11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superior horror movie
A derelict dump in a dismal, dusty desert. An old timer is planning to leave, hurriedly harbouring a feral girl who also seeks escape. A family of tourists - big car, bigger caravan - arrive in search of fuel and directions to a old silver mine. Despite the old timer's protestations that they go back to civilisation and stick to the main road, you know there's...
Published on 25 July 2005 by Budge Burgess
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dated
Both part one and two while considered by some as classics and liked more than the remakes I feel is nothing more than personal taste I am a fan of quite a few low budget, old, B-movies but these are two that I feel are a real waste of money Not often do remakes of horror movies surpass the originals but in this instance they do
Don't waste your money on the...
Published on 30 Sep 2009 by B. M. Hutchinson
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superior horror movie,
This review is from: The Hills Have Eyes (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD] (DVD)A derelict dump in a dismal, dusty desert. An old timer is planning to leave, hurriedly harbouring a feral girl who also seeks escape. A family of tourists - big car, bigger caravan - arrive in search of fuel and directions to a old silver mine. Despite the old timer's protestations that they go back to civilisation and stick to the main road, you know there's something out there and it might be crazed and demonic, but it's got more sense than they have. They're doomed, all doomed. This is a nuclear testing site and Air Force bombing range, and nobody is going to come looking for them. Did I say nobody?
What follows is a siege of the broken down car and caravan, the tourists slowly being picked off by a family of feral cannibals who watch from the hills then come looking for excitement and food.
Although marred by the cliché of the women doing a lot of emotional screaming while the men try to remain taciturn and phlegmatic, this is a superior horror movie. It's reminiscent of the Sawney Bean tradition famous in my part of Scotland. The horror gets a touch sentimental in places, and the bad guys are really just ugly nasties - there's little attempt to explain or elaborate their characters. The good guys, meanwhile, are probably just a touch too clean cut and stereotypical - and, I repeat, the women scream a lot.
"The Hills Have Eyes" builds on the tensions created by isolation and environment. This is civilised man confronted with the gradual stripping away of the trappings of civilisation - loss of wheels and mobility, loss of contact with the outside world, loss of food, loss of firepower, loss of life, loss of innocence. Surely anyone in this environment would return to the wild, become red in tooth and claw. It's the old Hobbesian paradigm of the veneer of civilisation being paper thin and fragile.
This is, nevertheless, an exciting, entertaining horror film which is well worth watching and which does create moments of real tension. I'd advocate buying it as part of "The Wes Craven Collection", where it is packaged with three other films and a number of extras. You get a real sense of how much Craven had developed comparing this to his first film, "Last House on the Left". The comparison emphasises the sophistication of this film and will enhance your enjoyment of it.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Berryman rules!,
This review is from: The Hills Have Eyes (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD] (DVD)Michael Berryman takes horror to a new level with his oscar worthy portrayal of a deranged cannibal punk. Laugh as Berryman spots the rabbbit, cry when big Bob Carter gets nailed up. A rollercoaster of a horror flick. Great extras on the dvd set too!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SCARY, EDGE OF THE SEAT,
This review is from: The Hills Have Eyes (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD] (DVD)Scared the life out of me in 1980 when i saw this. fantastic horror film. Great story, nerve tingling tension. Bit dated no specila effects, but don't need them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Craven's Best Film,
A slow burner with characters and dialogue that keep you interested until the halfway mark where the mess hits the fan. Michael Berryman ever so delighful and a big softy in real life, is terrifying here.
The Hills Have Eyes is swamped in 70s nostalgia- a wonderful film that has not been bettered by the recent poor souless remakes.
Easy in my top 20 horrors of all time.
An essential purchase.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wes Craven,
It has not been bettered even though others have tried. It has certainly been imitated many times. Wrong turn, is one that springs to mind.
Wes Craven even tried to better this movie, but he failed also. In my opinion. The film is a bit dated, but if you like this type of film. Worth watching.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hills Have Eyes,
4.0 out of 5 stars Wes cravens best in my opinion.,
As they trek along a "shortcut" through New Mexico they have serious car trouble, and are stranded in the middle of nowhere. This situation is made much worse by the fact that there are people living in the isolated desert hills... A deranged family of cannibals that terrorize the typical American family for different reasons: surviving, and the pleasure of torturing. The family, now, must try to survive in their tiny little dot of civilization stuck right in the middle of an unforgiving, big and bad primitive world. This is no contest Cravens best in my mind, he delivers a real, gritty, intense horror movie that in my mind is one of the best of the 70's.
The themes in The Hills Have Eyes can be interpreted as very deep, or merely as a scenario that leaves a family vulnerable to attack and terror. It's brutal and makes you wonder if it could happen to you and your family. Craven improved a lot and created a suspenseful, violent, raw movie. Those elements are covered perfectly by decent acting, an effective score and a perfect, diabolical direction. The acting is not the best especially by the blond kid who is quite obviously being played by a much older actor but it's comprehensive as it's a low budget movie. The characters are displayed in a manner that you can say there isn't acting at all. That way you can relate to them and later feel sorry for their fates. The film also introduced to us a young actress by the name of Dee Wallace who became a scream queen who later starred in The Howling and Cujo as well as other horror roles.
The villains are not likable, we get the creepy looking Pluto played by genre actor Micheal Berryman in one of his best and most memorable roles but the others were just alright. The actors just did a regular portrayal of serial killers but lacked of a heart to do it. In some parts the movie looked like a spoof but thanks to Craven's direction it stayed as a Horror movie. The movie wasn't as shocking as it's reputation and most of the violence was shown offscreen, kind of like Texas Chainsaw Massacre which was it's main influence. However the film still manages to be a great creepy cult classic that's worth checking out for horror fans, the remake was also brilliant and is one of the rare occasions where it manages to even surpass the original. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good,
5.0 out of 5 stars A family film,
This review is from: The Hills Have Eyes (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD] (DVD)The Hills Have Eyes is a nasty, rattle-and-scream horror tale, which is a cut above the slashers that would follow due to its focus on suspense over simple gore. That said, this is still a sick and horrifying film, full of crucifixion, burning, rape and, no doubt most controversially, a baby in peril (no violence against it happens, thank God). Its plot is the stuff of campfire tales. An all-white, conservative family (mum's a Christian and dad's a casual racist) are driving to California when they stop at a gas station run by a bearded hermit (John Steadman) who warns them against a detour to an abandoned silver mine in the desert. Of course they ignore his warnings and find themselves stranded, surrounded on all sides by ominous hills.
The family consist of Bob (Russ Grieve), a retired cop with heart problems, Ethel (Virginia Vincent), their children Bobby (Robert Houston), Brenda (Susan Lanier) and Lynn (Dee Wallace), Lynn's husband Doug (Martin Speer), their baby Katie, and two dogs, Beauty and Beast. They seem like a normal, close-knit seventies family unit, the kind you'd see on old American sitcoms. When Bob and Doug go to look for help Bobby is given their spare gun and left in charge, despite being younger than Lynn. There's subtext here, especially when we meet our antagonists, a family of grotesque savages. Their patriarch is Papa Jupiter (James Whitworth), who with Mama (Cordy Clark) has four children, Mars (Lance Gordon), Pluto (Michael Berryman), Mercury (Arthur King) and Ruby (Janis Blythe). It's worth noting that only the men in this family are deformed. Mama and Ruby look comparatively normal, and would blend in with civilisation.
Such are the observations one makes while watching The Hills Have Eyes, which has a mind beneath its violence. I'm not one to whine about the good ole' days, but there's a difference between old and new horror films that anyone can notice. Gore is their main selling point today, and storytelling comes second. In The Hills Have Eyes both elements work alongside each other. It doesn't open with a slaying but establishes a scenario which it then builds on. Sadly this approach would be replaced by crap like Friday the 13th, that nowadays we look on as camp. The day may never come when The Hills Have Eyes is seen as camp. It's a dark and terrifying film, which like most great horror stories has a touch of tragedy about it. The destruction of the blameless family is sad, and there's a poignant moment between Ethel and Doug. We end up wanting the savages punished, and punished as horribly as writer/director Wes Craven can imagine. We become sucked into the final orgy of revenge, even if it does leave us cold, which revenge is known to do. For those who can stomach it, The Hills Have Eyes is an odd sort of masterpiece, though I'd like to emphasise the "stomach it" part. This is strong stuff.
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply classic horror,
This review is from: The Hills Have Eyes (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD] (DVD)Hills is a great movie that genuinely shocked movie audeinces in the 70's. If that is not the case now so be it, because the story and the characters still blend in well to make this a very enjoyable movie.
If you are a serious horror fan this is an essential purchase, and a great price to boot.
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The Hills Have Eyes (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD] by Wes Craven (DVD - 2003)