Tales of the Rat Fink

Watch Tales of the Rat Fink

  • NR
  • 2005
  • 1 hr 18 min
  • 6.5  (289)
  • 67

Tales of the Rat Fink is a 2006 documentary-style film about the life and career of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, a famous car customizer, designer, and artist who became a cultural icon in the 1960s through his hot rod creations, signature character designs, and visionary branding strategies. The movie, directed by Ron Mann and narrated by John Goodman, combines vintage footage, archive photos, and interviews with Roth's family, friends, fans, and collaborators to explore his legacy and impact on American car culture, pop art, and advertising.

The film starts by introducing Roth as a young boy in Beverly Hills, California, who was fascinated by cars and motorcycles and started building his own hot rods in his backyard. We see how Roth's passion for speed, innovation, and style led him to create some of the most iconic and memorable cars of his time, such as the Beatnik Bandit, the Mysterion, and the Outlaw.

The movie also highlights Roth's talent for character design and merchandising, as he created a slew of memorable cartoon characters such as Rat Fink, Mr. Gasser, and Mother's Worry, which became hugely popular among car enthusiasts, kids, and counterculture fans.

Through interviews with Roth's family members, we learn about his personal life, his struggles with dyslexia and alcoholism, and his love for his wife, Ilene, who supported him throughout his career and helped him run his business.

The film also sheds light on the historical and cultural context of Roth's work, showing how he was part of a larger movement of Southern California hot rodders, surfers, and artists who rebelled against the mainstream norms and embraced a DIY ethic and a sense of freedom and fun.

We see how Roth's influence extended beyond the car scene, as he inspired other artists and designers, such as Robert Williams, Von Dutch, and Stanley Mouse, and paved the way for future generations of hot rod and lowbrow artists.

The movie ends with Roth's death in 2001, and his legacy as a visionary artist and entrepreneur who transcended his humble origins and created a whole new world of automotive fantasies and nightmares.

Overall, Tales of the Rat Fink is a fascinating and entertaining tribute to an American original who left a lasting mark on popular culture and continues to inspire new generations of gearheads, car lovers, and art enthusiasts. The film is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of hot rods, pop art, and counterculture, and a fitting tribute to the one and only Rat Fink.

Tales of the Rat Fink is a 2005 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 18 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 67.

Tales of the Rat Fink
Where to Watch Tales of the Rat Fink
Tales of the Rat Fink is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Tales of the Rat Fink for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 18 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (289)
  • Metascore