Tales of the Rat Fink

Tales of the Rat Fink

Country: Canada
Year: 2006
Duration: 76'

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth was a Beat-era custom-car designer and graphic artist whose hot rod creations and antiestablishment cartoon characters (especially the anti-Mickey Mouse, Rat Fink) made him a 1950s and '60s counterculture icon. Director Ron Mann chronicles Roth's life and work with an appropriately irreverent documentary that eschews the talking-head formula in favor of lively, original animation; cool narration by actor John Goodman; a punky soundtrack by garage-rock band the Sadies; and, most innovatively, the vocal talents of Roth fans Ann-Margret, Jay Leno, Brian Wilson, Tom Wolfe, Matt Groening, Robert Williams, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Paul Le Mat, and the Smothers Brothers, who all provide the voices of Roth's actual cars. Roth has kept alive the spirit of alienation and rebellion that is so important to the teen-age ethos that customizing grew up in. He's also the most colorful, and the most intellectual, and the most capricious. Also the most cynical.” (Tom Wolfe)


film director

Ron Mann

Ron Mann (Toronto, 1959) is one of the leading directors in Canadian independent film. He began to make films at the age of 12. He has made numerous documentaries and short films. Two of his films won Best documentary awards at the Chicago Film Festival: Imagine the Sound (1981), dedicated the 1960s free jazz, and Poetry in motion (1982), a portrait of the American contemporary poetic scene. In 2000 he presented at the Torino Film Festival the documentary Grass. Mann has just completed a new feature-lenght documentary Tales of the Rat Fink (2006).


Depot (1978), Imagine the Sound (1981), Poetry in Motion (1982), Echoes Without Saying (1983), Listen to the City (1984), Comic Book Confidential (1988), Twist (1992), Dream Tower (1994), Grass (1999), Go Further (2003), Blue Rodeo: In Stereovision (video, 2004), Tales of the Rat Fink (2006)