If you know me, then you know I’m a huge fan of 70s exploitation style horror. And, when you’re searching through that category, you won’t find anyone’s movies that can out-do Wes Craven! With The Hills Have Eyes (from Image Entertainment, September 6th), Craven’s 3rd directorial effort, Wes takes horror from the urban jungle of The Last House On The Left to the barren expanses of the Nevada desert while still making you feel like everything is just a bit too close.
If you’ve never seen the original (and the remake is pretty good too), then you’re missing the bloody good fun of it all. The Carter family is on a road trip to California, but have taken a side trip to find abandoned silver mine that was given to them as an anniversary present. Yes, it’s their 25th anniversary. They’re warned off by the owner of an all-but-abandoned gas station, but choose to drive into the desert anyway. And, as you might expect, there’s something particularly nasty out in the desert that not only wants them dead…but wants to eat them!!
While you watch The Hills Have Eyes, you can’t help but see all the horror movie conventions that we’re now so familiar with, but remember this was 1977 and these weren’t really horror movie standards…yet. Craven was (once again) breaking ground with this movie. And, I have to admit, I expected the movie to feel a bit dated…man, was I disappointed! The Hills Have Eyes holds up as well today as I did in the 70s. Oh, there’s a few things that will make you realize that it’s a different time, the clothing, some of the technology (I’m sure not many younger people even know what a CB radio is!), but you can get past all of that, because the terror is so visceral, even by today’s standards, that you don’t really notice the small anachronisms…after all, they’re planning on EATING A BABY, who’s gonna get past that!
I’m giving this remastered version of The Hills Have Eyes 4 out of 4 cigars, the transfer looks great, the movie holds up well, and it’s still a movie that will make you squirm in your seat! Head to the hills yourself by heading over to http://www.image-entertainment.com.