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Label:
Name: ARROW VIDEO
Number: MVDAV065-BR

THE HILLS HAVE EYES (BLU-RAY)

THE LUCKY ONES DIED FIRST... Horror master Wes Craven achieved critical and commercial success with the likes of Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street - but for many genre fans, the director's seminal 1977 effort The Hills Have Eyes remains his masterpiece. Taking a detour whilst on route to Los Angeles, the Carter family run into trouble 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. As gruelling a viewing experience today as it was upon initial release, The Hills Have Eyes stands alongside the likes of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead as one of the defining moments in American horror cinema.

Genre: Horror
Run Time: 99 mins
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: STEREO
Year of Production: 1977
Director: Wes Craven
Actors: John Steadman, Suze Lanier-Bramlett
Language: English

Bonus Materials

Brand new 4K restoration from original film elements, supervised by producer Peter Locke
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
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
The Desert Sessions – brand new interview with composer Don Peake
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

  
Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on August 28, 2017 3:42 AM
Horror fans are well versed in all things Wes Craven. Craven has presented a number of movies in the horror genre and was the creative mind behind Freddy Krueger and the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series of films. But before that he had already cemented his name in the halls of horror. Before SCREAM, before THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, before DEADLY BLESSINGS and before SHOCKER, Craven had given us two movies that are still talked about to this day. The first was THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. The second was this film, THE HILLS HAVE EYES.

The story is an original one. It begins with a family traveling out west bound for California but stopping by an old silver mine they were given as a gift for parents of the group for their silver anniversary. The group consists of Bob and Ethel Carter (Russ Grieve and Virginia Vincent), their daughter Lynne, her husband Doug and their infant child (Dee Wallace and Martin Speer) and their youngest children Bobby and Brenda (Robert Houston and Suze Lanier-Bramlett).

As they reach the desert they stop for gas at an about to be abandoned station. The owner Frank (John Steadman) tells them the mines dried up years ago and that now the Air Force uses that area for target practice, advising them to turn around and get back on the highway. Of course they ignore his suggestion, go forward and eventually run off the road resulting in a broken axle. Bob heads back to the station and Doug goes to see if he can find the air base.

What Bob finds when he gets to the station is Frank in a panic. He tells him he tried to warn him and then gives him his story, how he was once married with two children, one beautiful and the other evil as sin. When the evil one kills his wife and other child, Frank hit him with a tire iron and though he had killed him. But the child survived in the desolate hills of this dessert becoming wild and kidnapping a prostitute for his bride and raising a group of savages along the way. Before he can offer a way out one of them grabs him, killing him and leaving Bob behind who then sets off to his family.

As the film progresses we see this “mutant” family attack the nuclear family with the intent of not only taking what they have but with the hope of using them for food as well. Only one is having second thoughts, Ruby (Janus Blythe) who looks for a way out of this life and into civilization. By the end of the film the question of just which family is more savage is brought to mind and the victor is determined. But which family will that be?

As with all early films this one had a limited budget but Craven put that to good use. Most of the actors involved were unknowns, including Dee Wallace who’d had just a few roles prior to this film and went on to star in movies like THE HOWLING, E.T. and CUJO. That these actors were not famous seems to have worked to the benefit of the film since had they been we would have been more involved with that aspect rather than investing in characters that are in jeopardy.

The concept of the “mutant” family living in the dessert surrounded by rocks and caves to hide in was interesting and “based on a true story” at least partially. They have a hierarchy with the father in charge and ruling over all, keeping them in line via fear. The stand out among them is Pluto (Michael Berryman), an actor born with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a rare condition leaving him with no sweat glands, hair, fingernails or teeth. This gives him a different appearance than most people which he used to his advantage taking on roles in numerous horror films. (An aside note, having met him I can tell you that Berryman is a gentle giant of a man who is perhaps one of the nicest and friendliest people you will ever meet. Like actor Bill Mosely he is nothing like the characters he plays in films.).

The film moves at a steady pace offering us enough back story and set ups to hold our interest from the beginning on. When the confrontations begin we are by then invested in the family and the struggle to survive they go through while being attacked. As viewers we are often asked to put ourselves in the shoes of those characters we watch. Trying to do so hear leaves you in a state of fear many movies can’t begin to form.

The film has been released numerous times on both video and then disc so why bother with this new edition? Two words should make that easy to understand: Arrow Video. Arrow once more proves why they are the premiere company when it comes to releasing classic and ignored horror films. Here is why.

To begin with you get a brand new 4K restoration from original film elements, supervised by producer Peter Locke. Then you move on to the extras. As always Arrow goes overboard here. Included are 6 postcards, a reversible fold-out poster featuring new and original artwork, a limited edition booklet featuring writing on the film by critic Brad Stevens along with a consideration on the Hill franchise by Ewan Cant illustrated with original archive stills, audio commentary by the late Craven and Peter Locke, LOOKING BACK ON THE HILLS HAVE EYE a making of documentary with interviews including Craven, Locke, Berryman, Wallace, Blythe, Houston, Lanier and director of photography Eric Saarinen, THE DESERT SESSIONS a brand new interview with composer Don Peake, an alternate ending in HD for the first time, trailers and TV spots, an image gallery, the original screenplay and a reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper.

If you’re a fan of the film or of Wes Craven then by all means you need to add this version of the film to your collection. It is by far the best presentation of it we’ve been offered so far. If you’ve never seen the film you have missed out and should do so immediately. Knowing it is here thanks to Arrow Video with the style they do everything they release is just a cherry on top.

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