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The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Cast: Susan Lanier, Robert Houston, Virginia Vincent, more...
Director: Wes Craven
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Studio: Anchor Bay
Genre: Horror, Slashers, Cannibals
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Horror auteur Wes Craven followed his threadbare but horrifically compelling cult classic Last House on the Left with this wonderfully demented morality fable about a bloody war of attrition between two extremely different families. The story opens on the journey of the Carters, a mildly dysfunctional extended family led by patriarch "Big Bob" Carter (Russ Grieve), as they travel across the California desert in search of an inherited silver mine. When a broken axle leaves them stranded in the middle of a former nuclear testing site, their attempts to find help lead them unwittingly into the territory of a savage family of cave-dwelling cannibals, the apparent progeny of the bearlike Jupiter (James Whitworth) and an abducted prostitute. Jupiter's eldest son Pluto (professional movie weirdo Michael Berryman) leads the first brutal attack on the defenseless Carters who, through necessity, are driven to equally extreme measures in order to survive. Though the film is not overtly bloody, the scenes depicting this confrontation are rendered with an unflinching directness, and the violations visited on the Carters are so brutal as to make the survivors' regression into savagery all the more convincing. No one is spared from the nightmare: Jupiter's boys have even kidnapped the youngest member of the Carter family -- a mere infant -- to serve as fodder for their next barbecue, and the baby becomes the main point of contention between the rival clans. Craven nevertheless refuses to take the easy way out by depicting his "monsters" as soullessly evil; parallels between either family's "values" are clearly drawn as the differences between the two clans begin to blur. ~ Cavett Binion, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
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6.74 (180 votes)
The Hills Have Eyes (Bonus Disc) (1977)
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7.44 (18 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

squirm by cammelltoe October 20, 2003 - 4:42 PM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
there is a certain quality about horror movies from the seventies that makes you squirm; a quality that, no matter how much gore or grotesquerie is rendered in,contemporary horror flicks just can't capture. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the prime example of this quality. Wes Craven's the Hills have eyes also taps succsessfully into the gag reflex as a crusty deformed family wages guerrilla war on a lost suburban clan in the middle of a atomic desert. Craven brings many layers to the story and directs with a sure hand, slowly building the suspense. Recommended

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