Deadly Eyes theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Clouse|
|Produced by||Paul Kahnert
|Written by||Charles H. Eglee
James B. Douglas
|Music by||Anthony Guefen|
|Editing by||Ron Wisman|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release dates||October 28, 1982 (Canada)
May 16, 1983 (US)
|Running time||87 minutes|
Deadly Eyes is a 1982 Canadian film directed by Robert Clouse, very loosely based on the horror novel The Rats by James Herbert. The story revolves around giant black rats who begin eating the residents of Toronto after ingesting contaminated grain.
The plot and subplots center on the movie's leading man, Paul Harris (Sam Groom), a divorced high school teacher and basketball coach and his interactions during a killer rat infestation with a health department inspector (Sara Botsford); a high school cheerleader, Trudy (Lisa Langlois); his students; and his friend, Dr. Spencer (Cec Linder), a college professor and rat expert.
Giant rats the size of small dogs living in mountains of grain full of steroids are rendered homeless when a health department inspector orders it burned. The rats migrate to a suburban home occupied by unsupervised high school students. The rats' first human victim is a toddler left unattended in a high chair. The next victim is a senior citizen, walking the snowy streets alone late at night.
Scatman Crothers, who briefly plays a health department field inspector, is destined to become the next victim. Inspecting the bowels of the city's sewer system, he encounters a pack of rats. Scatman commences with 'the running of the rats' in the sewer, followed by his demise.
Paul telephones his friend, a professor who is a rat expert, who instantly concludes that the steroid feed had spawned a new breed of 'super-rat' that had migrated into the sewers in search of food. Upon hearing this information, the Health Inspector immediately orders the fumigation of the entire city sewer system, which is immediately and efficiently carried out with no apparent effect.
The futility of this action is confirmed when the rat expert himself is attacked and killed. The rats then move on to a bowling alley and a movie theater and make their first brazen mass attack on the unsuspecting public. The rats select the viewers of a Bruce Lee movie, resulting in numerous deaths and a scene of fleeing film patrons.
Meanwhile, the city's mayor prepares to make an inaugural run of a new subway section - straight into a hungry pack of rats.
Paul attempts to stop the festivities. He is forced to assault a cop and take his revolver. Paul proceeds down the tunnel and finds a disabled subway train with passengers just emerging from the cars.
Paul meets his girlfriend and his son just as the rats attack. The three are able to escape down the tunnel and find refuge in a fenced-in maintenance area which is the rats nest. Fortunately, they discover cutting torches and drums of flammable liquids. They are able to burn all the rats.
But in the final scene, as the three survivors reboard the subway train to reach safety, they only realize when the train reaches the station that several of the rats have survived, who are on the train itself and eating the remains of the dead subway victims. When the train arrives at the station, the rats attack all the people on the platform and the movie ends on this sudden and downbeat note.
- "Losing My Head: An Interview with Lesleh Donaldson - June 1999". The Terror Trap.