Friday, August 31, 2012

Eric's Horror Movie Alphabet:H stands for "The Hills Have Eyes"(1977)

By Eric Polk-
I can feel the heat generating on the back of my neck. "How can you claim to be a horror movie fan and have never seen this movie before?" "This is Horror 101, Sunshine?" Yeah, I bet Cash Wampum is ready to nail me with a hockey stick right about now. But, yes, up until last Saturday, I'd never laid my eyes upon this Wes Craven movie other than clips in horror retrospectives.

For those uninitiated, 1)How can you claim to be a horror movie fan and have never seen this movie before? 2)Ever see Michael Berryman in Motley Crue's video for Smokin' in the Boys Room? Anyhoo, The Hills Have Eyes focuses on an All-American family traveling on vacation in the desert. Parents Bob and Ethel(no not the Crazy Fat one) are driving, accompanied by their teenage children Bobby and Brenda,  eldest daughter Lynn along with Lynn's husband Doug, baby daughter Katie, and their dogs, Beauty and Beast(what was Cinderella and Prince Charming not taken).

So, as the result of a busted tire axle, the fam finds themselves stranded in the lovely Canadian...errr...Nevada desert. While they find a way back to 70s traveling bliss, they are haunted and hunted down by a family that would have made Dr. Hannibal Lecter swell with pride. As night falls, Bob is captured and tortured by the leader by of staid MENSA family.

While that goes on, his three sons decide to take advantage of their situation by pillaging the family camper, shooting mama and stealing baby, food and supplies along the way. Naturally, this pisses off the surviving suburbanites and it's off to the hills for justice.

Though I found the movie disturbing in the places where you need to be disturbed, I just felt the leader of the cannibal chaos clan was rather cartoonish in his demeanor. He wasn't scary at all. It's really my only beef,  and Beauty's fate. I can handle people getting shot, slashed, splattered but when it comes to animals and children, it's difficult for me to grasp. Perhaps that's what Mr. Craven was wanting so I'll give those two latter faults a pass.


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