Director: Ray Dennis Steckler
Writer: Ron Haydock, Ray Dennis Steckler
Cast: Titus Moede, Ron Haydock, Carolyn Brandt, Bob Burns
When people talk about the worst film ever made, Plan 9 From Outer Space is usually the film that gets mentioned, mostly down to the lingering influence of the loathsome Medved brothers and their rotten books. But while Ed Wood has reaped the benefits of such dubious titles (from the dvd box sets to the Tim Burton biopic) poor old Ray Dennis Steckler is neglected and forgotten.
So, Rat Pfink a Boo Boo, why such a stupid title? Depends on who you believe. According to Steckler, the title was supposed to be Rat Pfink and Boo Boo, until he heard a little girl chanting ‘Rat Pfink a Boo Boo’ and thought it worked better. The more believable (to me, anyway) story states that the title was supposed to have been Rat Pfink and Boo Boo but the lab made an error when printing the title and Steckler was too cheap to get it corrected.
Rat Pfink a Boo Boo started life as a kidnapping story called ‘The Depraved’. Carolyn Brandt is harassed by obscene phone calls and then abducted. But during filming Steckler got bored and decided to rewrite the script. So halfway through the film the two male leads step into a closet together (with dialogue like “Boo Boo. You’re stepping on my foot, Boo Boo”.) and come out of the closet dressed as Batman and Robin knock-offs, Rat Pfink and Boo Boo.
Rat Pfink a Boo Boo is one of the most inept films you’ll ever see. From the ludicrous script change to the z-grade acting, Rat Pfink is a failure on nearly every level. My personal favourite scene is a night fight between the leads and the villains, shot outside, seemingly without the benefit of lighting. For a couple of minutes you can strain your eyes to make out a few shadows throwing punches in the darkness. You have to admire Steckler’s penny pinching attitude though. He decided he wanted to film a parade in honour of his heroes, but (as always) couldn’t afford it. So he gatecrashed a genuine parade and filmed his leads marching in front of a group of bewildered onlookers, guerilla film-making at its finest. There’s also the question of the film’s release date. It’s copyrighted to 1965, but it was so obviously a knock-off of the t.v. series of Batman (1966) that many feel that Steckler ‘adjusted’ his date to make it seem as if the show was influenced by the film.
The cheapskate production values just add to the brilliantly hilarious mess. Thrill to Boo Boo’s long jump attack on a villain, which he misses, and then he stops the fight to check his watch isn’t broken. And as if things aren’t insane enough, they have to rescue Brandt from the clutches of… Kogar the gorilla. It’s every bit as crap as it sounds, but it’s also every bit as entertaining as it sounds. Well worth hunting down a copy.
And remember, they only have one weakness. Bullets.