Written by / 9/02/2015 / 2 Comments / , , , , , , ,

WES CRAVEN TRIBUTE: THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2

year: 1984 cast: Tamara Stafford, Michael Berryman rating: ***1/2
Finishing our tribute to the late director Wes Craven, THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART 2 has only four eyes: the first pair belonging to Pluto, played by the iconic bald actor Michael Berryman, whose mere appearance in the original (followed by a memorable turn in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST) is of horror/exploitation film legacy... And a new cannibalistic psycho named Reaper, as big as a truck and just about as strong...

After we get past Bobby, one of the original survivors dealing with the trauma of the first movie with flashbacks completely useless to modern audiences (since we can watch both readily on DVD), the stage is set: A group his teenage dirt bike riders head off on a bus to that craggy canyon where the unlucky family had such trouble before.
Tamara Stafford (the blind girl, Cass) can't read an important headline
On board is Jane, the good hillbilly who saved the baby and is the team manager; no one knows her secret, seen to the audience in a few more tedious flashbacks. Also along is the German Shepard, Beast, who had (supposedly) killed Pluto and even the dog flashes back! But let’s leave the past behind because this maligned follow-up is actually better...

The location, an abandoned mineshaft, serves a more contained and deadly platform for the group of teens, more deserving contestants to buy the farm. Sequences where guys on dirt bikes fall prey to various traps, including falling rocks and swinging spikes, makes for more creatively formidable challenges – and the handicapped heroine Cass (Tamara Stafford), being blind and gorgeous, is someone to truly root for: especially during the final battle with the hulky villain. And so, Wes Craven, a year before his game-changing NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, keeps the pace and body count flowing from beginning to end. It’s too bad for those flashbacks – perhaps a version sans the repose would make this even better.
John Laughlin and the returning Janis Blythe
Like all surviving ingenues, Cass has a bad feeling
Colleen Riley (Jane) doesn't like this place
Michael Berryman (Pluto) temporarily taken by Roy (Kevin Spirtas)
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2 comments:

  1. Ah both of the Hills are classics. Did you happen to see the awful remake from a few years ago? Did I say awful, I'm being nice when I say awful.

    Another great review young sir.

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  2. I really truly like 2 better than 1. It went for more of the "teens get picked off" and was more primal in nature. The original one, I hate to say, I really only dug for the last twenty minutes. I was supposed to interview the hottie blonde survivor chick but she flaked, like all of 'em do.

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