Ratko: The Dictator's Son


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Ratko, the new freshman foreign exchange student at Our University, is the son of a dictator who rules his country with an autocratic cult of personality and a particularly deplorable human rights record. His country is at the junction of Asia and Europe, so the most comparable real-life dictator would have been Niyazov of Turkmenestan.

As soon as Ratko arrives, he throws around enough money to take over the entire dormitory, which he then remodels into a palace. He relocates all the other students to a luxury hotel, but he keeps his assigned roommate within the palace/dorm, because, after all, college is all about getting to know a roommate from a very different background! As Ratko settles in, he meets the girl of his dreams, but she turns out to be a political activist who will have nothing to do with him when she finds out who his father is. He's not clear why she would respond in this manner because he has been sheltered from any knowledge of his father's atrocities. He resolves to find out the truth. Will he reject his father? Will he get the girl? How will his father react?

In general, the plot of Ratko is predictable and boring and the comic ideas are lowbrow and derivative. You've seen the best ideas before, in better movies. This National Lampoon production is a cross between Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School and Borat, and it freely borrows ideas from those two films, as well as many others. For example, two girls accompany a video game competition with an insult war based on "You're so skanky that ..." You've seen this scene already, with only minor variations, in The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, where Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd play a video game and exchange "You know how I know you're gay?" taunts.

Of course, a copycat comedy may still bring a few laughs, and Ratko does have its moments. In fact, I thought I was going to love the film after the first two minutes, which consist of a newsreel documentary about Ratko's homeland. The film was directed by Savage Steve Holland, who wrote and directed two of my favorite comedies more than 20 years ago. He also created the bizarrely entertaining Eek! The Cat! series in the early 90s. I've been wondering why he's had such a long dry spell since then, so I'm glad to see him back in the game, even if this movie has to be considered merely a minor league rehab start, since he was basically just a director-for-hire on this project and didn't write the script. According to the IMDb, he may get a major league start soon enough. He is listed as one of the writers on the upcoming Howard Stern remake of Porky's. That should be right up Holland's alley, since Porky's provided the template for 1980s coming-of-age comedies, and Holland mastered that genre.

You have to love the cast of this movie. The lead role is played by Efren Ramirez, "Pedro" from Napoleon Dynamite. Some other familiar D-list faces make appearances. Ratko's sidekick is played by the official second banana from all 1980s coming-of-age films, Curtis "Booger" Armstrong, who also played John Cusack's sidekick in Savage Steve Holland's Better Off Dead. The part of Ratko's father, the mad dictator, is played by Adam "Batman" West, whose ability with foreign accents is not likely to take much work away from Meryl Streep. The dean of Our University is played by Dennis "Principal Belding" Haskins.

Now come on. How can you pass up on a film with Pedro, Batman, Booger and Belding? If that isn't enough inducement, Kato Kaelin has a cameo role, and there's a whole passel of nekkid boobies on display.

Awaiting DVD info


No reviews online


4.6 IMDB summary (of 10)





Straight to DVD




Breasts from:

  • Christine Connolly, Elisa King, and Angela Fong
  • Ildiko Ferenczi and Lucia Oskerova
  • Leslie Zagers and Michelle Bailey
  • Olivia O'Leary, Luscious Lopez, and Rucca Paige


Web www.scoopy.com

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


It's a lowbrow guilty pleasure film which I found intermittently entertaining despite some moments which are real clunkers. The material about American college life is pedestrian, but the material about Ratko's native land can be inspired!