HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Predator, The
Shirkers
Human Experiments
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Occupation
Intruder
Beast
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
King of Thieves
Unfriended: Dark Web
Blood Fest
Visit to a Small Planet
12th Man, The
Laura
Hotel Artemis
Dogman
Zama
City on Fire
Bird Box
Nico, 1988
BlacKkKlansman
Panique
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead
Accident Man
Tomb Raider
Cold War
Roma
Gemini
Yardie
Let the Corpses Tan
   
 
Newest Articles
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
   
 
  Deadly Eyes You Dirty RatBuy this film here.
Year: 1982
Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Sam Groom, Sara Botsford, Scatman Crothers, Cec Linder, Lisa Langlois, Lesleh Donaldson, James B. Douglas, Lee-Max Walton, Joseph Kelly, Kevin Foxx, Jon Wise, Wendy Bushell, Charles Jolliffe, Dora Dainton, Michael Fawkes, Michael McManus, Michael Hogan
Genre: Horror
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: These teenage schoolkids have been taken by their teacher, Paul Harris (Sam Groom) to a lecture about rats, but some members of the class are not interested and one, Trudy (Lisa Langlois), is more captivated by Harris himself as she cultivates a crush on him. Meanwhile, across town public health inspector Kelly Leonard (Sara Botsford) is dismayed at the state of a batch of grain that has been left at the docks, and orders it all destroyed as it is infested with rats and contaminated with steroids. Little does she know that those munching rats are about to have a terrible effect on the city's population...

James Herbert's novel The Rats was possibly the most important British horror novel of the nineteen-seventies, with its unflinching mix of sex and violence as it detailed London overrun with the rodents of the title and giving the authorities and inhabitants a headache, not to mention a few nasty bites. If nothing else, it provided a generation of schoolboys with some forbidden-seeming material to pass around the playground courtesy of a number of well-thumbed paperbacks, but as a read, it bulleted along with savage style and would have appeared to have been tailor made for the screen. That is until you watch Deadly Eyes, the Canadian attempt to adapt the novel.

Not that they kept much of Herbert's novel in their film, but the rats were there, only here instead of coming across as something brutally new and electrifying, this was more like a fifties sci-fi flick right down to the makeshift special effects. It was no wonder that the filmmakers kept the lights off for much of the sequences featuring their furry villains, as if we had got a good look at them it would have been plain to see that these were no giant rats, but actually little Daschunds all made up to look like vermin. As they scurry into frame there are usually sound effects of the squeaking variety to add to the authenticity, but once you notice their canine countenance you can't help but expect them to start barking.

That's when we are offered any attack scenes, that is, as most of the running time is made up of the uninteresting Harris and his domestic troubles; he's a divorcée, he's trying to romance Kelly, one of his students has just admitted her love for him and expects it to be returned in kind, that sort of thing. It all brightens when special guest star Scatman Crothers shows up as a grumbling sewer worker, but he gets a couple of big scenes near the beginning before being devoured on an excursion into a pipe, and the only character with much personality to speak of exits pretty swiftly. This leaves Harris to muddle through the plot as the script tries to make him appear relevant to the rat threat.

Herbert's novel, as many of his works would, took the form of fitting in chapters featuring minor characters who would encounter the monsters and usually come off the worst amidst his main plotline, but here director Robert Clouse ditched that format to make a more straightforward narrative that does the suspense no favours. Set during a chilly spell, with snow on the ground and a positively icy look to the imagery, you might hope for at least some distinction in the atmosphere, but you would be let down by a TV movie look to much of the film: this is no David Cronenberg shocker (it was produced by Golden Harvest). You do get the rat attack in the cinema, one of the most celebrated passages from the original, but those little pooches are fooling no one, and the manner in which they scamper about is not obscured by the puppet rat head that Clouse employs courtesy of the special effects department. The dogs aside, Deadly Eyes isn't bad enough to be funny, it's simply limp. Music by Anthony Guefen.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3261 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Clouse  (1928 - 1997)

American director who, after directing Darker Than Amber, settled into a string of martial arts thrillers starting with the Bruce Lee favourite Enter the Dragon. His other films include Golden Needles, Black Belt Jones, The Ultimate Warrior, Game of Death, The London Connection, The Big Brawl, camp classic Gymkata, China O'Brien and its first sequel.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: