Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Rats A.K.A. Deadly Eyes(1982)

I had read the book of the same name by James Herbert and I hadn't realised that there was a film too. It isn't very well-known, but it is well worth seeing as it is well-made and well- acted too. I was surprised to find that a lot of people did not like it and I wonder why. Judging by some of the crap that passes for horror movies these days, this ain't half bad! It is directed by Robert Clouse who directed the great Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon.
It begins with Paul Harris(Sam Groom) who is a high school teacher and a basketball coach. He is annoyed by a student, Trudy(Lisa Langlois) who thinks that she is in love with him. He meets another woman, Kelly(Sara Botsford) who is a health department inspector. She is having some grain burned because it contains steroids and there were rats nibbling at it. What she doesn't know is that the rats have mutated into a 'super rat' and that they are the size of a dog and they are extremely aggressive. They kill a baby and a young woman. They bite a young man through his hand and the doctors are baffled by the sheer size of the bite. They wonder what sort of large animal bit him. There are many more attacks and as another inspector goes down into the sewers, he quickly becomes rat food too! Kelly begins to become very close to Paul and they become lovers. They find out about the death in the sewers and Kelly wonders about these rats which seem to be a different strain from the normal ones. Paul calls his friend, professor Dr. Spencer (Cec Linder), a rat expert. He seems to think that it is unlikely that the rats could be a large size and that they don't attack humans. The sewers are sprayed with rodent killer, but this has no effect. Then, the best part of the movie starts when the rats enter a movie theatre and attack people at will. This scene is brilliant as people are knocked to the ground by giant, mutant rats!!!! People fall to the ground and are eaten immediately! One poor guy at a bowling alley is killed by more rats. Funnily enough, the film that they are watching is Game of Death, starring Bruce Lee!! Meanwhile, the mayor is taking the subway at a newly opened station and little does he know that this is where the rats are! The train runs well for a few minutes, but the rats chew through the cables and the train is stranded in a dark tunnel. People disembark, but the rats are on the rampage and not everyone is lucky. Paul gets a call from his rat expert professor who tells him that there is an epidemic. The rats have mutated and they are killing people! Paul rushes to the subway station where Kelly is with his son and he tries to get them out of there as people are being attacked by the mutant rats! They are cornered at one stage and they have to lock themselves into a little space, but the rats are battering the fence and they have to kill them with a shovel. They manage to get a blow torch and set fire to them and blow them up.. All is well as they get the train moving again and ride back to the people who got off. But as the train pulls in, people are horrified to look in a carriage and see dozens of huge, black, horrible rats gnawing om some poor man's body.... A giant rat looks at the camera with his huge teeth bared....

This was really good and even though it was different from the book, I think that it did it justice. I found that the scenes with the rats were great and they were scary. I would watch this again and I am going to give it a 9/1o.


Susan Leighton said...

Sam Groom! He was like every married woman's dream guy in the 70s. I think I saw this back in the day. Tight review as always. Well written!

Amanda said...

Thanks! I had never heard of him before this film. I loved the book. It was great and the movie was pretty good too. The idea of giant rats running around the place makes for a great horror tale because many people dislike them, as I do. This is creepy in its own way because it involves something that people fear, namely being bitten by rats. This takes it one step further as the rats kill people and this makes for uncomfortable viewing!

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