Deadly Eyes

Watch Deadly Eyes

"Tonight they will rise from the darkness beneath the city... to feed!"
  • R
  • 1983
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 4.9  (1,487)

Deadly Eyes is a horror thriller movie from 1982 that is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Directed by Robert Clouse, the movie tells the story of an infestation of giant rats that start to prowl the subways of Toronto, terrifying and attacking the commuters. The movie starts with a group of rats feeding on irradiated grain that they find in a shipment, which inadvertently causes them to grow to enormous proportions. The rats are initially spotted and ignored by workers in a lab, and soon after, they escape into the subway system. The rats prove to be incredibly smart and resourceful, working together to take down their prey. They are stronger, faster, and much smarter than your typical rodents.

A mysterious teacher named Paul Harris (Sam Groom) joins forces with the city's health inspector, Dr. Barbara (Sara Botsford), to combat the deadly rat infestation. They are assisted by a savvy transit worker, Kelly (Lisa Langlois), and her cat. In the beginning, the team is skeptical of Harris’s rat theory and overlooks the severity of the situation. They soon learn that the rats are attacking people in the subway and that their teeth are like razor blades. The rats are not to be taken lightly.

As the infestation grows, the team's strategy becomes clear: poison the rats with gas. But the rats are too smart and escape the tunnels, wreaking havoc in the city. The rats’ desperate search for food leads them to invade a high school and hospital, creating terrifying situations that will make you cling to your seat.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of Deadly Eyes is the usage of puppets as the rats. While the effects are cheesy by today's standards, the rat puppets are surprisingly convincing in their terrorizing of people. Some disturbing scenes of rats squeezing into people's mouths, attacking workers in subway tunnels, and tearing apart humans are enough to give you nightmares.

There are a few subplots in the movie that distract from the main story but offer some much-needed character development for the human actors. Sam Groom does an excellent job as Paul Harris, a science teacher who is passionate about his work. He and Botsford's equally competent Dr. Barbara have some excellent chemistry and romantic tension that provide an enjoyable side plot.

Scatman Crothers’ cameo as a retired confectionery specialist is brief but memorable. His performance is a standout and provides some much-needed comic relief. He shares the screen with a pet shop owner, and the two of them trade a series of one-liners, delivering laughs in the direst of situations.

Deadly Eyes does have some narrative arcs that were progressive for a 1982 horror movie. The film highlights animal rights as the rats fight for survival, and in many ways, the giant rats are a metaphor for the struggle of the little guy versus the corporation. In every attack on a human, the rats are starving and only acting out of desperation.

Overall, Deadly Eyes is a classic, arched horror movie that will give you goosebumps. The imagery of the rat puppets alone is enough to stick with you long after viewing the movie. The film takes a straightforward and uncomplicated approach to storytelling, which makes it enjoyable to watch. However, you will need to suspend disbelief as the logic behind the giant rats is questionable at best. Nonetheless, this horror-thriller is a great way to spend a couple of hours engulfed in 80’s nostalgia.

Deadly Eyes
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.9  (1,487)