The Hills Have Eyes title

Tag Line : The lucky ones died first.

The Hills Have EyesOne of the earlier and better horror efforts of director Wes Craven was this low budget shocker. The Carter Family are crossing the dessert highway to California, when they foolishly decide to set of down a dusty dirt track in search of an old abandoned silver mine.

Unfortunately, they soon get lost and inadvertently blunder into a disused bomb range, where their station wagon breaks down. Mr Carter and his son-in-law Doug go off in search of help, leaving the rest of the family with the car and caravan. Not realising that they are being watched from the nearby mountains.

As night falls, the stranded family find themselves facing a bloody battle for survival as they are attacked by a brutal family of cannibalistic retards, who have been living wild nearby.

One of their Alsatian dogs is gutted and eaten, Mr Carter is crucified to a tree, doused with petrol then burned alive. Mr's Carter is shot in the stomach, one of their daughters is raped, the other one is killed and her baby taken for the savages next meal.

Bobby Carter, his surviving Sister and Doug are all that's left alive after the initial attack, which also leaves one of the savages dead, and another injured. The cannibalistic family are non to happy about losing one of their own and are intent on finishing off what they started, so the surviving trio along with their remaining Alsatian dog, have to prepare to fend off another attack by the cannibal family.

The cannibal family are extremely ghoulish, having names named after planets, although I thought that "Pluto" (played by horror actor Michael Berryman) seemed a bit of a comical name to have (wasn't it the name of Mickey Mouse's dog?).

Whilst not overdly gory, the film still manages to chill without showing excessive amounts of blood, this is quite a good movie and still manages to retain its shock value despite its relative age. The film is still regarded as something of classic by the many critics and horror fans alike.

Overall marks 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The film was supposedly based on a real life story of the Sawney Bean family, who apparently killed, robbed and then ate people travelling near Edinburgh in 15th century Scotland.

  • Producer Peter Locke also starred as "Mercury" under the pseudonym Arthur King.

  • Dee Wallace Stone who played Lynne, also starred in "Cujo", "The Stepford Wives", "The Howling", "The Frighteners" and the legendary "Critters", although she is probably best known for her role as Elliot's mother in "ET the Extra Terrestrial".

  • The films budget was $230,000

  • Horror veteran Michael Berryman has had many varied movie roles over the years, his genre credits include "Cut and Run", "Deadly Blessing", "Evil Spirits" and "The Devil's Rejects". Fans of 80's rockers Motley Crue may recognise him from some of their earlier music videos.

  • The UK cinema release in the late 70's was cut by the BBFC. This removed a scene where "Mars" puts a gun into one of the daughters mouths, only to find he's run out of bullets. This happens outside the caravan, right before the line "I'll come back for you later". The original UK video release in the early 80's was uncut however, following the introduction of the "VRA" this was replaced with BBFC sanctioned edited cinema version.

  • The uncut version was eventually passed by the BBFC for a UK DVD release in 2003. Although the uncut version had already been inadvertently shown on UK TV, when MTV Europe screened it as Halloween night special in 1997.

  • The Australian version was very heavily censored and trimmed the scenes where one of the dogs is gutted, "Pluto" (Michael Berryman) is attacked by the other dog, and where big Bob Carter is crucified.

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