Having been a fan of last year’s “The Hills Have Eyes,” Alexandre Aja’s (Haute Tension) remake of the 1977 Wes Craven thriller involving desert mutants preying on a vacationing family, I jumped at the chance to see the sequel. I also hoped they’d improve on the 1985 turkey, the original sequel penned and directed by Craven. Wisely replacing motorcyclists and experimental fuel with National Guard soldiers this time around, the premise behind the newest “The Hills Have Eyes 2” on paper looked like a cool cross between a splatter film and “Southern Comfort.” Sadly, this movie minus Aja also misses the intensity and gore of last year’s film. From the beginning, albeit a somewhat brutal mutant birth sequence, the film resembles something that would go straight to video. Sure a few heads get smashed, some limbs get chopped, and a gratuitous rape scene is included, but “The Hills Have Eyes 2” doesn’t have that level of brutality that made the first so fun for gorehounds like me. Most of the kills are quite cartoonish and campy; one involving a soldier’s body wishboned through a cave hole, and a forearm lopped off with the mutant then waving goodbye with it as its previous owner falls to his death. While genre veteran Jeff Kober (“The First Power”) may be recognizable, the remaining stars are unknown model types garbed in army fatigues who act stupid and spit out generic lines such as “God doesn’t know this place.” The acting chops of Ted Levine and Kathleen Quinlan are sorely missed here. To make things interesting, while our motley group of National Guardsmen and women are ill trained, idiotic in behavior and completely incompetent, the new breed of mutants are smart, quick and strong. However, this gets old quick unless the kills are cool or the plot is fun. We get neither. While it’s always fun to see how many blows it takes to kill the final baddie in a horror film, the hike through these “Hills” is barely worth your time. The final battle between the hulking mutant Hades (played by the same guy who played Pluto in last year’s film) and remaining soldiers is once again inadvertently staged for more laughs than shocks as his balls are smashed, his brains are picked and his eyes are gouged. While video directors turned first-time film directors are always apt to disappoint (Martin Weisz, this time, who has more than 350 videos to his credit), I’m surprised at this mediocre effort given the writing credits of Wes Craven and son Jonathan. While the story hints at a government project harnessing the power of the mutant offspring in the A-bomb charred remains of the a New Mexico desert, it only tells enough to suggest yet another sequel. Maybe this time around we will finally get the “Hills” trilogy that we were promised. But with the level of production and creative output evident here, we also may get “Wes Craven Presents Mind Ripper 2.” See this only if really enjoyed “See No Evil.” Call me Bob.
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:16 p.m. CST
I mean "torture porn" in general. Yes, that's what it is. I would like to think they're aren't people out there masturbating to this trash but I wouldn't be surprised. What saddens me is that studios are cashing in on pandering to the lowest common denominator with truly sick, senselessly violent and depraved crap. Ugh.
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:15 p.m. CST
The trailer that was posted here not too long ago was amazing. It got me so pumped for the sequel that I watched the DVD again. This will just be yet another sequel that I'll choose to ignore.
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:16 p.m. CST
No wonder it sucks. What,10 months after the first came out?
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST
by The Dum Guy
I wasn't really all that impressed with the first one, but then again the orginal was just 'alright', so I really had no hopes for a rushed sequel.
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST
You're dissapointed there's not as much gore as the first? I know I haven't seen the film and the reviewer has, but that just seems a bit odd to me. Who wants as much or more gore then that first film had that should have gotten harder then an R rating. I mean, fuck Atom Egoyan's "Where The Truth Lies" got a freaking NC-17 rating, for what, some tits and girls kissing? How messed up is the ratings board?
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST
This stuff is sick and people are sick for being entertained by it. Yeah, I said it.
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:41 p.m. CST
I think it was a bit of a stretch back in the 1970's to say that movies such as this were operating off on some sort of subtext – something to do with Vietnam, and how the filmmakers of the time were "commenting" on a society that was eating itself from the inside out. While it was a stretch, there was some truth to it. Nowadays, there's simply no excuse. In the age of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other incidents, I think anyone who gets off on this stuff needs to take a cold, hard look in the mirror. There's no intelligence at work here, there's no irony, and there's no "comment", there is only a group of very rich men, running very large comapanies, funding the production of slick, mindless, and increasingly more sadistic and violent movies that aren't even original to begin with. And then, because we live in the age of mass media and the internet, all of this stuff gets thrown out there into a big sort of soup, and what occurs is a sort of "flattening" of all of this content into a steady stream, and it becomes impossible to differentiate The Hills Have Eyes from the latest hanging out of Iraq, or the latest images of genocide out of Darfur – it's all just images at the end of the day. I don't know about this sequel to a remake, but the remake of The Hills Have Eyes is one of the more reprehensible, vile, empty pieces of "entertainment" released by a major studio in history. Torture porn is exactly what this is, and I must say there is very little difference between those who are involved with its production and consumption and the torturers in Iraq and elsewhere. This is what the last dying gasps of a crumbling empire look like: brutal, angry "products", crassly marketed to appeal to the same hunger for violent imagery that made everyone in town show up for the latest lynching in medieval times. Sad and shameful.
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST
by THE KNIGHT
The look and smell of shite...
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:47 p.m. CST
I'm so there! I bet it won't be as sexy as the one in the Dakota Fanning movie that's coming up, though.
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:46 p.m. CST
i was not online at the time of the whole "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US" craze hit the internet. that means nothing to me, and even less to you. if you have taken the time to read this then you are now in the same psychological void of the filmmakers of these shit Hills Have Eyes Remakes, films which were not all that spectacular the first time around. When my beloved Middlesbrough were getting battered at home 4-0 by some shit side, a fan went and threw their season ticket at the manager, shouting "fuck off, you are fucking shit you are". it would be very nice if someone would do a cinematic variant of this at these pisspoor filmmakers who keep churning out shit that needlessly deplete the raw materials needed to make proper films.
Jan. 18, 2007, 12:59 p.m. CST
Wes Craven blows anyway.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1 p.m. CST
by andrew coleman
If anyone sees this you should be ashamed of yourself. The best thing about this movie will be the teaser trailer.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
Wes Craven was, is and always shall be a potato.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:05 p.m. CST
by Sly Fox
This one doesn't sound any better to me, although the reviewer does seem a bit focused on the gore rather than the plot.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:06 p.m. CST
Probably. Maybe not. I mean, part one wasn't THAT great either, especially after the first attack of the mutants it just became your usual slasher pic. But at least it took itself (most of the time) serious. Let's see if that Bob was right.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:05 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
Sly? What the hell are you talking about? These are mutants. They're not going to bury the bodies.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST
Wearing out the new tag line.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
...if he's wrong, we'll make him dance. But if he's right...he gets to dance.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST
by Sly Fox
Haha I suppose you've got a good point there!
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:19 p.m. CST
we never needed in the 1st place. Great. F'n great. What's next? These cretins gonna join up with Eli Roth and put out Topps trading cards of this smut? Maybe someday poetic justice will be served and these directors will meet their demise Alan Pakula style.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:29 p.m. CST
I'll take a look and send in my review. It'll be more entertaining than HHE2. Trust me.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:30 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
....they already put out the torture porn trading cards, way back in the 60s. Tim Burton based his Mars movie on them. Tried it again later. If I remember right, there was even a torture-porn-dinosaur set. They were pretty grotesque, all right, but you have to give them one thing. At least they bothered thinking up some stupid reason for the mayhem.
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:35 p.m. CST
by Leopold Scotch
"The HiIIs have Eyes".<br> "The Hills have Eye2".<br> "The IIils have Eyes".<br> "The Hills have 2 Eyes".<br> I mean c'mon: where's the corporate effort we saw in such gems as Se7en?
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:39 p.m. CST
"The Hills Have Eyes AGAIN!"
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:42 p.m. CST
by Leopold Scotch
The Hills Begin to have Eyes<br>The Hills have H2O<br>Return of the Hills with Eyes<br>What WON'T Those Crazy Hills Do with Those Eyes?<br>I Hill Know What You Did Last Summer
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:47 p.m. CST
When people call themselves "gorehounds" or make remarks about movies only having a few quality kills and one gratuitous rape scene? I'm telling you people, it's the Roman Empire all over again. We're all so distracted by Paris Hilton and Saw XII:The Bloodening that we won't even notice when civilization eats itself alive...
Jan. 18, 2007, 1:50 p.m. CST
by Leopold Scotch
Natural Born Hillers<br>The Amityhill Horror<br>Hills Wide Shut
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:02 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
...I couldn't agree-de-le-le more. And the way these kids wear their pants down around their knee knuckles and listen to all that rockity-hop music. It's the end of the world, ya' know. Every time Wes Craven makes a movie they move the Doomsday clock one minute forward. (don't tell anyone, but he's a potato)
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:04 p.m. CST
Gotta say that it never ceases to amuse me when some bastion of moral fortitude jumps on an internet soapbox and starts spouting off about how all of society's ills can be traced to violent movies. These ridiculous sermons have been going on now since the advent of violence in cinema, and it's all the same redundant and empty talk. In a time where thousands of our country's kids are dying overseas -- sons, daughters, friends -- there's no problem in finding a little emotional catharsis in make-believe. So save the Pat Robertson platitudes for someone who's stupid enough to fall for them.
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST
A sex scene every 15. And a gun/fistfight halfway through.
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST
Anyone who has the audacity to compare horror filmmakers to the torturers in Abu Graib needs is in desperate need of a reality check. For shame indeed!
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
...talking about the moral deathblow to America that is...Night of the Living Dead. They describe the girl killing her mother as though it will break down all familial bonds and lead to blood on the walls of every suburban American rec room. Buess that didn't happen yet, huh?
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:15 p.m. CST
by Leopold Scotch
So someone has to die in every sex scene? That's hardcore, man.
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST
by Yoda's Ball Sack
Another turd in the waterpipe of sequels.
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:22 p.m. CST
:10 - Someone dies <p> :15 - Someone gets laid <p> :20 - Someone dies <p> :30 - Someone gets killed after/during sex <p> :40 - Death <p> :45 - Sex <p> Now it gets tricky, 'cause we're at the halfway point for 90-min films. I say sex THEN gunfight.
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST
"his balls are smashed, his brains are picked and his eyes are gouged" [/P] So, let me get this straight: first they smash his balls, then they sit down with the guy, maybe have a cup of coffee, and pick the guy's brain. After they've asked him all the questions they need and have had a generally nice chat, they gouge his eyes. Frickin' Brilliant!! I HAVE to see this scene.
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST
hate it if my film was compared to a WWE production, starring a silent wrestler and helmed by a porn director
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
....depending on the length of the scenes and assuming that we are taking the beginning of the movie as the starting point for both processes, I think someone would be required to die in only one half of all the sex scenes. But I will, of course, bow to the interpretation of the Doctor.
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:23 p.m. CST
Perhaps they will make their debut in this film?
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:30 p.m. CST
by Leopold Scotch
Of course, it depends on the length of the sex scene and, consequently, the type of film. I'm sure after my initial assumption, you can guess which type of film I am most familiar with...
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST
"2 Hills, 2 Eyes"
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:50 p.m. CST
Agreed. I think a gang rape which leads into a musical number AND THEN a fist fight every 7 minutes followed by 4 blind run-a-ways tied to toilets being face scatted is needed in every movie. And don't give me this PG-13 horror movie rating! Me wants some mutant on mutant load sharing!
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:53 p.m. CST
by Jack Burton
The remake was garbage. Pointless, nihilistic, reprehensible, strangely jingoistic, and totally unfocussed. And Haute Tension sucked ass. Why everyone crawls up Aja's butt on that one befuddles me. The new wave of "extreme horror" is on it's way out. This will open with a thud and hopefully "Hostel: Part 2" (man that's a pretentious title)will test so badly it never releases and Roth gets kicked off "Cell". Maybe then horror movies will start having plots again. Hey, I can dream can't I?
Jan. 18, 2007, 2:58 p.m. CST
Well fuck my ozone.
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:08 p.m. CST
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:07 p.m. CST
and in meat pie.
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:24 p.m. CST
"There's Eyes in Them Thar Hills!"
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST
by Harry Weinstein
...actually, wasn't that in CRANK? Been meaning to see that.
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:31 p.m. CST
by Dr Gregory House
Of Lauara Palmer Mars-Hardly Clerkin'
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST
Yeah, sorry, but I agree with the guy who called the remake "vile", which it completely was. Well-made for the most part, but completely over the line for the sake of being over the line. That scene with the mutant Robert Joy (he's a local boy, had to name drop) feeding from the woman's breast before he kills her? Completely, completely tasteless and disgusting. Most violence in flicks depends on context, meaning that horror movies will treat it like a Bugs Bunny cartoon and serious flicks like Saving Private Ryan will bother people like it did when it first came out. So yeah, context is definitely important. The problem with the rape stuff is that in this context, it was a completely cheap and underhanded way of disturbing/unnerving the audience. If Aja can't figure out a way to inspire dread in his flicks, he figures "I know! We'll take an innocent pregnant lady and have her raped and suckled by a mutant guy in front of her family before being murdered as well!". I'm sorry, but this is just completely inexcusable. Oddly enough, while bothered by the rape scene in Irreversible, I wasn't OFFENDED by it. Probably because I took it as an example of why rape is so horrible to begin with and also because I saw it as a challenging aspect of the flick rather than a cheap gimmick used to frighten (which didn't even work, that movie wasn't scary). All I can say is that after seeing that cheap, substanceless (is that even a word? probably not) piece of torture porn garbage, I'm really glad I got to see The Descent so I could see some actual technique used for scares and atmosphere rather than some intentional rape porn shit. So yeah, there's my opinion on the whole thing.
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:41 p.m. CST
I have a very open mind and am very anti-censorship for the most part, but when I see violent rape being trivialized and used as a gimmick for shock value, I feel the need to question it. If you get off on cartoonish violence and find it entertaining, that's cool.... it's your thing and I respect that. I just have a problem with vile bullshit being used to replace actual skills when it comes to filmmaking. All this does is lower the bar for the next generation of horror filmmakers who will rely on cheap, disgusting crap rather than interesting situations, good technical ability and at least halfway decent writing.
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:53 p.m. CST
Talking about how depraved these movies are and how anyone watching them must be the same... how they're helping lead us to the end.... well, you're full of shit, and obviously live in some sheltered world where everything is black and white, everyone and everything easily tagged as 'good' or 'evil'.<p> Listen, I've been watching gory, violent flicks since I was a young kid, starting back with 'Alien' and 'American Werewolf in London'.... fell in love with the gory and gruesome and depraved, and have continued to seek out films that fill this niche. These are like cartoons for me, good clean fun, nothing more. I'm clean, well-dressed and one of the most polite guys you'll ever meet, I always open doors for the elderly, say thank you and please, don't get in fights, and would never, ever take advantage of a woman, and would stand up to anyone who did. I'm sometimes crude & vile, have the sickest sense of humor possible (the holocaust? pedophilia? death & destruction? ripe for great comedy says I), but I'm aforward thinking vegetarian who despises these things when they happen in the real world.... See, I know the difference between reality and what happens on screen. Did when I was a kid too, being a so-called "gorehound" didn't turn me into a maladjusted psychopath on iota. If you're stupid enough to be affected in such a way, you'll probably end up not being the best person anyway.... and the way I see it, the increasing violence in movies is more a reflection of our world than a cause. Then again, I'm pretty numb to onscreen violence, I didn't think the Hills remake was all that gory or depraved. And despite my love of good gore, I'll take something grim, but with substance and atmosphere, than one of these "cartoons" any day. And it is bullshit that nudity & sexuality has become more frowned upon by the ratings board than violence.... Thats what happens when puritans are in charge.
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:55 p.m. CST
I don't think I made my point clearly enough: I don't blame society's ills on violent movies (this is an old and silly argumet), and I am also not attacking "horror" filmmakers. I love horror movies, I grew up on the great ones (films from the golden age of 70's and 80's such as Rosemary's Baby, Carpenter's The Thing, The Exorcist, The Reanimator, The Evil Dead movies, etc.). I think Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic of the genre, but I turned The Hills Have Eyes off in the middle and felt like I had to take a shower. I felt sad, and empty. What I am taking issue with is the particular "genre" that is sometimes referred to as "torture porn". And I am not in the need of a reality check. When a beheading, or a hanging, or some more creative form of torture comes out of Iraq or elsewhere, it becomes difficult for certain people to tell the difference between that and a scene from Hostel or The Hills Have Eyes. What it comes down to is that these movies don't have any other point than to be gratuitously violent and nihilistic. And Aja or no Aja, these are studio products. The Romans, during their decline, gathered to see people gore each other while the aristocracy got rich off the spectacle; we gather at the multiplex while morally bankrupt studio suits reap the benefits. There is no imagination, no fantasy, no allusions or metaphors to be had in these movies, only pornographic violence. I am not saying these movies "cause" people to be more violent, but the movies and the culture reflect each other – and our culture is incredibly violent and people are increasingly more desensitized to this violence, to the real violence going on elsewhere in the world. Why is there no widespread antiwar movement here in the U.S.? The populace is belligerent, and a lot of people would rather drive a Humvee and watch "Weapons of the Future" on the War Channel than commit themselves to peace. If you'd like to masturbate to The Hills Have Eyes 2, be my guest. I was simply trying to make a point about violence in our culture.
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:54 p.m. CST
by Leopold Scotch
Ernest goes to the Hills.
Jan. 18, 2007, 3:55 p.m. CST
by Dr Gregory House
My ring's outside!
Jan. 18, 2007, 4:01 p.m. CST
You people keep referring to any enjoyment of what you see as depraved entertainment as "getting off", sort of your way of insulting us and indicating that we must be depraved too. Well, I for one have never gotten so much as even the hint of an erection, much less "gotten off", while watching a gore flick, they're usually just not that sexy. Well, there is one hot scene in From Beyond, but it's over before I can get worked up into a good heat....
Jan. 18, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST
Mutant hillbillies attack a Las Vegas casino and Nic Cage has to battle them all while trying to save his sister from being turned into a lampshade.
Jan. 18, 2007, 4:18 p.m. CST
I wanted to play too.
Jan. 18, 2007, 4:21 p.m. CST
Actually, I agree with most of what you just said... those are some of my favorite horror films too (esp "the Thing"), and Americans' love of excess and 'me first' and war machines and fucking the world is sickening, far more than anything I've seen in any movies in recent memory (um, unless that movie is a romantic chick flick, especially starring duff or lohan... that's scary). Hostel and The Hills type movies out now though, I guess I just don't see them as excessive.... they're mediocre cartoons to me. Definitely not a return to the golden age as some think. Oh well, your heart's in the right place, sorry I called you a Puritan.....
Jan. 18, 2007, 4:33 p.m. CST
Studies have shown that these people are more than 80% more likely to shop/work at Hot Topic, listen to bands such as Staind, Trapt, and other such bands with misspelled monikers, play Magic The Gathering and be on the receiving end of punches thrown by guys wearing Abercrombie & Fitch. Now that's one to grow on!
Jan. 18, 2007, 4:34 p.m. CST
Jan. 18, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST
This movies sounds like shit on a stick.
Jan. 18, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST
Not that I'm compairing the mediocre at best "The Hills Have Eyes" remake with the amazing "28 Days Later", but when a horror sequel comes out anything's possible.
Jan. 18, 2007, 5:06 p.m. CST
by Turd Furgeson
DAM YOU ROB ZOMBIE
Jan. 18, 2007, 5:19 p.m. CST
by TORTURE PWN
Damn you ZOMBAY!
Jan. 18, 2007, 5:25 p.m. CST
Did anyone else notice the heavy Straw Dogs influence on the first remake? I mean right down to the timing of the rape scene and the character's look at the end.
Jan. 18, 2007, 5:45 p.m. CST
I wouldn't read too much into it, because I can vouch for myself in saying that this was all it actually meant. Anyways, I agree with both JuliusSeizure and adolfwolfli in that Julius sees this stuff as cartoonish and adolf stresses the importance of context and intelligence. Lack of censorship doesn't really work unless the public is educated and intelligent enough to make good choices, correct? The scary part is that the hangings and beheadings going on lately are all being used for a very specific reason and there's actually more showmanship going on with them than was in Aja's "Hills" remake. What we need right now is somebody talented and intelligent enough to come along and harness all the fucked up shit in the world and channel it into a classic horror flick the way guys like Carpenter, Craven, Hooper and others did.
Jan. 18, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST
Has that been said yet? I'm too late.
Jan. 18, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST
Jan. 18, 2007, 5:56 p.m. CST
Jan. 18, 2007, 7 p.m. CST
The Eyes Have Glaucoma!
Jan. 18, 2007, 7:23 p.m. CST
by future help
-killer muntants in the Alps filled with song, dance and magical moments.
Jan. 18, 2007, 7:33 p.m. CST
supermarch, I'm glad somebody else picked up on that reference! I didn't see The Hills Have Eyes remake as one of those "extreme" horror movies everyone's bitching aboutt. Maybe I'm wrong, but I see it as a modern day Peckinpah movie. We start with a pussy liberal that laughs at guns and people who use them. By the end, this guy's covered in blood and practicaly getting off on blowing chunks out of the bad guys with a sawed off shotgun! I thought it was about how much shit a nice guy will take before standing up. But that's just my opinion, so go easy on me guys. That is all.
Jan. 18, 2007, 7:35 p.m. CST
THE CARS HAVE EYES? I mean really, that was way creepier than any of this deranged mutant crap.
Jan. 18, 2007, 7:44 p.m. CST
by white owl
but "the cars have eyes" makes more sense I suppose.
Jan. 18, 2007, 8:17 p.m. CST
...is it overly silver? I really cant stand rape scenes if they're too silver.
Jan. 18, 2007, 8:24 p.m. CST
by D Rok
I don’t want to stir anything up here, especially seeing as how I agree with your sentiments, but I just have to take you to task about one little thing that you said... ...“When a beheading, or a hanging, or some more creative form of torture comes out of Iraq or elsewhere, it becomes difficult for certain people to tell the difference between that and a scene from Hostel or The Hills Have Eyes.”... .. I’m not entirely sure this is a valid argument, unless by “certain people” you mean those in psychiatric wards. As a fan of the genre, you must know as well as I do that regular, decent folk can be both desensitised to onscreen violence, and at the same time horrified by real violence. You watch someone get gutted in a movie and you go either “cool”, “ew”, or “well that was shite...”, and yet you’re sitting in a pub and someone gets a bottle in the face and THAT haunts you for weeks.. I think we, as a world, are desensitised to special effects and prosthetics and blood bags exploding on our screens, but not to real, genuine horror, and that’s a difference I don’t see discussed as much as it should be. Just my two cents...
Jan. 18, 2007, 8:25 p.m. CST
The People for Less Silver in Rape Scenes, of course. I dont much care for silver in rape scenes, and I know others are annoyed by it, as well. The P.L.S.R.S. has been keeping cinematic depictions of rape silver-free for over 50 years, and hopefully they do something about this recent travesty of filmmaking.
Jan. 18, 2007, 8:35 p.m. CST
Believe it or not, there was a rape scene in the original cut of the Wizard of Oz. The Tinman raped Dorothy, and the film grade was all grainy and silver, and there was evil carnival music playing and deep, evil laughing. The reason it was taken out of the film? You guessed it. TOO MUCH SILVER! Also, Judy Garland put a rider in the script that said she and Mickey Rooney hated silver.
Jan. 18, 2007, 8:55 p.m. CST
"I think we, as a world, are desensitised to special effects and prosthetics and blood bags exploding on our screens". I agree, but I think there's some spillover to basically anything viewed on a television screen at a certain point. Most people can differentiate between fantasy and reality well enough, but I think there's a point you get to when you've seen so much fucked up shit that seeing a little more fucked up shit in a different context doesn't hit you as hard as it possibly would have. This is not to say that I have much of a problem with violence in films, as I personally find Laguna Beach and other such TV shows to be far more offensive than some squibs and blood packs, but that's a different issue.
Jan. 18, 2007, 9:23 p.m. CST
this really intersting and beautiful preview, with great music came on. I was really interested in whatever this was. I could have sat there and watched that preview all day long, then suddenly out jumped the most horrific sight I have ever seen in a film/preview, the title of the film "THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2" suddenly my dick got limp and I was pissed until Children came on. What a cock tease.
Jan. 18, 2007, 9:46 p.m. CST
All of you guys who are saying that movies like The Hills Have Eyes and Hostel are nothing but "torture porn" that our depraved society "gets off" on... you DO realize that you sound just like my 50+ year-old screenwriting teacher who gets on her soapbox and complains about how "amoral" Tarantino is and how bankrupt Hollywood is because of its oh so violent movies? Seriously, though, look at this way: so many people are involved in making a film - people write the story, raise money, build sets, act, etc...Do you REALLY think that all of these individuals are going to come together just to make something that could be qualified as "torture porn"? I'll readily admit that the two Saw sequels have been shitty horror movies but there's no way in hell their intended purpose is to somehow sexually turn on audiences with their violence...No movie that comes out of Hollywood is JUST violence, there is always some kind of moral or political subtext or, if it's not that deep, at least some issue raised. Saw deals with issues of morality, guilt, Biblical judgment, etc. Hostel dealt with xenophobia and Americans' post-9/11 fear of resentful foreigners. Anyway, to say that this stuff is just "porn", well, you honestly need to momentarily ignore your initial negative reaction to the violence onscreen and objectively view these movies for what they are. They may be crap but they are most definitely not pornography. All the people who throw out the label of "torture porn" have obviously not seen many Japanese horror movies - much of their extreme cinema makes Hostel look positively TIMID, and yet no one here is hollering about the collapse of Japan's society or how "Japan is the new Roman empire!"
Jan. 18, 2007, 9:49 p.m. CST
Nice work, guys. "The Hills have Eye2"... "I STILL Know That What Eyes Your Hills Have!". Love it.
Jan. 18, 2007, 10:04 p.m. CST
"Baby's fat. You fat... fat and juicy."
Jan. 18, 2007, 10:56 p.m. CST
Exactly! <P> While everyone seemed to be inclined to immediately dismiss the remake I lucked out and totally saw Dustin Hoffman with the broken glasses as soon as I saw that character in The Hills. After that the whole thing played out nicely. <P> Shoot me for saying this but I think The Hills have Eyes remake is a great movie to show in film schools.
Jan. 18, 2007, 11:02 p.m. CST
You DO realize that Japan has a borderline epidemic of extreme youth violence right? Preteen girls cutting the heads off of classmates and the like? Not to mention the number one fantasy for women in Japan is said to be rape. <P> I loves me some Miike and Yakuza killfest shit but saying that the Japanese are normal is pretty ignint. <P> You DO realize you're just seeing this whole situation through American eyes. And just because there's worse stuff out there doesn't mean 13 year olds in this hemisphere shouldn't see torturous rape scenes. <P> We all get the heavy subtext of all the pieces you mentioned and we DO realize everything you just said. But no of it is conclusive on the subject matter.
Jan. 19, 2007, 12:24 a.m. CST
that THE HILLS HAVE EYES, both the original and the remake, are ABOUT violence in our society. This is not some phony excuse like that one about CHAOS teaching girls not to go into the woods alone. Wes Craven was a college professor and was always trying to put deep/pretentious shit in his movies. That's what I like so much about both the original and the remake. Even though both are flawed in their own ways, they take on this mythic quality because of the way Craven set up the story with the all American suburban family defending themselves from the crazy mutant bastard savages, and quickly becoming indistinguishable from them. The duality theme even goes into the naming of the identical dogs, Beauty and Beast (of course Beauty is the one that gets killed).<p> The remake does have a little more fun with the idea, what with the American flag stabbing and the over-the-top music of triumph at the end. But you'd have to have your finger on the fast forward button and one eye on Don't Know What I'm Talking About Weekly Magazine to miss these obvious themes.<p> I know you guys like to use this torture porn argument whenever possible because you're trying to give me a coronary, but especially in this case you are clearly not paying attention to the movie or not giving it enough credit. I think the movie actually agrees with you guys, you're just looking down on it too much to notice that it is saying something.<p> And that said, what the fuck is wrong with enjoying a violent movie about mutant hill people? How is that so far removed from spidermen punching each other? I don't enjoy violence for violence's sake. I don't watch all these DTV serial killer bios, Guinea Pig or any of the many movies you guys never heard of that actually fit the description that you are sticking on these tamer mainstream movies like HOSTEL. But mutant cannibals is a fun time at the movies, or at least can be, and you guys are being silly. Admit it. We're all friends here. You big sillies.<p> As for the sequel, who knows, but the teaser is great, the setup sounds good and the fact that this guy criticizes it because he's a "gorehound" is not convincing. On the other hand, I am not a fan of the rape scenes so I'm sorry to hear that. And I know nothing of this director so any faith in him is just optimism.<p> Just kidding buds let's stamp out this filth. I am going to write a letter to Senator Clinton as soon as I hit post comment.
Jan. 19, 2007, 12:39 a.m. CST
by Dr Gregory House
Bill C: "I DID NOT have sexual relations with that woman. " Interrogator: "You didn't have sex with Miss Lewinsky?" Bill C : "Miss Lewinsky? Hell man...I porked the shit outta her. I thought you were askin' 'bout Hillary."
Jan. 19, 2007, 12:41 a.m. CST
what the hell is rockity-hop? Hmm, that is brilliant man. Yes I listen to rock, metal, and industrial. No, I do not wear my pants down to where ever you say these kids wear them (yes a lot of young people are idiots, not all) mine are right where they belong. No, I do not shop at Hot Topic or listen to shit bands who can't spell. No, I have never played that stupid game. Those so called Abercrombie and Bitch guys you talk about, well they are usually on the recieving end of my trucks grill. Never do I let idiots push me around. All you "torture porn" nasayers need to get your heads out of your ass. Most of these "torure porn" films are in reality anti-violence. Open your eyes and minds morons.
Jan. 19, 2007, 12:48 a.m. CST
My quotes, "well they are usually on the recieving end of my trucks grill"....."anti-violence" kind of ironic those two were in my post
Jan. 19, 2007, 1:04 a.m. CST
Jan. 19, 2007, 2:13 a.m. CST
REMAKE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS whydon`tyou!!!!
Jan. 19, 2007, 2:29 a.m. CST
2 flew over the Hills with Eyes GoldenHeye2 Beverly Hills with Eyes ...and so on.
Jan. 19, 2007, 2:40 a.m. CST
Jan. 19, 2007, 7:14 a.m. CST
The Hills Have Eyes remake was a fun film. It was not “torture porn” (please define this anyway as another film lumped into this category “Hostel” was not as hardcore as was made out by some). You people need to just chill out and have some fun at the movies. I’m the last guy who would defend crap like those Saw movies or Rob Zombies films, but Hostel and Hills……..good movies. Maybe the kids these days are getting too conservative??
Jan. 19, 2007, 7:21 a.m. CST
Do you really think that The Hills Have Eyes is a "comment" on violence in our society? OK, maybe, just maybe, Craven, back in the early 80's, was attempting to make some sort of comment. But I don't think anyone involved with these remakes either picked up on that or really cares. What I saw was the very flashy, slick photographing of a women being raped and murdered; the cinematograpy looked like a Versace ad, yet I was watching a brutal rape and murder. Some of you people have been duped into believing that there's some motivation outside of profit in the production of these remakes. I'l admit, Hostel was cartoonish, and also very funny at points, and also took its time, and also had a "message", however hackneyed. Like I said, I am a lifelong devotee to the horror genre, movies or otherwise, and I found no redeeming qualities in this film.
Jan. 19, 2007, 8:49 a.m. CST
I'm digging the discussion, to be honest. I'm also glad that everyone seems to agree that the rape stuff is just completely needless. That scene in the remake was what really bothered me... and not in the good "So Quaid DIDN'T go to Mars??" way.
Jan. 19, 2007, 8:50 a.m. CST
First, adolf - not to be picky or anything, but Roman audiences loved violence while Rome was rising, too. The gladiatorial games were banned by the Christian emperors, so while Rome was "falling" there wasn't much in the way of violent entertainment at all, unless you count Mass. Also, if we were to take what Aristotle and Nietzsche have to say on the subject literally, the POINT of violent or horrifying art is the violence and the horror, and all the pretty plots, themes, social commentary, characterization, sharp writing, etc. we put on top of it is superfluous and is just the way we justify it to ourselves. Ultimately the final theme of violent art is "Remember, you are mortal," or, perhaps, "The universe is coming to get you, to punish you for your pride." The rest may just be wankery. Now, I'm not saying those guys are right and you're wrong, because frankly I'm not sure.
Jan. 19, 2007, 9:16 a.m. CST
by Cellar Door
Staring Dabney Coleman as Uranus and Chevy Chase as Sweet Cheese McGee, the National Guard Sgt.
Jan. 19, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST
I think we would've gotten the same message from the remake without the extended rape scene and gore. That's everyone's point. It's like you're buying a car. The problem is it's got shit all over it. But the sales guy says "but look how awesome the interior is! And under the shit this thing is cherry". Most people can't look past the shit on the outside. It makes these messages (which are usually pretty obvious and unnecessary...I mean who has an epiphany or something after a horror movie) inaccessible and it almost makes it seem like the only reason they're there is so after when someone says the movie sucks the creative staff can go 'well shows what you know Asshat because we layered that motherfucker with social commentary so you just didn't like it cause you're a grade A retard!'. A movie with a message can still suck ass. <P> That being said I'm such a devout Peckinpah fan that I enjoyed the remake. Just not the mutant rape. It wasn't nauseating like Irreversible but it still took me by the hand and walked me to a bad place. <P> Here's a rule: if you're going to go that far with the torture and the porn and mixing the two then you better have one kick ass ending. You can't have a series of pounding without a strong money shot at the end. No more blue balling audiences.
Jan. 19, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST
Maybe I need to check out that unrated DVD to know what you're talking about. In the theatrical version I don't remember any "extended rape scene." One of the mutants tried to suckle from the woman and if I remember right he was distracted before he did anything else, or at least if anything happened it was off screen.<p> So if it's different in the unrated version maybe that's part of why we're not on the same page here. Honestly, I think it's kind of hypocritical of me that I don't mind seeing people killed in movies but don't want to see rape. I can't really justify that but it's my tastes I guess.<p> But yes, I'm serious about the themes of the movie, and it's not like they're subtle about it. I don't think these frenchmen are as sincere about it as Craven was back in the day, but part of the reason I enjoyed it was I thought they were respectful of those original themes. If it was Platinum Dunes there's no way that would've been in there. But these guys even played it up with the American flag on their RV later being used to impale a mutant.<p> Craven even had the family named after President Carter to show they were all american. I'm glad Aja didn't update that though because that would've been too much.
Jan. 19, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST
At least so I can have a fresher mental image of what was going on in that flick. I could've picked it up at Walmart a few weeks ago during the Boxing Week sales (yay Canada), but got distracted by The Karate Kid and got that instead. As a result, my girlfriend hasn't stopped singing that "You're the BEST... AROUND.... nuthin's gonna ever keep you down!" song for a week now.
Jan. 19, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST
While I found the rape in the uncut version to be needlessly pointless, I didn't have a problem with the violence. What I had a problem with was that the remake of the Hills Have Eyes was basically just yet another in a long string of films that said, "If you leave the city rednecks are going to kill you for no good reason except that they are rednecks." <br><br> Now, I'm not big on motivation or character developement, but it would have been nice for the redneck mutants to actually have a reason for killing people or even staying in that nuked out town. Instead we basically get yet another variation on Deliverance or any other number of films where city people go out into rural areas and get killed by rural people. Yawn-tastic.<br><br>If there is some sort of commentary on violence in this film, I missed it. For all teh crap people like to give the Saw films, at least they bother to try and have a twist which makes it interesting to try and figure out. Toxic Avenger has more commentary on violence than that the remake of the Hills Have Eyes.
Jan. 19, 2007, 1:20 p.m. CST
it would be all too easy to shoot down your comments mate, but there are many films that i hold in high esteem that others shoot down. enough people had the same, or at least similar, interpretation as you on the 1st remake, hence the money for a sequel. that said, a couple of observations if i may. the version i saw was the "unrated dvd", and quite frankly all i saw was a dull, timid thing desperatley trying to be "controversial" by means of pretending that it pushed some sort of cinematic boundaries. it was not as tiresome as Hostel, but it was pretty close. the 70's is the home of cinematic boundary-breaking in regards of extreme sex and violence. it got traded in for designer violence and sillicone tits in the 80's, then went to sleep in the 90's. don't think you saw things that you didn't in the 90's - Se7en, brilliant though it may be, held back on the visual stuff. it would be nice if filmmakers today were trying to capture the spirit of testing thresholds like the 70's, but in essence they seem to be making cheap and cheerful tacky numbers.
Jan. 19, 2007, 2:06 p.m. CST
Who Went Up a Hill That Has Eyes But Came Down in Pieces.
Jan. 19, 2007, 2:27 p.m. CST
by Cult Exiter
in Dali & I: The Surreal Story, by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca; Lord of War). Oh, the talkback: I really enjoyed the Aja's remake, unrated. But it seems I'll keep my eyes closed and pass by Hills Have 2 More Eyes... Should have been Hills Have 2 Many Eyes, with a different cast and director.
Jan. 19, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST
Linda Lovelace for President!
Jan. 19, 2007, 7:37 p.m. CST
I'M HAPPY TO HEAR ITS some what toned down I don't go to the movie to throw up!
Jan. 19, 2007, 8:47 p.m. CST
I agree with you completely about TCM: The Beginning. I rented that movie the other night because I'm a huge horror fan, i.e. I'm a sucker and I'll watch every horror movie that comes out, no matter how shitty. But that was truly one of the worst horror flicks I've ever seen in my life. And I actually thought that the first remake - while nowhere near as good as the classic original - wasn't half-bad. But The Beginning is just pure bile. I'd call it "nihilistic" but that'd be giving the filmmakers too much credit; there was clearly NO philosophy behind the making of that movie. It was a structure-less mess, just 100 minutes of four people being tortured by a bunch of cartoony inbred cannibals. You hardly got to know the characters before they were strung up and relentlessly beat and slaughtered for a good hour. I know other people complain that this is exactly what happened in Hostel and The Hills Have Eyes but - seriously - everyone needs to see The Beginning and they'll realize just how good those other flicks really are. There is nothing inventive in The Beginning. At least the first TCM remake had a few surreal touches that conjured the atmosphere of a nightmare: my favorite sequence is when the little kid is leading Jessica Biel through the tunnels below the house as Leatherface chases them. Completely surreal and nightmarish, sort of like a dark fairy tale. In other words, there was some creativity behind it. The Beginning is just four teenagers strung up in a barn and mercilessly beat until they all die, and you know none of the villains will die because it's a "prequel" - so the audience is denied the visceral thrill that usually comes when the hero finally takes revenge on their torturers, as happened in The Hills Have Eyes. Also, the popularity of pro wrestling has completely ruined the horror genre: Leatherface keeps getting bigger and bigger in every movie, so know he looks like a steroid-pumped WWF star. The character is supposed to be based on Ed Gein, for crying out loud - a scrawny old dude from Wisconsin! Anyway, yeah, The Beginning sucked. See it only if you want to revel in life's meaninglessness for an hour and 40 minutes.
Jan. 19, 2007, 8:52 p.m. CST
While I don't exactly have the numbers in front of me (and numbers lie anyway), I don't think you could call Japan's youth violence "epidemic." The country is relatively small and whenever something horrific does happen - like a school girl stabbing her classmate - it makes major shockwaves in the country. Contrast that with the US where gang violence takes place every day in ubran environments. Remember it's much harder to get a gun in Japan. They're not actually dropping kids on islands with automatic weapons. I know Japan has a lot of problems with "suicide fads" and things like that but I think that's just because they're a more existential society and they wrestle with the void on a more regular basis than Americans. I mean, have you ever seen "Blue Spring" or Shinya Tsukamoto's movies? That's some depressing shit. But it's all real, man.
Jan. 19, 2007, 9:06 p.m. CST
I have to side with my man, Vern, who I feel allegiance to since he's one of the last few people devoted to studying the dying career of one Steven Seagal. But I also have to say that I only saw The Hills Have Eyes theatrical cut, which didn't feature any rape (thankfully). Just a lot of mutant killin, which I like.
Jan. 19, 2007, 10:21 p.m. CST
I disagree with you there bud. Although I liked the movie, my biggest reservation is that they threw in that speech EXPLICITLY EXPLAINING the motivation for the killing. It sounds like you missed it, which means you saw a better version of the movie. When I saw it, the character "Big Brain" (the elephant man looking dude in the wheelchair) made a corny speech that too clearly explained the class themes of the new version, saying that "you people" tried to force the miners to leave their homes, and then dropped bombs on them when they didn't leave, turning them into mutants, and that's why they hate the surface dwellers and want to kill them. I think that it is better to leave the motivations to the imagination, because we can pretty much come up with the same thing without this guy explaining it to us.<p> I would also disagree with calling these mutants rednecks. They are savages. They have their own weird tribal way of living. I don't think they're watching Larry the Cable Guy. But my view of them may be painted by the original where they live in a cave.<p> As for the commentary, it is similar to many Craven movies but I think this is the story where he put it down most clearly. It is a story about seemingly civilized people defending themselves from savages and in the process turning just like them. In the original they get so far gone they leave their own mother as bait, which in my opinion is unethical. The idea is that the line between polite society and savage fucking monsters is pretty thin. To put it in talkbacker terms, they are TAINTed by their revenge. Craven explored this idea earlier in LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and sort of worked it into A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET with the parents' vigilante justice against Freddy Krueger coming back to haunt their children.<p> I'm not saying it's deep, I'm not saying it's gonna change your life, but I do think it's more intelligent than the average slasher movie. Not that a movie can't be fun without being intelligent. I enjoyed SEE NO EVIL as much as the next guy.
Jan. 19, 2007, 10:38 p.m. CST
Man, I gotta agree with you on that Chain Saw prequel. The people I know of who liked it cite exactly that as it's strength, that it's completely bleak and nihilistic and you know the kids die and the killers live from frame 1, because it's a prequel.<p> But to me the thrill of these types of movies is not just the revenge as you said (like if the soldier dude had gone through with his threat of killing R. Lee Ermey) but the getting away, or the trying to get away. In HALLOWEEN, TEXAS CHAIN SAW etc. you root for the characters to get away. WOLF CREEK got alot of shit for supposedly being too cruel and nihilistic, but that had that thrill to me. They are trying. Some of the characters die in horrible and disturbing ways, but they just about get away by the skin of their teeth, and you believe there is that chance. Not so in The Beginning.<p> Also, couldn't agree with you more about the WWEification of horror. A big hulking Leatherface is fine (Tobe Hooper always says he hired Gunnar Hansen because he filled the door frame when he walked in to audition). But he still has to have a personality. He shouldn't be a fuckin muscleman coming through and making evil poses. I want my Leatherface retarded and shy. Leatherface used to be a character, now he's just a corny Halloween costume.<p> And that reminds me of something from the HILLS HAVE EYES remake that I think deserves praise. You don't get a chance to know most the mutants very well, but the character Ruby is great. She is actually much more believable than the Ruby in the original movie. And the digital effect to make her eyes spaced too far apart is amazing - everyone I talked to about it really believed the actress looked like that. (I only knew because I read it somewhere.)
Jan. 20, 2007, 1:56 a.m. CST
I don't think you can criticise the remake too much for having the unsubtle "this is what the theme is!" speech, because obviously a LOT of viewers, or at least talkbackers, did not get it. That the mutants were the products of the society the Carters/whatever the family was named in the remake came from, and that the violence they were giving out was payback. Incidentally, from my viewpoint, there was an added irony to the 'Straw Dogs' style change in the 'liberal' male lead. The gun-toting conservatives - wiped out by the mutants no problems. The liberal who hates violence - jumps in (despite his professed beliefs) and 'gets off' on discovering his bloodlust, being far more violent than the 'carry a gun' types could ever have imagined themselves acting.
Jan. 20, 2007, 3:16 a.m. CST
That's the first horror film in years where I've genuinely wanted the characters to escape alive. There's no explosive opening, and it builds steadily and constantly with the dread, yet allows time for you to get to know (and like) the characters on their journey to the crater.<p>Once it gets down to business, it's certainly cruel, but's it's also thrilling in a way that any Platinum Dunes or Dark castle shit could ever hope to emulate. And I really liked the fact that the girls weren't especially gorgeous (though not minging either), they were more real and likeable. And you gotta love a film where **SPOILER ALERT** the bad guy gets away with it and continues to slaughter another day.
Jan. 20, 2007, 9:23 p.m. CST
by Rambo in the Bronx
The remake is better.
Jan. 21, 2007, 7:47 a.m. CST
I haven't read this entire Talkback but I just couldn't resist posting my opinion. I for one quite enjoyed the Hills Have Eyes remake. I thought it was a brutal, technically accomplished and disturbing flick that didn't pull its punches. I don't know why everybody is up in arms about this "excessive violence in films" issue when a movie like Irréversible, in which a ten minute rape-sequence is shown, becomes a critic's darling (or some critic's darling). I don't know if there's a difference between your American and my European point of view but we get the same movies here as you guys do and somehow we seem to watch them while never loosing sight of the fact that it is "unreal". I grew up watching horrormovies. Some shrinks might say I should a fucking lunatic right now whereas that is most definitely not the case. I'm appalled by violence in today's society, I quickly found out I'm a pacifist; a "why don't we all get along"- type person and I'm so fucking disgusted by war it's not even funny. There's an increase in violence in Europe as well and I don't know why that is but I'll never blame it on videogames or movies or literature! That's way too easy. If a guy mimics scenes then there has to be something wrong with that certain individual. And if mankind selfdestructs in a rage of violence, then my point is made: that we, as a species, are rotten to the core; something I truly believe. We are capable of doing the best of things but in the end we are all selfish beings, destined to look out for ourselves. That misantrophic knowledge makes me sad and I hope I'm wrong about that. Then there's another thing I wanna say: I'm sick and tired of today's cynicism and everybody going on about how the movies are in decline and shit. Look, film is my passion. I refuse to believe film is dead. That, quite simply, isn't the case and if you think it is maybe you shouldn't be here. These days we are - more than ever - capable of seeing all sorts of movies; big-budget, arthouse, foreign, you name it. If you're close-minded and you only pay attention to the Lindsay Lohan-type rom-com variety or by the numbers horror-sequel-remakes then that's your problem. But I still love going to the cinema and sometimes you guys make me feel like I'm somehow wrong about that. Just my two cents.
Jan. 21, 2007, 7:30 p.m. CST
by Cylon Agent
...I'm really disappointed. Aja's HHE is one of my favorite movies simply because it was different. Characters didn't simply die by order of disrobing. In the sequal it seems the original ideas and what few layers the remake had are now gone. An unfair end to something that could have been a fistfull of awesome delivered directly to the crotch. I guess my balls will have to remain intact this spring. So sad...
Jan. 21, 2007, 9:17 p.m. CST
Wasn't his name Jupiter?