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Deadly Eyes


Rating: 2 Poseidons



Reviewed by Spot




Deadly Eyes


Weiner Dog Dachshund Rats

Viewing Date: June 11, 2005
"Deadly Eyes" (1982) 87 minutes. Sam Groom, Sara Botsworth, Scatman Crothers. Directed by Robert Clouse. Rated R for brief nudity, simulated sex, and gore. 

Take a 1959 black and white low budget creature feature drive-in B movie; give it an adequate budget, a cast with no star power save Scatman Crothers, dachshunds dressed in rat costumes, an inept director; and you get 'Deadly Weiner Dog Eyes'. 

The premise: Steroid infested corn rotting in a port creates rats the size of small dogs, literally. This is a big rat 'roid rage movie with wiener dogs playing the part of rats with anatomically incorrect teeth and 'deadly eyes' peering from hairy rat costumes. 

The plot and subplots center on the movies leading man, Paul Harris (Sam Groom), a high school teacher and basketball coach and his relationships between a health department inspector (Sara Botsford), a high school cheerleader, Trudy (Lisa Langlois), his students, and his friend, Dr. Spencer (Cec Linder), a college professor and rat expert. 

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 Trudy and Fellow Slut Friend

Giant 'roid ragin' rats living in mountains of grain full of steroids are rendered homeless when a health department inspector orders it burned. The rats migrate to a suburban home occupied by unsupervised high school students who are drinking beer, smoking pot, and listening to loud music. The rats are obviously drawn to this specific abode by the music of The Chuck McDermott Band. The rats first human victim, disturbingly enough, is a toddler left unattended in a high chair. Fortunately, the negligent babysitter atones for her sins by becoming the second victim. The next victim is a senior citizen, walking the snowy streets alone late at night. 

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 Scatman "Ratbait" Crothers 

Scatman Crothers, who briefly plays a health department field inspector, is destined to become the next victim. Inspecting the bowels of the cities sewer system, he encounters a pack of angry wiener dogs/rats. Scatman laments, "Ain't this a bitch", summarizing his role, script, and essentially most of the movie. Scatman commences with 'the running of the rats' in the sewer, which is admittedly amusing, but brief, followed by his sad demise. 

The movie then returns to tedium. The teacher, Mr. Harris, is seen holding a Hungry Man TV-dinner, reading the instructions out loud, "Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees..." The tedium is almost broken by a phone call from the heroine, the health department inspector, inviting Mr. Harris out for dinner. The movie then moves to inept dialogue, unnecessary and gratuitous brief nudity and simulated sex. The love-birds' sleep over is disrupted by an early morning telephone call, informing the heroine that her colleague's rat consumed remains were discovered in the sewer. Incredibly, despite all the previous deaths, only Scatman's gnawed carcass, deep in the bowels of the cities sewer system, has been discovered. The leading man and lady arrive in time for Scatman's corpse's recovery from sewer. Then it's off to breakfast at the local diner. 

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 Dr. Spencer, Professor of Ratology

Mr. Harris, the teacher, telephones his friend, professor rat expert, who instantly and correctly concludes that the steroid feed had spawned a new bread of 'super-rat' that had migrated into the sewers in search of food. Upon hearing this information from her new boyfriend, Ms. Health Inspector immediately orders the fumigation of the entire city sewer system, which is immediately and efficiently carried out with no apparent effect.

There is then a series of missed phone calls between Mr. Harris and Prof. Spencer. The professor of ratology has an office basement that conveniently has access to the cities subway and sewers systems via access tunnels. The gross result is the consumption of the eminent ratologist. Fortunately, the professor is such an idiot and so lacking in common sense that viewers will actually be glad to see him turned into rat chow. 

The rats then move on to a bowling alley and a movie theatre and make their first brazen mass attack on the unsuspecting public. The deadly wiener dogs/rats select the viewers of a Bruce Lee movie, resulting in numerous deaths and a mini-Who concert scene of fleeing film patrons. The city now responds with every available police car, sirens blazing, heading towards either the bowling alley or movie theatre. 

Meanwhile, the cities mayor and a group of dignitaries, including the movies heroine and Mr. Harris' young son, blissfully unaware of what is happening, prepare to make an inaugural run of a new subway section - straight into a hungry pack of wiener dogs/rats. It is during this segment of the film we get the best scene of the movie - large numbers of costumed wiener dogs running through a tunnel, with their stubby little wiener dog legs emerging below their costumes. 

Mr. Harris, apparently the only citizen to realize the danger, attempts to stop the festivities. He is forced to assault a rent-a-cop and take his revolver. Now, the movies' scene of intense drama. The armed Mr. Harris, preparing to enter the subway tunnel, turns and points the revolver at the pursuing rent-a-cop. He fires - killing a giant rat next to the confused rent-an-officer. Mr. Harris proceeds down the tunnel and finds a disabled subway train with passengers just emerging from the cars.

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 It's Curtains for Trudy at the Theater 

Mr. Harris meets his girlfriend and son just as the wiener dogs attack. He shoots a few wiener dogs/rats, which go flying through the air like sparrows hit by 12-guage shotgun blasts. The three are able to escape down the tunnel and find refuge in a fenced in maintenance area. Fortunately, they discover cutting torches and 55 gallon drums of flammable liquids. They are able to produce a massive wiener roast, resulting in Mr. Harris' triumphant declaration, "They're all dead." They're all dead? Really? Even the ones at the bowling alley and movie theatre?

Anyway, the three are suddenly back at the disabled subway train. Left unexplained is how they got back there through all the flaming carnage. Nevertheless, they have made their way back and now the subway train is in perfect working order. The train takes the shocking conclusion as it pulls into the next station. 

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 Mr. Harris, Killing "All" The Rats 

The movie credits reveal Peter Jermyn provided the "Special 'Rat' Sound Effects". For the record, these effects generally sounded like a bunch of fat men with indigestion. 

This movie had little to no continuity, an ignoramus screen writer, poor direction, and a premise riddled with giant rat holes. Horror film fans are generally fear/thrill seekers, but nothing in this movie will get your heart racing. There is not much shock value, no excessive gore, and not much fun. The dialogue is simplistic and the characters are bland stereotypes. The only real horror is at the end of the film, when you realize you've wasted 87 minutes of your life watching this mediocre tripe. This movie is an exercise in patience and fortitude that in the end is essentially unrewarded. 

Despite a full Movie Club review, this film merits a place on the "don't bother" list. Silly and stupid, but not 'bad' in the classic sense. The costumed wiener dogs provide entertainment for 'bad' film aficionados, but the potential viewer should be warned that you have to wade through a lot of mediocrity for too little reward. If you want to see a classic 'bad' Robert Clouse directed movie, see "Gymkata". Even an earlier "don't bother" effort by Mr. Clouse, "The Pack" (1977) starring Joe Don Baker and a pack of bad dogs, merits more consideration that "Deadly Eyes".