter a tough call, and a recommendation even harder. Let's approach it from this position. For the pornography and the packaging, the Peter Meter registers a recommended 6 out of 10. While the balling is very brisk, couples can find something here to aid their marital woes. So a Cohabitation Certification is awarded. On the newly discovered Disco Dirge Perplexing Plot Tester, this movie registers a near-fatal 9 out of 10 (which is bad, since this gauge measures how bamboozling a story really is). Using a patented mathematic formula devised by scientists and a copy of the Awkward Adult Film Almanac, Hot Rats gets the most middling of overall recommendations. This is by no means a ringing endorsement of Bosch and his bizzaro world of the wicked. From the random shot of a CGI key to the lame "little person" ring announcer who seems completely out of place, Hot Rats is one googleplexing porno. Which may be a good thing? Or then again, is it? Don't ask The Dirge. His brain hurts.

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