The Hills Have Eyes

( 6 )

Overview

The wait is over, and thankfully there's no more need for fans to plunder their local video stores in search of the elusive, long out-of-print VHS edition of The Hills Have Eyes with the arrival of Anchor Bay's impressive, double-disc release of horror auteur Wes Craven's nerve-wracking masterpiece. Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, it's a no-brainer that this is likely the best print many fans of The Hills Have Eyes will have seen to date. Lovingly restored from some noticeably gritty source materials ...
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Overview

The wait is over, and thankfully there's no more need for fans to plunder their local video stores in search of the elusive, long out-of-print VHS edition of The Hills Have Eyes with the arrival of Anchor Bay's impressive, double-disc release of horror auteur Wes Craven's nerve-wracking masterpiece. Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, it's a no-brainer that this is likely the best print many fans of The Hills Have Eyes will have seen to date. Lovingly restored from some noticeably gritty source materials (an interesting restoration demonstration is a telling bonus feature), the image is still slightly grainy, though that is likely the result of the original film stock being blown up from 16 mm to 35 mm. Largely free of any apparent debris, the sharp color balance also looks pleasing, with natural skin tones and solid blacks in the film's many night scenes. Of course, if they were going to take so much care in presenting the best image possible, it's a given that they would take just as much care to make this disc the best auditory experience possible. Remixed (and closed captioned) in both DTS 6.1 and Dolby Digital EX 5.1, the newly mastered audio offers an experience that's likely better than that experienced by theatergoers during the film's original run. Though it's not consistently dynamic, both remixes without question offer a good handful of effective highlights that are sure to rattle viewers' nerves. As fantastic as the actual film transfer itself, what's a special edition without some truly satisfying extra features? Thankfully Anchor Bay has realized this, and the bonus disc is sure to offer a few exciting new details to even the most knowledgeable of Craven fanatics. Beginning with a lively and informative commentary track in which Craven and producer Peter Locke reminisce about the film's cut-and-run shoot in detail, it's obvious that a lot of care went into crafting a tightly wound and brutally effective shocker. From his notorious battles with the MPAA to using bacon to achieve an effective dog attack and hot tips on guerilla filmmaking (never ask permission to burn a Joshua tree), the soft-spoken director sentimentally recalls the production in loving detail. The all-new featurette "Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes" (which runs nearly an hour) offers a detailed recollection of the production from the director, producer, cinematographer, and much of the cast, with especially memorable anecdotes from stars Dee Wallace and Michael Berryman. From detailing Craven's origins as a filmmaker to recalling the harsh shooting conditions and humorous stories of how the actors attempted to lighten the mood on set, this featurette is a fine companion piece to the film. Though it has been released on DVD previously, The Directors: The Films of Wes Craven offers a career retrospective featuring numerous interviews and a detailed history of Craven's cinematic history. As if all of this wasn't enough, the inclusion of an alternate ending (which ends the film on a curiously upbeat coda), theatrical trailers and TV spots, impressive galleries of behind-the-scenes photos and advertising art, original storyboard art, a detailed Craven bio, the ability to access the original shooting script and some screen savers via DVD-ROM features, and some well-written liner notes that view the film from a historical standpoint make this disc both a must-have for fans of the film, and a great introduction for those who have yet to experience the sheer terror of this horror classic.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen presentation (1.85:1), enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs; Audio commentary with writer/director Wes Craven and producer Peter Locke; "Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes": An all-new documentary featuring interviews with writer/director Wes Craven, producer Peter Locke, actors Micheal Berryman, Janus Blythe, Robert Houston, Susan Lanier, Dee Wallace, and director of photography Eric Saarinen; "The Directors: The Films of Wes Craven": A career retropective featuring interviews with director Wes Craven, and actors Courteney Cox-Arquette, David Arquette, Adrienne Barbeau, Neve Campbell, Robert Englund, Mitch Pileggi, Bill Pullman, Meryl Streep, Kristy Swanson, and Ray Wise; Alternate ending; Theatrical trailers; TV spots; Behind-the-scenes photos; Posters & advertising art; Original storyboard art; Wes Craven bio; DVD-ROM: Original screenplay and screensavers
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Like an episode of Married With Children on crack, this early Wes Craven effort serves up a colorful clan of social renegades and pits them against a family of middle-class snivelers. This being a horror film from before the age of pervasive irony, of course, the audience is supposed to identify with the itinerant Carter brood rather than the territorial mutants who relentlessly stalk them through the desert. But half the fun is in watching the wholesome, Winnebago-riding Carters get picked off one by one and whine about it. Horror perennial Dee Wallace, hot off a bit part in The Stepford Wives, is the most recognizable face among the supposed good guys, and she hits every catatonic "dingoes ate my baby" mark that's required of her. Pallid golden boy Robert Houston, however, is the most irritatingly sheltered of the lot. Unfortunately, he never gets what's coming to him. Films as varied as Breakdown and The Hitcher have played up the dangers that face ordinary people when they hit the highway; in terms of production quality and psychological acuity, The Hills Have Eyes falls somewhere below those two films, but its exploitation thrills are more potent by half.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/23/2003
  • UPC: 013131257793
  • Original Release: 1977
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital Surround EX
  • Time: 1:29:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susan Lanier Brenda Carter
Robert Houston Bobby Carter
Virginia Vincent Ethel Carter
Russ Grieve Big Bob Carter
Dee Wallace Lynne Wood
Martin Speer Doug Wood
Brenda Marinoff Katy
Stricker The Beast
James Whitworth Jupiter
Cordy Clark Mama
Janus Blythe Ruby
Michael Berryman Pluto
Lance Gordon Mars
Arthur King Mercury
John Steadman Fred
Flora Beauty
Technical Credits
Wes Craven Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Robert A. Burns Art Director, Production Designer
John Frazier Special Effects
Peter Locke Producer
Don Peake Score Composer
Eric Saarinen Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Side A
1. Main Titles
2. Fred's Oasis
3. Stranded
4. Easy Pickin's
5. Dead Dog
6. Nightfall
7. Devil Man
8. Alone in the Dark
9. Visit From the Neighbors
10. Bobby's Secret
11. The Massacre
12. Mutant Family Values
13. The Desperate & the Dying
14. Cannibal Feast
15. The Hunters Hunted
16. Return of the Beast
17. Baiting the Trap
18. Pluto Descending
19. Hellfire
20. Blood Brothers
21. End Credits
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Menu

Side #1 -- Side A
   Chapter Selections
   Audio Setup
      Dolby Digital Surround EX
      DTS ES - Playback requires DTS decoder
      Dolby Surround 2.0
      Mono
      Commentary with writer/director Wes Craven and producer Peter Locke
   Play
Side #2 -- Side B
   Featurettes
      Looking Back at the Hills Have Eyes (55 mins.)
      The Directors: The Films of Wes Craven (59 mins.)
      Restoration Demo (4 mins.)
   Trailers & TV Spots
      U.S. Trailer
      German Trailer
      U.S. TV Spot #1 (:30)
      U.S. TV Spot #2 (:30)
      U.K. TV Spot #1 (:30)
      U.K. TV Spot #2 (:15)
   Alternate Ending
   Still Galleries
      Behind-the-Scenes
      Posters + Advertising
      Storyboards
   Wes Craven Bio
   DVD-ROM Features
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    HILLS HAVE EYES

    Wow what a flick---its great when your on vacation in the desert,in a motor home,with popcorn, and all of a sudden the dogs bark...........We peeked out the windows for hours,its a great movie and creepy as well.I will never forget looking up into the hills all night, with no sleep..We all know never to split up,and walk at night somewhere but guess what,some still do.......I dont...............Just remember,The hills have eyes.....Great all time horror flick,#1 on my shelf.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    THE BEST HORROR MOVIE EVER....

    THIS IS A MUST SEE MOVIE...YOU WILL NOT BELEIVE YOURS EYES IF YOU CAN WATCH THE ENTIRE FILM

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A MUST SEE

    This movie is a must see. For one, its by Wes Craven, the ultimate horror movie master. For two, this movie is just awesome. I have been looking everywhere for THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART TWO, but it isnt made anymore, even though all these websites say it is. Any way, this movie is a must see.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    outstanding!!

    If you like horror, this is a must have. My favorite Craven film(yes, even more Nightmare). Don't listen to the editorial review, that Dillard guy is an idiot. This makes the Hitcher look like little kids movies. This movie will scare you. Even the name, The Hills Have Eyes, how spooky!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    great movie

    i think this movie is a great movie, cause it's really good, and really scary. some parts of the movie will make you jump at some scenes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews