We all have some hot buttons, things that just creep us out no matter how ridiculous that are and no matter how irrational it is, we just get very, and I mean VERY uncomfortable. "Deadly Eyes" manages to be both creepy and damn corny as giant killer rats over run the sewers of Toronto.
After a shipment of grain headed overseas is contaminated with steroids the load is set on fire and subsequently destroyed, however there are consequences that no one involved could have ever imagined. With a plague of mysterious animal bites and even deaths plaguing the city the unlikely team of a college basketball coach (Sam Groom) and the local health inspector both stumble on to the cause at the exact same time, the steroids have produced a swarm of giant killer rats. They team up to ultimately discover that these mutant rats have made their way into the subway system, and when they threaten the opening of a new line when the mayor is about take the first ride, these two have to make sure that all hell doesn't break loose as mankind's deadliest enemy stops going after our food and spreading diseases, instead putting the human race at the top of the menu.
While the effects are cheesy, the dialogue corny and the narrative thin at best, this movie leans one thing exceptionally well. Giant rats are gross and creepy as hell, even when they are bordering on goofy and in "Deadly Eyes" they've got plenty of that in spades.
From infamous B-movie action director Richard Clouse, the action in "Deadly Eyes" moves at a hot and heavy pace and Clouse has never been one to get bogged down in too much exposition so it never aspires to be anything more than it actually is. Inspired by the novel called "The Rats" by James Herbert, the script went through multiple drafts and writers as it tried to forced a sex crazed teen angle on to the film that just didn't work as these characters went through the motions to get to the scenes with the rats.
From an effects standpoint, it didn't look great and from a distance they were probably small dogs or cats running around but Clouse made those moments of violence hit and hit hard. This was never designed to be a good movie by any traditional sense, but it was one that was supposed to make us feel incredibly uncomfortable.
The cast was pretty forgettable as Scatman Crothers was really the only genuinely recognizable face in the thing, but since it was shot in Toronto, there are some familiar Canadian faces in Lisa Langlois and Sara Botsford.
Ultimately, "Deadly Eyes" isn't high art, but it does exactly what is supposed to. Get creeped out at the sight of a rat, no matter what the size.
3 out of 5 stars.
Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are top shelf and the special features include a slew of new interviews with actors Lisa Langlois, Lesleh Donaldson and Joseph Kelly as well as writer Charles Eglee, art director Ninkey Dalton and special effects artists Allan Apone and Alec Gillis.