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The Hills Have Eyes
The Family That Woke Up Screaming

USA 1977
produced by
Peter Locke for Blood Relations
directed by Wes Craven
starring John Steadman, Janus Blythe, Arthur King (= Peter Locke), Russ Grieve, Virginia Vincent, Susan Lanier (= Suze Lanier-Bramlett), Dee Wallace, Brenda Marinoff, Robert Houston, Martin Speer, James Whitworth, Michael Berryman, Lance Gordon, Cordy Clark
written by Wes Craven, music by Don Peake, special effects by Greg Auer, John Frazier

The Hills Have Eyes

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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A typical American family - Father (Russ Grieve), Mother (Virgina Vincent), Bobby (Robert Houston), Brenda (Suze Lanier-Brtamlett), Lynne (Dee Wallace), her hubby Doug (Martin Speer), her baby and 2 family dogs - is travelling to California by camping trailer when their car breaks down in the middle of the desert. So it is decided to have Father and Doug go off into different directions to look for help while Bobby stays behind with the women and a gun to guard them. But soon rather unsettling things start to happen at the trailer: Someone unseen is definitely watching them, one dog runs off, Bobby, who goes after the dog, finds it killed, and the other dog soon runs off. Dad has meanwhile arrived at the gasstation they passed just a few hours back, where an unnerved owner (John Steadman) tells him about a mutant monsterbaby he and his wife once had that has been hiding in the desert most of the time but now he might come back to civilization to kill ... and he might bring his family. Now this might sound like a wild story but is proven immediately after telling when the poor man is killed by a monstrous human right before poor daddy's eyes, but the killer has vanished without a trace before daddy can get a good shot at him. Runnming back to his family in the trailer, daddy is brutally stopped and cruzified ... The mutant family - who are mutant father Jupiter (James Whitworth), mutant Mother (Cordy Clark), Mars (Lance Gordon), Mercury (Arthur King), Pluto (Michael Berryman) and Ruby (Janus Blythe) - device a diabolical plan to get to the others: They now burn their crucified daddy before their very eyes and while everyone else is leaving the trailer they brutally rape Brenda who stayed behind and steal the baby. And when they are actually surprised by Lynne and her mother, they shoot them both. The rest of the family are in shambles, but as desperate as their situation might be, they just fight on ...

 

Much has been said of the violent, brutal, macabre nature of this movie, often (mis-)judging it by only these traits. Fact is, all this aside, The Hills have Eyes is a great piece of suspense cinema that goes all the way from abstract menace to concrete assaults to all-out-war in a straight line, and while doing so gradually introducing us to the murderous mutant-family of which our good American family (which in its squareness doesn't need much of an introduction) becomes more and more of a mirror image, but does that in an entertaining way, and thus not even some slightly silly plot ideas (first and foremost the dog returning as a Rin Tin Tin-like deus-ex-machina) spoil the picture. Basically, Wes Craven directs at his tightest here, is supported by a great cast, and the locations are just stunning.

Definitely a must-see!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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