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The Hills Have Eyes

By Paul Gaita

Fans of Wes Craven's more recent major studio work (the Scream series) may be put off by the low-budget griminess of his sophomore feature, The Hills Have Eyes, but the director's longtime supporters and aficionados of Super70s horror will be riveted by this unsettling culture clash fable. Originally titled Blood Relations, Hills strands a suburban family (which includes E.T.'s Dee Wallace Stone and future documentarian Robert Houston) in the desert and pits them against a clan of inbred cannibals. The resourceful killer brood quickly decimates the outsiders' numbers, forcing the survivors to fight back with equally savage means. Like Craven's debut, Last House on the Left, Hills is a relentlessly tense film which demolishes numerous societal taboos (fratricide and infant kidnapping, for starters), but it also delivers a powerful subtext about family and the fine line between civilization and animal behavior amidst the mayhem. Highly recommended for Craven completists and fans of no-holds-barred horror.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Wes Craven

Stars: Susan Lanier, Robert Houston, Dee Wallace

Released: July 22, 1977

Availability: DVD VHS


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