Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1985)

I once worked for one of the Swedish financers behind The Hills Have Eyes Part II. He also raised money, part of it from Sweden, to First Blood. That one became a huge success and made him a rich man for a few years during the eighties, before he wasted it on import wives and booze. But one thing was for sure, The Hills part II was a financial disaster and didn't make any money at all. Not that the original is any favorite of mine, it's one of Wes Craven's weaker "classics", but here Craven just took the job to make some money because he was close to bankruptcy and needed cash fast and without any hazzle. The result become on of the dumbest sequels produced - but it's still quite entertaining, believe or not.

Wes Craven proudly jumps the shark with this hilarious sequel which in a very forced way connects its story to the original movie from 1977. Robert Houston once again plays Bobby, the surviving son from the first movie. He's nowadays a motocross champion... or something... and is planning to the desert again with his friends to a competition. But just before they're leaving Bobby gets a nervous breakdown and they have to go alone - but with Rachel (Janus Blythe) as a protector. She's really Ruby from the first movie, the daughter of our beloved mutant-family! Anyway, because they're late they take a shortcut and ends up stranded in the middle of the desert and gets to meet the family once again...

Everything in this movie is SO stupid. It's hard to even imagine how stupid it is if you haven't seen it. From the legendary "dog-having-a-flashback"-scene to one of the female characters suddenly taking an outdoor shower because "she can't miss a chance like this", and this is in the middle of the night when something fishy obviously is happening around them, her friends disappearing etc. I also need to mention that the final girl is blind, but actually walks around and escapes the family over and over again like she actually can see very, very good!

It's like director/writer Craven just didn't give a shit what was going on! Why introduce an important character like Bobby just to let him go and never be seen again? The overall feeling was that he would show up and save the day in the end, but NOOOO! And how come Ruby is a flashy business-style woman involved with motocross-competitions in this movie? The mutant family obviously is masters on motocross driving also! The movie itself is sloppily edited, has one of the worst visual effects I've seen (when the dog runs away in the night, you will understand when you see it...) and has very uneven lighting! The direction goes from competent to just crap within a blink of an eye in some sequence and the ending is a very elaborate and unnecessary trap that just feels pointless.

Not everything is bad. The movie is quite entertaining and moves along nicely. Michael Berryman is as usual just fantastic and he gets more to do here. Not much gore except a nice bloody throat-slit with machete. Not bad. The best thing with the movie is the location, an old mining village. Very atmospheric place and here we see a lot of nice cinematography and some good directing and editing.

Right now I'm having a flashback to the time when I wrote a review of a better movie, probably with fewer words. So I will get a nervous breakdown and stop this now. The End.

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