After the drive-in success of Last House on the Left it was a couple of years later when Wes Craven unleashed his next film onto unsuspected cinema-goers with the relentless The Hills Have Eyes.
Whilst on a road trip, the Carter family’s camper van breaks down in the desert. Unfortunately for them a bunch of demented cannibals frequent that particular area of the desert and soon enough the poor suburbanites know what the meaning of pain and suffering is.
The majority of you reading this review will no doubt be familiar with this piece of classic cinema and wondering if the 4K upgrade is worth your time and of course your money. Well, my previous version of ‘Hills’ was an older DVD and whilst having a look at the picture on that vintage DVD and the brand new spanking restoration, the difference is substantial. Shot on I believe, old school 16MM Arrow have certainly spent a lot of care and attention putting together this release. The picture looks as good as I think it could ever be and there is seamless branching of the film’s two endings. We have a few different soundtrack options as well as the sadly missed Wes Craven’s commentary from older releases. It’s a decent package overall with some good supplementary features, postcards, poster and a booklet.
The film is one I experienced a very long time ago (with the original UK release on the long forgotten World of Video 2000 label) and even the best part of 40+ years later it’s still pretty hard core and at times grim and cruel. It is however, a very well made film (considering the budget and the relatively inexperienced Craven) and still has the power to kick you where it hurts with several sequences.
Of course there was a sequel, which was generally hated by everyone but I actually saw it first as it had a pretty big release on video at the time by Thorn EMI. If I am not mistaken I watched this one on the most likely cut Palace Video version a few years later. The remakes of a few years back weren’t bad but not a patch on this horror masterpiece.
Overall, a very satisfying release and well worth picking up.