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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Hills Have Eyes Part 2(1985)

I found it quite shocking the reputation that The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 has garnered. Many people actually do not know that it exists! It was written and directed by Wes Craven, who also did the original. I have a hard time defending it against the original, because I actually like it better than that film(gasp!). I agree that it doesn't have the same kind of grit and atmosphere that the original had, but part 2 is a straight up slasher film, where the 1st is not. If you are a fan of 80's styled slasher films, and haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out. It's better than you would think.

A gang of motorcycle riders decide to take a trip out to the desert to test out a new type of fuel that is supposed to make their bikes go even faster. They end up taking a wrong turn, and then breaking down in the desert, the same place that the remains of the original, murderous cannibalistic family still resides. One of the kids, Rachel, happens to be Ruby, the girl from the cannibal family, that helped the family out in the original. They still have the dogs from the original film, and the most lambasted thing about this film, is that the dogs have flashbacks themselves and remember the family and the carnage from the original. Yeah, it's silly, but I have seen far sillier things in a slasher film(don't even get me started). There is a new member of the murderous family as well, whom they call The Ripper, and is the brother of Papa Jupiter. Where he was in the original film, is never explained, but doesn't make that much difference to the plot. We see the kids picked off one by one, in typical slasher fashion, until the final kids have to defend themselves. No, it's not original, but it sure is entertaining as hell!

The gore is handled quite well, and there is a real nasty throat slashing that has always stood out in my memory. The abandoned "town" and the buildings that they riders take refuge in, add to the atmosphere. There are several staples from 80's bad cinema amongst the cast, we have Michael Berryman returning, Peter Frechette from Grease 2, and Kevin Blair from Friday The 13th Pat VII and the Subspecies franchise. Please don't let Craven's embarrassment of the film, or the bad reputation keep you from checking this one out. It's awesome!!


  1. I could never get into this one at all. The ending was nice, though. I have an old Fangoria issue where Craven talks briefly about hating the film and explaining why it turned out the way it did. I'll have to dig it out as I forget exactly what he said.

  2. Like I said Venom, most do hate this movie, I just LOVE it though. I would love to hear Craven's story about the making though!