Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Robert Houston, John Steadman, Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Arrow Films (Blu-ray/DVD)
BUY THIS FILM
For many, Wes Craven will always be best known for his work on A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, though true horror fans are likely to consider this film, the original The Hills Have Eyes, his true horror masterpiece. In the film, the Carter family takes a detour while en route to Los Angeles when their campervan breaks down in the middle of the desert. Stranded, the family find themselves at the mercy of a group of monstrous cannibals lurking in the surrounding hills. With their lives under threat, the Carters are forced to fight back by any means necessary.
Much like films The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead, this 1977 film is simple, straightforward, low-budget and absolutely freaking horrifying. To say that the folks at U.K. based indie distributor Arrow Films have put together an amazing package for the film would be an understatement - this packing is simply top o' the line in every single way.
- Brand new 4K restoration of the film, supervised by producer Peter Locke and viewable with both original and alternate endings
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original mono audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- 6 x postcards
- Reversible fold-out poster featuring new and original artwork
- Limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Brad Stevens and a consideration of the Hills franchise by Ewan Cant, illustrated with original archive stills
- Brand new audio commentary with actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier and Martin Speer
- Brand new audio commentary by academic Mikel J. Koven
- Audio commentary with Wes Craven and Peter Locke
- Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes – making-of documentary featuring interviews with Craven, Locke, actors Michael Berryman, Dee Wallace, Janus Blythe, Robert Houston, Susan Lanier and director of photography Eric Saarinen
- Brand new interview with actor Martin Speer
- The Desert Sessions – brand new interview with composer Don Peake
- Never-before-seen Outtakes
- Alternate ending, in HD for the first time
- Trailers and TV Spots
- Image Gallery
- Original Screenplay (BD/DVD-ROM Content)
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
Seriously, can you imagine all that?
Okay. Okay. Technically, the film has flaws. It takes too long to set things up, approximately 45 minutes or about the halfway point, but once it does Craven goes balls to the walls with one killer crucifixion and one harrowing scene involving a baby that leaves you breathless and wondering "Will they?" No, they wouldn't would they?
You'll have to see for yourself.
While glory was never really struck again with the franchise, this original is always worth a view and there's no better way to watch the film than on this wonderfully restored edition with all these outstanding extras.
Seriously, folks. I'm going to stop writing and watch it again. Catch ya' later.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic