"The Hills Have Eyes (1977/Blu-ray/Image Entertainment)" Review

Synopsis: The Carters are an all-American family on their way to California when their car breaks down far from civilization in the remote southwestern desert. But they are not alone. Watching from the hills is a very different kind of clan, a family of marauding inbred cannibals with an unspeakable taste for human flesh and monstrous brutality. In the nightmare that follows, what depravities must this wholesome family endure to survive? And in a primal wasteland ruled by lust and rage, who will become the most shocking savages of all?

Review: Wes Craven has been one of those directors who has made films that have broken ground in the horror genre, but at the same time he has made some really bad films as well which to me has made him into a director that can be hit or miss. Now this film we have before us here today is one of his hits. Now I am not going to get into talking too much about this film because there is not much more that can be said about it that hasn't already been said before.

To me this is the grandfather film of "backwoods cannibals" long before films like Wrong Turn came along and started a wave of half-assed films in this sub-genre. This was the second film that I ever experienced in the Craven catalog and it truly has stuck with me well throughout my life. It has a basic premise about a family who gets terrorized by cannibal cave dwellers along with a minimal cast of great actors to round this film off. You have the great talents of Michael Berryman (Weird Science) as Pluto, Dee Wallace Stone (Cujo) as Lynne Wood to name a few. This film truly shows that with the right cast and locations you can make a film great without having to spend out 100 million dollars. On that note also what made me love this film that much more was the location they filmed at, it has this very prehistoric look to it that seems like it has not changed in millions of years.  Bottomline this is truly a great film and a great lesson in film making.

Now onto what you want to know about and that is the overall presentation of this blu-ray. Well  I am very split on this one, on one hand I do realize that this film was done on Super 16 film which is a cheaper way to do a film but the drawback is that the film may look alot more grainier than normal and rougher. Sadly I cannot use that as an excuse for the transfer on this release because if you go back and watch the amazing transfer of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) blu-ray it will show you that you can even make a film done on 16mm look great as well on blu-ray. The picture basically looks like an upscaled DVD which is very sad because with the time and effort this could of been an awesome release.

Now there is one positive thing to this release and that is they did port over all the special features from the 2 DVD set that Anchor Bay released years ago so those who did not get that set can now have them. Overall I say if you want to give it a chance than go ahead, but be warned you may not like what you see.

Picture: 2.5/5 Audio:4/5 Special Features: 5/5 Movie:4/5

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Wes Craven
Genre: Horror
Blu-Ray Release Year: 2011
Theatrical Release Year: 1977
Time Length: 90 mins.
Company:Image Entertainment
Website: www.image-entertainment.com