Mulberry Street: A 2006 Horror Film
This was the official website for the 2006 horror film, Mulberry Street.
Content is from the site's 2006 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.
Mulberry Street Official Movie Trailer
Mulberry Street is an upcoming 2007 horror film about a deadly infection breaks out in Manhattan, causing humans to devolve into blood-thirsty rat creatures. Six recently evicted tenants must survive the night and protect their downtown apartment building as the city quickly spirals out of control.
Film Review: Mulberry Street (2006)
Rob Getz 01/22/2018 Film Reviews / horrornews.net/
A mysterious virus creates pandemonium as it spreads through the Big Apple in this eerie creature feature that gives new meaning to the term rat race. On a scorching day in Manhattan, the denizens of a tumbledown tenement on Mulberry Street grouse about the heat, but as night falls, they find themselves battling a horde of mutants turning powerless New Yorkers into a bloodthirsty new species. Nick Damici, Kim Blair and Bo Corre star.
After Dark Horrorfest (also known as 8 Films To Die For) is an annual festival that began in 2006, highlighting independent genre movies that would have otherwise been delegated to the dusty shelves of the local rental shack, doomed to the Hell that is obscurity. It was an inspired concept, giving budding film makers a platform to present their crafts, and I was excited to see what the future of horror had in store for me.
My introduction to the After Dark world was “Penny Dreadful,” an original concept that devolved into a pedestrian slasher flick, marking it a bit of a disappointment. Still, it was well-produced and boasted eerie atmosphere to spare despite its many flaws. Unfortunately, I then made the monumental mistake of renting “Nightmare Man,” a train wreck that I have forcibly etched into memory as both a punishment for allowing my girlfriend her pick of the litter (“Ooh, the artwork on the front looks cool!”), and as a reminder of how not to make a fright flick should the opportunity arise. In the case of those behind “Nightmare Man,” the first and only step on any to-do list should be, “Never make a movie. Ever.” No hyperbole intended, it is one of the most brutal cinematic brain beatings I’ve suffered, and I remained leery about the After Dark entries evermore.
Until yesterday. Though the plot synopsis reads like it would have to be the most miserable of the bunch, “Mulberry Street” is an ideal example of what can be done with a small budget, and amongst the better zombie flicks in years. Similar to “28 Days Later” in style and tone, it could almost serve as a prequel to Danny Boyle’s modern day masterpiece, if his infected were plagued by an unknown virus transmitted through the city’s rat population. The afflicted would also have to slowly acquire the characteristics of the rodents as the sickness took effect as well, sort of like living dead were-rats. As I’d stated, breaking “Mulberry Street” down into a condensed statement makes it sound like utter garbage. Trust me, it is anything but.
Director Jim Mickle establishes a sense of character and location with such gritty authority, it’s shocking to learn that this was his debut. Taking place on the titular street at the lower income end of Manhattan, we are introduced to an intimate group of tenants who are facing eviction from their dilapidated apartment building. As isolated stories of rat attacks within city limits occupy the televisions and radios constantly droning in the background (another touch of realism), our leads go about mundane daily routines. Clutch (Nick Damici, who co-wrote the screenplay with Mickle) is an ex-boxer with eyes for single mother Kay (Bo Corre), who lives upstairs from him. His best friend is the effeminate Coco, played by Ron Brice from arguably the most powerful piece of celluloid from the 90’s, “Fresh.” In a compelling subplot, Clutch’s daughter Casey (Kim Blair) is trying to make her way across the island back to her father after being released from a veteran’s hospital, bearing both physical and emotional scars from her time overseas.
The surrounding violence quickly begins escalating, and soon residents of the block are displaying erratic behavior. Building superintendent Ross (Tim House), after being bitten by a rat when toiling in the basement, finds odd hairs sprouting from his body in a scene presumably more reminiscent of “Teen Wolf” than Mickle and company had intended, but creepy and effective nonetheless. The initial attack to victimize the cozy neighborhood occurs at a dive bar where Kay is employed, and “Mulberry Street” never lets up from that point on. The leads must band together to protect themselves and each other from the marauding creatures, and the camaraderie they portray is a revelation. It’s also a heart breaker. I’d grown so very close to this ragtag team of misfits in the opening scenes, I found myself crestfallen for the first time in ages by the trappings of horror conventions. I knew they all couldn’t possibly survive.
The visceral action sequences, though inducing flashbacks of countless zombie films that had come before, is frenetic without ever crossing the boundaries of believability. Casey’s story is exceptionally executed, as she is forced to cover miles of ground on foot, running and hiding from the infected hordes. Her attempt to silently procure a truck as a rat person feeds on an innocent in the back is intense and terrifying. Not sure why they decided to focus on sterling silver rings in the possession of the rat person, but it does contribute to the scene's strangeness in a cool way - perhaps their jewelry speaks of a time when they were human. Blair is outstanding in this supporting role, focused in her singular goal whilst never losing the glaze of past atrocities in her eyes. When she and Clutch are reunited in the one moment “Mulberry Street” allows the viewer a breath in its second half, you would have to be made of stone not to be taken aback by how much you care.
The make-up effects are every iota as established as the rest of the production, though the low lighting certainly helps to cover any possible flaws. Their purpose is clearly that of a gimmick, to set “Mulberry Street” apart from billions of other zombie sagas that are currently polluting Netflix queues across this great nation, passed up nearly every time the movie urge arises because one jumps to the sound conclusion that they’re no different than the others. For every “Dead Snow” or “Zombie Honeymoon” (a guilty pleasure, but a true original), there are hundreds of “Zombie Nation” travesties (I hate you, Ulli Lommel) lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce.
So allow me to perform my favorite civic duty the moniker of film critic entails, fellow horror fan, and bring you news of a sure thing. “Mulberry Street” is a gripping little thriller, wonderfully acted and skillfully directed. It had a second release under the insipid title of “Zombie Virus on Mulberry Street” in 2009 in an obvious bid to boost the stoned teens on a Friday night demographic, but rest assured it is the exact same movie. They didn’t even bother to alter the credits, merely the packaging in this lame attempt at further marketability. I may find my future self seeking out other titles released under After Dark Horrorfest. After all, I now know that they can’t all be bad. In fact, they could even be great.
Mulberry Street (2006)
Mulberry Street (Movie Review)
By Casey on October 04th, 2008 | www.bloodygoodhorror.com
A deadly infection attacks Manhattan, borne from the hordes of mutant rats hidden away in the depths of the subway tunnels. As the victims are bit, they begin to transform into monstrous rat-like mutants. A group of apartment house tenants living in the lower class area of the island are forced to band together to protect their homes.
“Mulberry Street”, shot in 2006 and an entrant in the 2007 After Dark Film Fest looks to be a unique scare from the basic plot surmise. Mutant rats and a plague gone wild, both elements that we haven’t seen in the theaters for some time. As we dig into the many layers contained within the movie, we unfortunately discover that it’s not quite as unique as they would leave you to believe. In it’s simplest form, “Mulberry Street” is your basic zombie attack formula with rats substituting for the undead.
The strong point of “Mulberry Street” is the character development. The movie opens on Clutch, the bonafied good guy of the Mulberry St. apartment complex. Down to earth, he stops to share a kind word or a helping hand to everybody he meets. As he gets home and begins to clean up from his morning jog, he checks his answering machine to hear his daughter is coming home from the army. In this quick five minute montage, Director Jim Mickle manages to fully paint this character and leave him fully developed in an economical amount of time.
We know he’s going to be the one to go back and help somebody when the shit hits the fan, we know he’s going to be the tough guy, we know he’s going to sacrifice everything to save his daughter. His daughter Casey is developed in much the same way. We see her in the train station as she concentrates on the scars she received in her service to the country; we know by this that she is our tragic hero wanting nothing but the comforts of home after a traumatic tour of duty only to have it ripped away from her. In this department, “Mulberry Street” excels. The problems arise in the pacing and plot as it advances on.
The biggest problem with “Mulberry Street” is that we’ve seen it all before. This has every element of the zombie apocalypse, only with different set dressing. We have the slow outward expansion as we see person after person infected. We have the cluster of people trapped inside a lonely and forlorn domicile as they fend off the waves of mutant attackers. We have the hero and his solitary fight across a war torn city sacrificing himself to save someone he hardly knows. All of the zombie tropes are in attendance. Couple this with a crawling pace and the movie becomes a bit of a chore to get through towards the end of the second act.
This sounds like I hated this movie a lot which is really not the case. While many elements were derivative of other movies, they did a fine job with what they had. The characters were believable and endearing, the action was handle nicely when it did appear and there was some good gore and makeup effects. In this day and age it just felt like a ‘been there done that’ situation.
The rat people were nicely done however, and there was varying degrees of mutation that were well done without CGI effects. Latex and kayro syrup played well as we saw the ratlike creatures brought to life. While the creatures out in the open of Manhattan weren’t much to be scared of, once they entered the confines of the Mulberry Street tenement they became quite frightening indeed. As a matter of fact, if they would have concentrated the majority of the movie on the deadly mutants as they crawled through the walls and crawlspaces of the apartment like their four legged counterparts, this movie would have been all the better for it. In act three, as the creatures broke through the locked doors and began to sweep through the dark hallways of the building, the horror became palpable and well done. Otherwise, it was kind of boring.
“Mulberry Street” is a decent movie, especially given its indie nature and budget. The problem arises when you buy into the hype that it's something new and original. If you can get past these misconceptions you’ll be in for a decent scare; otherwise it’s just zombie movie x without the zombies.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
Tomatometer: Critics 70% | Audience 37%
The city that never sleeps may shut its eyes for good when a deadly infection turns its residents to savage creatures. There is only hope for a small few, including six recently evicted tenants who must protect their crumbling apartment complex as the city around them is thrown into chaos.
Rating: R (for creature violence/gore and language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Jim Mickle
Written By: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle
In Theaters: Nov 9, 2007 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Mar 18, 2008
Runtime: 84 minutes
Studio: After Dark Films
July 12, 2008
Steve Biodrowski ESplatter
The dingy lighting and shaky camera work, combined with a solid script and convincing performances, create an almost documentary feel that lures the audience into the dark situation.
November 18, 2007
Luke Y. Thompson L.A. Weekly Top Critic
...starts out like the sort of indie art-house fare you'd expect an up-and-coming film student to make...but soon a mutant strain of bubonic plague spread by rats starts turning all the inhabitants of New York into rat-faced zombies.
January 4, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4
Felix Vasquez Jr. Cinema Crazed
This is indie horror done right...
June 22, 2007 | Rating: 4/5
Scott Collura IGN Movies
See, instead of existing in a vacuum like most horror flicks where nothing of real worth can ever seep in, Mulberry Street insists on embracing all those little lifelike details.
June 25, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/5
Amber Wilkinson Eye for Film
So, what we have here is, essentailly, so low budget, so samey, but... it also has a touch of class in terms of characterisation.
Rule number one with creature features, is that said creature must be believable and scary, is preferably unseen until well on in the film and, with a bit of luck, bears little or no relation to HR Giger's Alien.
Mulberry Street strikes out on the first. Let's face it, these days, in a world of deadly disease, maniacs and things that go crunch in the night, the humble rat is the very least of our worries - but then again, at least it doesn't look like something from another planet.
Scary or not, here they are - green lit, so that we know they are scary. In fact, they just look like outcasts from Flushed Away. But, this is the lowest of low budget, so let's let them away with it for now, especially since the filmmakers dutifully follow the second part of the rule - keeping an air of mystery around the bad guys.
The premise, and it's not half bad, is distinctly sub James Herbert. Rats on the New York subway get a taste for something a little more homo sapien than Mickey Ds and before you can say mousetrap, folk are mutating into human-size rat fiends.
Fortunately, we don't see too much of the rat fiends at first, which is probably just as well or we would have to put them in the laugh bucket with the rats. Premise determined, you know they are coming, inexorably, to transform Manhattan Island into Night Of The Living Dead, or 28 Days Later or - quite frankly - any number of contamination movies.
So, what we have here is, essentailly, so low budget, so samey, but - and there is one - what it also has is a touch of class in terms of characterisation. Earmarked for the (possible) kill are the residents of a Manhattan tenement building, including Clutch (Nick Damici) an all-round good egg boxer, and an assortment of oddballs. Clutch is waiting for his daughter Casey (Kim Blair) to come back after having served - and been scarred - in Iraq, and this is their story of trying to get through the city and through the night.
The important thing is, thanks to a smart and involving script, we care about whether they make it until morning.
Each character is carefully sculpted, even down to the sparring old guys who live on the bottom floor. By elevating them to more than mere rat fodder, director Jim Mickle and Damici tap into something that is often forgotten in horror - the humanity. Equally, they find room to reference the current American zeitgeist, involving 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Iraq.
When the rat fiends finally come, they suffer from a lack of scariness, despite Mickle using speeded up handheld camera to good effect to try to ratchett the tension. There are, however, a couple of decent shocks and these guys are to be commended - and, preferably, offered a larger budget to prove what they really can do.
November 10, 2007 | Rating: 2/4
Dustin Putman TheFilmFile.com
With hyper-active editing and camerawork that doesn't stay still for longer than a second at a time, Mulberry Street is too frenetic to always be comprehensible.
"Mulberry Street" looks like guerilla filmmaking on a shoestring budget, and that's because it was. Shot on location in New York City with a very specific post-9/11 outlook of the world, director Jim Mickle deserves credit for the scope he has been able to achieve with minimal resources. When a creaky apartment building becomes the epicenter of a rat disease outbreak that turns its victims into furry, whiskered zombies, the various tenants must fight for their own survival. Meanwhile, the disease spreads throughout the city and news reports suggest that help is far from being on the way. It's doubtful that "Mulberry Street" would exist, at least in this form, were it not for 2003's "28 Days Later." From the grainy shot-on-DV cinematography, to the jerky camera movements, to the aesthetic look of the zombies, that picture's imprint is all over this one. While the naturalistic character work is above-average for a horror film of this nature, it is the genre aspect that suffers. With hyper-active editing and camerawork that doesn't stay still for longer than a second at a time, "Mulberry Street" is too frenetic to always be comprehensible, and that lessens the impact of the scares.
*** Shawn E
February 20, 2008
"Mulberry Street" is very much like a zombie movie, just, instead of actual zombies, we have strange man-rat creatures instead. The basic framework of your typical zombie movie is present here. You start with an outbreak. Then you have creatures that attack people and nibble on them a bit. Then, the victims themselves turn into creatures that then attack more people. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. In this aspect, the film isn't terribly original, but, in the end, that really doesn't matter much to me. I'll watch pretty much any zombie or pseudo-zombie film that comes my way, and as long as the film delivers in the blood and gore department or at least gives me some nasty creatures to look at, I'm more or less satisfied.
Unfortunately, all of the money scenes in which this nastiness should be showcased are shot in such a way that the viewer can't really tell what's going on. These scenes are either too dark, too close to the action, too choppy, or some combination of the three, and the result is just a frustrating mess. This seems to be a bit of a trend in recent horror films, and I have to say that I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. It really is a shame since, during the precious few times that I actually got a decent look the creatures, they seemed to be pretty grotesque. Disappointing.
Where this film really shines, though, is in the characters and the gritty feel that the director brings to the film. The film introduces the viewer to many of the residents of Mulberry Street and really takes the time to flesh their characters out a bit before the real action begins. Each of the actors do a great job in making their characters feel genuine and relatable, individuals who, as a result, come off as much more than just potential dinner for the rat people. It also makes the somewhat bleak ending pack quite an emotional punch. Along with the strength of the characters themselves, the film has a stark, gritty, unpolished look to it that adds to the feeling that one is looking through a window into a world filled with actual people not just fictional characters.
*** Private U
February 19, 2008
My three stars were a hard win for this film. It may be auth NYC-style, but... I just couldn't get into it.
** Jon C
February 5, 2008
Great...people turning into rats.
***** Private U
February 3, 2008
oh my god, you guys have gotta see this. easily one of the best independent horror movies i've seen! killer rat people, holy balls!
**** Amy H
February 2, 2008
quite realistic and heart pacing! and of course quite entertaining too!
**** Krystal S
January 27, 2008
This was unexpectedtly awesome,creepy,and sad.
I liked it alot.
****½ Aimee K
January 25, 2008
This is one of the few pieces of media that portrays life in New York in a remotely accurate manner (outbreak aside.) I recognize the neighborhoods, the creaky staircases, the ancient neighbors, sweating without air-conditioning and hanging out at the local dive. And then come the rat-people...
**** Bartley M
December 12, 2007
Best were-rat movie ever made. A good example of survival horror. Part of the Horrorfest 2007 collection, this may be the best one of the lot!
***½ Jesse P
December 11, 2007
This movie is an excellent example of good horror... made with no money at all. It is quite clear from the start of the film that the budget was nonexistant. And yet it was an enjoyable, if sickening, time in the theater. A lot of directors could learn a thing or two from Jim Mickle.
***** Emily R
December 10, 2007
an amazing take on the zombie genre!
***½ Hugues D
December 3, 2007
Who tought that RatMen were as bad as fast paced zombies?
**** David S
December 2, 2007
Edge-of-your-seat-horror that is a throw back to the glory days of early Romero mixed with the speed and style of 28 Days Later. Don't let this plot stop you from seeing it, it almost did with me, but it turned out to be the best reason to have gone to Horrorfest this year. Incredible delivery from the cast, they pull off a constant state of panic throughout the entire film perfectly. Jim Mickle does an amazing job of making a huge looking and feeling film on such a tiny budget. This is one to impress. Don't miss out on it.
**½ Margot M
December 1, 2007
Felt like half a movie as far as story development it concerned.
** Jean-Paul F
November 29, 2007
This takes too long to get started and once it does it is no better than a cheap Zombie flick. No surprises here and nothing worth watching a second time.
Impressive no-budget horror
7*/10 9 April 2007 | by Coventry
"Mulberry Street" is basically just another forgettable and mediocre creature-feature flick, but I'm rewarding it with at least two extra points because director Jim Mickle and his enthusiast cast & crew clearly went through several harsh ordeals before they could finish their ambitious project. Mickle came to introduce his film at the Belgian Horror & Fantasy Festival and explained how they had to shoot essential footage in the middle of the crowded streets of Manhattan without any official permission to film there, and how all the actors in this film are friends or in some way related to the director, so none of them received any payments.
Bearing all this in mind, plus the fact that "Mulberry Street" actually shows the courage and ambition to be a different and largely atmosphere-driven new horror film, I'd say it at least deserves the respect and appreciation of avid horror fanatics and amateur filmmakers all over the world. And the film itself really isn't that bad, neither. A handful of likable characters, all recently evicted tenants of a ramshackle apartment building in Mulberry Str; Manhattan, join together in order to survive a deadly virus that broke out in the city overnight. As a result of constant urban decay, pollution and unbearable heat, the sewer rats of Manhattan are quickly spreading a horrible disease that causes its victims to mutate into a ravenous and bloodthirsty rat-creatures.
Once bitten, people rapidly turn into a zombies with the appearance and eating habits of rats, and they only look at their former friends and neighbors as rich sources of food. Clutch, a retired boxer, nervously awaits the homecoming of his soldier daughter, but first he has to protect the other tenants as the rat-zombies are quickly infesting the entire neighborhood. The engaging depiction of the inhabitants of 51, Mulberry Street unquestionably is the biggest advantage of this film. The characters admirably aren't empty-headed junkies or filthy scum, but a close community of hard working and respectable people that are prepared to sacrifice themselves in order to save the others.
This is honestly the only film I remember portraying the typical New Yorkers as unsung heroes. Even though the script reveals very few details regarding the lethal rat-virus, the chaotic situation in downtown Manhattan is eerily plausible and the overall atmosphere of "Mulberry Street" is tremendously menacing. Jim Mickle and writer/lead star Nick Damici simultaneously grab the opportunity to process a whole cargo-load of social and political criticism into the screenplay, particularly emphasizing the the war in Iraq and the problematic housing accommodation in big cities.
Despite of budgetary restrictions, "Mulberry Street" also features a satisfying amount of blood and gruesome images. The make-up effects on the victims of the rat-virus are quite nasty and the zombie-attacks are uncompromising. Unfortunately the pacing slows down a bit during the second half of the film and the dialogs begin to sound repetitive. But by then, personally, I was already too impressed to allow the minor & understandable flaws to spoil my viewing experience.
I really liked this film, as it has real characters and displays a righteously unhappy world-perspective. I doubt "Mulberry Street" will become a film that is easily available, so if you have the opportunity to watch it some time, do not hesitate.