Ed Roth Goes Hollywood

“Tales of the Rat Fink” or the life of Ed Roth premiered September 16, 2006 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Made by filmmaker Ron Mann, with the voice of John Goodman as Roth. Goodman narrates the film looking down from heaven. Roth died at age 69 of a heart attack in 2001. I just hope that the film will heighten the general public’s knowledge of Ed Roth. He died from heart failure in 2001 at the age of 69.  In the 60’s, Roth built several famous cars and motorcycles, but is best known for his cartoon RAT Fink creation. The ugly rat (is there a relation with the rat of the Rat’s Hole Shows?) is featured regularly on retro-style tees. Roth seems to have the same fate as his late contemporary pinstriper: Kenneth Howard a.k.a Von Dutch (whose logo is featured on clothing of people who don’t have a clue about who he was). Roth was part of the mythical golden age of hot rods, when young men in California dropped big engines into old Ford jalopies and took them racing on the dry lakes. Throughout the 1960s, he was one of the best-known car customizers. His "Outlaw" and "Beatnik Bandit" cars caught the attention of model company Revell, which hired him to design plastic model kits., He was also a prankster: when it was asked him to dress better for his public appearances, he showed up in a top hat and tails, which became his trademark uniform. In the 80’s, Roth relied mostly on his art, selling airbrushed tees and paintings. Roth’s influence is twofold: his futuristic cars inspired other builders to go beyond merely reshaping existing models, and his bizarre artwork was an inspiration for numerous underground comic and poster artists, many of whom remain popular today. More on official his site Ed Big Daddy Roth


Cyril Huze