Rat Problem

Portland, Oregon | Film Short

Horror, Comedy

Green Light

This campaign raised $11,265 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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Rat Problem follows Liz as she clocks into a shift from hell at the Maxi-Mart. At work, she’s constantly berated by her manager before a horde of giant mutant rats break in. Liz must now rise up and take on these enraged rodents or die, and she’s not dying in a disgusting convenience store.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Our mission is to create something fun, hilarious, over the top, and out right campy. With your help, we will be creating a love letter to horror comedy's and creature features of the 1980's. We'll be recreating their style while maintaining our own look. This is a love letter first and foremost.

The Story

Rat Problem follows Liz, a working-class 20-something who struggles to make ends meet in Portland’s dilapidated city-scape of the 1980s. While she scurries into a shift from hell at the Maxi-Mart, Liz reluctantly subscribes to the harassment of her bogus manager, Daren, who ignores the blatant duties of his job and the obvious signs of vermin mischief afoot. While a local exterminator, Anton, flaunts his rodent carnage and warns of infestations on the tv, chaos exudes as Liz clocks on for more than she bargained for as she must fight for her life against the gnawing disputers of peace- GIANT MUTANT RATS!!!!

What Is Rat Problem?

Rat Problem is a massive labor of love for Ashton T. Livingston, as he lives and breathes campy horror films. This film is a love letter to all the films that have made him and inspire him to do what he does. Rat Problem is recreating the authentic look and feel of 1980's horror comedy, as well as filling the subgenre of creature feature. The film is pulling a lot from previous films to create its story, atmosphere, and look while being its own entity.

Beyond this, Rat Problem serves as modern day commentary of life in the city and working environments. Discussing the day to day lives of many minimum wage workers and what they have to endure, Rat Problem seeks not only to humanize the lower class, but to depict in an easily digestable way, the struggles of life. It pulls from many personal experiences and the harsh realities many endure. It is an extremely personal piece wrapped into an over the top campy horror short film.

Why Now?

Rat Problem discusses many social issues that have come to a boiling point within our society including economic prosperity, gender roles, and the functions of a crumbling city. It operates as a way to discuss those ideas but introduces them to its audiences in a fun, comedic, and over-the-top way. Horror is also having a renaissance currently, as well as a love for 80’s horror and campy horror comedies. Rat Problem will help encourage a nostalgic outlook, while relating our current social issues as they stir up questions of our own modern infrastructure. 

The Promise

We promise to create an authentic love letter to campy 80's horror cinema with our film. This goes down to every detail from the story, to the look of our film itself. Everything will feel as though it was pulled right from the 80's. Along with this, we promise to create compelling effects to really bring the campyness of our world to life.

Our rats play an integral role in the film, and we want them to feel like actual characters in our film, not just monsters. This means creating fun, vibrant, and horribly disgusting puppets that each have their own personality. We want these rats to feel extremely animated yet tangible, and practical effects are the only way we can do that!

With your donations and your help spreading the word, we will make this much more than an infestation.

Our goal is to put this film into as many festivals as possible, getting it noticed and bringing joy to festival goers, before uploading it to youtube where it will be viewable to the entire world!!!

Previous Work From Director, Ashton T. Livingston

Other Work from Executive Producer, Jack Perez

Other Work from Producer, Mikyla Bordner

Other Work from Associate Producer, Hannah May Cumming

Other Work from Director of Photography, Elias Lunsford


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $2,000

We need a few locations including our iconic Maxi-mart

Set Decoration

Costs $800

To truly create our world, our art department will need a lot to create the disgusting world of Rat Problem


Costs $800

We want to bring you the goriest and nastiest film possible, and we can’t do that without amazing effects people!!!

Cast and Crew

Costs $3,500

We want our cast and crew to be the best possible cast and crew we could have!


Costs $2,000

General production equipment, camera, lighting, sound equipment, etc.

Post Production

Costs $1,800

Giving our editor the tools and payment they need to piece together this film!


Costs $2,000

Our rats will be characters in this film and we want to create them to the best of our capabilities with practical effects!

About This Team

ASHTON T. LIVINGSTON: Writer/ Director

Putting an emphasis on the campy nature of horror, Ashton T. Livingston celebrates how silly and goofy horror can get while still maintaining tension. His past projects like “That’s Not the Real Me” and “Once Bitten” are both exercises in intensity, horror, and comedy, all wrapped into one nightmare. With Rat Problem, Livingston wants to continue this trend with an all-out campy, gory, and hilarious project that really lets his talents shine! Taking inspiration from the horror greats like Sam Raimi and John Carpenter, Livingston has crafted his own look that exudes the feel of a 1980s horror film. With Rat Problem, Livingston aims to exude the campy, gory, and hilarious aspects that make it a rodent attack worthy of extermination.

JACK PEREZ: Executive Producer

Jack Perez Has Directed Over A Dozen Feature Films, Including Indie Hits “Some Guy Who Kills People” (Executive  Produced By John Landis), “La Cucaracha” (Winner of Best Feature Austin Film Festival), And “The Big Empty” (Winner Afi Film Fest Best New Writer). He Virtually Invented The “Found-Footage” Genre With His Groundbreaking First Feature, “America’s Deadliest Home Video,” And Wrote & Directed The Pop-Culture Classic, “Mega-Shark” Vs. “Giant Octopus.”  His Television Directing Credits Include The Pilot For Universal’s “Xena: Warrior Princess,” Fox's “Unauthorized: Brady Bunch, The Final Days”  And Syfy's “Blast Vegas! & Drone Wars.” 


Defining details in a production through close attention to story is what drives Mikyla’s knack for producing. She has produced more than seven films in the past year alone, including films like Surplus Terminal, Real AF, and 15 to Sunrise. She wants to break ground with films that present new ideas with classic themes that celebrate a new era of film ideology in the industry.


With the international success of her latest film, Baby Fever, Hannah, alongside her production company, Monstrous Femme Films, has gained honorable recognition for her outstanding filmmaking prowess and notable feminist themes. Other films include Fanatico and Camp Calypso, which have gained notable success in the horror community and industry alike. 

ELIAS LUNSFORD: Director of Photography

Elias’s approach to lighting and composition values its ability to intimately communicate emotion. His most recent film “Seirina” (2022) gained notoriety at the Portland Film Festival and is an example of his attention to detail in visual storytelling. Throughout his catalog of work is a sense of character and attitude-fueled by a love for filmmaking and creative collaboration.

Current Team