Macabre…ish Horror Review: Deadly Eyes
Deadly Eyes, 1982/ 87 min
(aka The Rats and Night Eyes)
In the mountains, rats consume steroid infused corn meant for animal consumption. The rats grow to the size of small dogs as a result. Health Department Inspector, Kelly Leonard (Sara Botsford), orders the corn incinerated but the company owner wants to send it to Africa to feed humans. He tries to cut a deal with her but she insists, it is not for human consumption and will be destroyed.
That night, the entire facility is set on fire and the giant rats flee to the surrounding area, infesting homes and businesses. The rats eat a cat first, then move on to an unattended toddler in a suburban home. And other residents the giant rodents happen to cross paths with.
Then they move into the sewers and there a health department field inspector, George Foskins (Scatman Crothers), is cornered and eaten by the rats. It is concluded that the steroid infused grain has helped spawned a new breed of super rat. The health inspector has the entire sewer system fumigated and it has no effect.
Soon, en mass, the rats overrun a bowling alley and theater, attacking everyone inside, killing many. And later, train passengers find themselves walking on the tracks after the train is disabled and getting attacked by rats.
A teacher and his family find the nest and use fire and drums of accelerant that blasted through the tunnel escape. Back on the train, they get it running again and stop at a crowded platform that are horrified at the sight of the mayor, who was still hiding on board, being consumed by vicious rats.
This Canadian horror was directed by Robert Clouse, loosely based on the 1974 horror novel The Rats by James Herbert. The rats are muppety but that doesn’t stop them from being scary. There was one annoying feature of this film that is typical of the time, a story of a teen girl aggressively pursuing a long suffering male teacher (Sam Groom) who only wants to do the right thing and really just wants his wife back. It was kind of a weird distraction. He also ends up being the hero. While all the people likely to have actually solved the problem were all killed by the problem. But the rats were great! They were aggressive, relentless and scary.