The Hood Has Eyez (2007) – By Brian Morton

 We’ve all seen it too many times, the movie that’s an ‘homage’ to another movie, and all it is, is a thinly veiled rip-off. When Snakes On A Plane was a cultural phenomenon, someone rushed out Snakes On A Train to capitalize…whether or not it was a good movie was beside the point, it was all about making money. Well, when I saw the trailer for The Hood Has Eyez, I couldn’t help but want to see it…it looked pretty good…but was still afraid that Terrence Williams was just ripping off The Hills Have Eyes. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! With The Hood Has Eyez, Terrence Williams has shown that he not only knows how to make a good movie, but also has the balls to make the kind of movie that he wants to.

The story here is pretty basic, a group of spoiled rich kids head to a party in the ‘hood’, when they’re captured and tortured by a small gang of Latinos. The real fun of the movie is that, on such a low budget, Williams still manages to ramp up the gore and the horror! The Hood Has Eyez relies as much on acting as it does on effects, which is a good idea for a low budget movie. The core of the movie is Cydne Schulte as Kimmy and Antonio Royuela as Psycho, Kimmy is the good girl who gets talked into skipping school to go to a party, it’s this bad decision that starts the whole ball rolling and Psycho is the leader of the gang who captures the hapless group of kids. If either of these characters weren’t believable then the whole movie would fall apart, but, thanks to the talents of Ms. Schulte and Mr. Royuela that doesn’t happen. Schulte’s Kimmy goes from nice (if a bit scantily clad) school-girl to vengeful woman with revenge on her mind. Royuela plays Psycho as, just that, a psycho, and while he’s the real villain of the piece, he still manages to blend both charm and venom to the right effect, you can understand why these people would associate with him and also why they would fear him, it’s a masterful piece of acting.

The Hood Has Eyez isn’t really a send up or rip off of Hills, it’s really an homage and a story all it’s own, instead of playing on our fear of the dark or being isolated, Hood plays on the fear of inner city violence and gangs to great effect. The violence in the movie is bravely over the top, but nothing too exploitive, when Psycho gets what’s coming to him (and you knew that he would) you find yourself rooting the hero on, no matter how grisly it gets. And kudos to Mr. Williams for not flinching when it comes to the violence, while uncomfortable at first, it makes the revenge so much sweeter when it finally comes around. And, because Williams is an excellent filmmaker, the violence isn’t there just for the shock value, it actually forwards the story, which is pretty rare in these days of the ‘torture film’. I’m giving The Hood Has Eyez three and a half out of four cigars, and it only lost that half a cigar for the one strange scene where we see Kimmy seemingly training for her comeback, it felt strange in the middle of all that was happening for her to just stop and do a few push-ups, other than that, Williams hit the nail on the head with this movie…literally (see the movie, you’ll get that)! If you want to check The Hood Has Eyez out for yourself, then you’ll have to head over to the Hood Has Eyez Web Site to find out how, I was honored to be among the first to see this movie, and I was NOT disappointed, you won’t be either. So, until next time, when I’ll invite you all to join my gang, we don’t run the streets and fight, we really just sit around and watch movies…TO THE EXTREME…until then, remember that the best movies are bad movies.