The Hills Have Eyes Part II
Im Todestal der Wölfe
Barry Cahn, Peter Locke for VTC
directed by Wes Craven
starring Tamara Stafford, Kevin Spirtas (as Kevin Blair), John Laughlin, Willard E. Pugh, Peter Frechette, Colleen Riley, Penny Johnson Jerald, Janus Blythe, Michael Berryman, John Bloom, Robert Houston, David Nichols, Edith Fellows, Arden Roger Meyer, and in archive footage: Virginia Vincent, James Whitworth, Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Lance Gordon, Brenda Marinoff, Martin Speer
written by Wes Craven, music by Harry Manfredini, special effects by Dick Brownfield
The Hills Have Eyes
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A group of friends - blind Cass (Tamara Stafford), her boyfriend Roy
(Kevin Spirtas), mysterious Rachel (Janus Blythe), Foster (Willard E.
Pugh) and girlfriend Sue (Penny Johnson Jerald), Hulk (John Laughlin),
Harry (Peter Frechette) and Jane (Colleen Riley) - take a shortcut through
the desert on their way to a bike race where some of them want to
participate. But of course, on the way their car breaks down in basically
the middle of nowhere, and the only sign of civilisation is an abandoned
farmhouse with an attached mine. This all seems weirdly familiar to Rachel
- and then she is attacked by someone whom she manages to fight off, but
who she later claims to be her brother ... and of course, it really was
her brother, Pluto (Michael Berryman), as in the first The
Hills Have Eyes, she was with the cannibal family (and named Ruby)
but switched allegiances towards the end and helped Bobby (Robert Houston)
and his niece escape.
Somehow, Pluto manages to snatch one of our
heroes' bikes, and when Harry and Roy go after him on their own bikes to
retrieve it, they never return. At first, the others think they're
pranking them, it's only with nightfall that they start to get worried.
And worried they should be, as Roy and Harry walked right into a trap set
up by Pluto and his new companion Reaper (John Bloom), who then go after
our heroes, bumping them off one by one, until only Cass is left standing
- and while her blindness might afford her a certain edge in the dark of
night, she's certainly no match for two big and violent guys like Pluto
and Reaper ...
There's really no other way to put it, The
Hills Have Eyes Part II manages in no way to live up to the original
film: While the first The Hills
Have Eyes was a very fine suspense piece wrapped in lots of
violence, this is more of a typical 1980s slasher with comicbook villains
and a tendency to macho action but little in originality. Sure, the film's
well-crafted, but again it pales in comparison to the first movie (or to A
Nightmare on Elm Street), which director Wes Craven shot immediately
But that's not to say The Hills Have Eyes Part II
isn't fun: Once you lowered your expectations a bit and accepted it's a
slasher, you'll find this a well-orchestrated genre piece that makes
brilliant use of its locations, features a bunch of rather cool setpieces,
and for all of us into nostalgia, it also feels so wonderfully 1980s.
great perhaps - but good fun nonetheless.