Jun 7, 2008

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

I once read in an article on the original film that Craven was considered an "angry" director of his time. Apparently, Wes Craven had a message to show but i don't recall seeing anything of interest in any of his films except the same formula of teenagers dying. Craven has proved over the years, that his films more or less stay exactly the same, just with bigger budgets.

1. Contrived dribble and annoying dialogue coming from current generation hipsters (I.E. Last House of the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, and the more recent Scream)

2. Vulnerable women being exploited and has some direct connection with the proposed climax victory. (I.E. Most of them)

3. Most of them are a spineless attack on Rural America. Whether it be the mildly "redneck"ish Billy from Scream, or the Inbred cannibals from The Hills Have Eyes. Regardless of the context or characters, Craven attempts to make you fear non-residential zones.

After seeing the amazing re-vamp of Craven's said-to-be masterpiece, I had to see what all the fuss was about. Upon purchasing the film, I was greeted my Michael Berryman's huge face on the DVD. This shocks me as he is not the main villain, let alone a decently memorable one. If i wanted to watch something awkward run around speaking in tongues, I'd revisit the much better Coneheads.

The film had originally been given an X rating. At first i was puzzled because last i checked, this film was less violent that any Saturday morning cartoon. Before you might doubt my opinion due to some notion leading you to the theory that i don't like this film due to the lack of brutality, re-envision this film. Ridiculous and retarded, even Craven didn't fully know how to direct with this film. The burning father scene was laughable at best. The camera placement in front of a fire in order to create the illusion of him "burning alive" gave me explosive diarrhea.

Hillbillies bleed tomato soup and girls in shock prove to be less annoying then they used to be. Aja's remake not only bested the original material, but also took the nuclear aspect and in turn, had a better "commentary". I prefer them to blame science than lumberjacks. Wes Craven is not a master of horror (He got lucky with NOES) and it's a shame that most of the films he "Presents" are the better material. All in all, this film has not aged well. It is in dire need of being stripped of its "cult" status. I hope Craven becomes a "human French fry"



the`re comin` after me with guns and knives and fast, fast women, they call me captain apache said...

i always thought the best thing about this film was the title, it wasn`t self explanatory like "the texas chainsaw massacre", "zombie flesh eaters", or "killer klowns from outer space", it was a title that was much more subtle and made you say i wonder what that movie is about, i`m not kiddin` when this movie came out 32 years ago i remember seeing the poster and although berrymans face and the phrase "the lucky ones died first" gave you a general idea of what to expect, that title, "THE HILLS HAVE EYES" still seemed to imbue the film with a strange, subtle and eerie edge that still haunts me to this day, for me its one of the all-time great movie titles, but overall the only memorable thing about the film now is the ending which is still quite powerful. The remake is superb and a much better film.

Sarcophagus Mac Abre said...

Nice comment, the stuff with the titles...

I always liked that title, The Hills Have Eyes, for the same reasons.

I seem to remember an old interview in which Craven said he had chosen "mysterious and eerie" titles for his first movies. Remember his first one: The Last House On The Left. If you know nothing about it, it might sound like a French Nouvelle Vague film, or a Swedish one, or anything but simply Krug and Co on a killing spree.