Of Unknown Origin

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Of Unknown Origin
Of Unknown Origin.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGeorge P. Cosmatos
Produced byPierre David
Claude Heroux
Written byBrian Taggert
Based onThe Visitor
by Chauncey G. Parker III
Music byKenneth Wannberg
CinematographyRene Verzier
Edited byRoberto Silvo
Warner Bros.
Canadian Film Development Corporation
Famous Players Limited
Les Productions Mutuelles
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
November 24, 1983 (USA)
Running time
89 minutes
United States
Box office$1,080,470 (USA)

Of Unknown Origin is a 1983 Canadian-American horror film directed by George P. Cosmatos and starring Peter Weller. It was written by Brian Taggert and based on the novel The Visitor by Chauncey G. Parker III. It was filmed on location in Montreal, Quebec but set in New York City.[1] The film won two awards at the Paris Film Festival.[2]


Mild-mannered everyman Bart Hughes has a great life in New York City. When his wife and child leave for a vacation, Bart stays behind to work on a project that should get him a promotion. Some sort of rodent in his basement starts to bother him and consumes his time. Bart becomes obsessed with it and eventually starts losing his mind while trying to kill the creature, destroying most of his house in the process. The film's title comes from research Bart does and which he shares at a dinner party, stating, erroneously, that rats have no known origin (but in reality they do).


Critical reception[edit]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times had nothing but disdain for the movie, but lightly praised Weller's performance and opens his review:

Peter Weller, one of our best young stage and screen actors, is not at all bad in a rather terrible, Canadian suspense-horror film mysteriously titled Of Unknown Origin.[3]

Home Video[edit]

Warner Bros. released the film on VHS and DVD.

Scream Factory released the film on Blu-ray for the first time on May 22, 2018 featuring a new 2K scan from an interpositive element.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086036/locations
  2. ^ Awards for Of Unknown Origin at IMDb
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent (1983-11-24). "Movie Review - Of Unknown Origin - 'UNKNOWN ORIGIN' - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  4. ^ "Of Unknown Origin". Shout! Factory.

External links[edit]