The Hills Have Eyes Part 2
Kevin Spirtas, Michael Berryman, Tamara Stafford, John Bloom (III), Willard E. Pugh, Janus Blyth, Colleen Riley, Penny Johnson, Janus Blythe, John Laughlin, Peter Frechette, Robert Houston, David Nichols (IV), Edith Fellows, Lance Gordon, Susan Lanier, Brenda Marinoff, Martin Speer, Virginia Vincent, James Whitworth, Arden Roger Meyer Update Cast
Lame, lame, lame. Apparently, Wes Craven has said in his own defence of this film that he was so desperate for work that he would have directed “Godzilla In Paris” at this point in time (1984).
Nevertheless, the jury is still out on whether he would have been hard pushed to make a worse film than “The Hills Have Eyes Part 2”, one of the worst sequels in living memory, horror or otherwise. There are a multitude of reasons why this film, to quote from Bart Simpson, “both sucks AND blows”, but let’s start off with our perfunctory synopsis for those who have yet to experience the, ahem, pleasures of this cinematic turkey.
Bobby, one of the four survivors from the first (infinitely superior) film, has developed a ‘super fuel’ for dirt track bikes, along with Ruby (now called Rachel), one of the original ‘cannibals’ – although she goes to great pains to make sure that everyone knows she didn’t actually eat anyone.
The only problem is, Bobby is still suffering from post-traumatic stress from his experiences in the desert “8 years ago” and his biker team are going in for a competition there. He’s refusing to go, despite psychiatric help and advice.
After a brief and hilariously inept attempt to inject some ‘red-herring’ tension into a boring opening, we are introduced to the two ‘stars’ of the film, Roy and Cass. Roy is the typical all-American hero type, Cass is a partially psychic blind girl with an irritatingly erratic spidey-sense. We also meet the biker team, consisting of some of the most annoying caricatures known to man. These include: Harry, the ‘hilarious’ practical joker; Foster, the ‘comic’ relief; and Hulk, the older, hippy-looking leader. Then there are the completely disposable girlfriends, one black (Sue), one plain (Jane). And Cass, of course.
Anyway, Ruby/Rachel goes with the group into the desert, despite the fact that she knows there were cannibalistic mutants roaming about 8 years ago…and there should still be some, at least her own mother (she didn’t die in the first film). What is possibly going to happen to them?
Mmmmm, you don’t need a PhD in film scripts to work it out.
On the way to the competition (through the desert) they realise that it was ‘change the clocks day’, and they’re an hour late! So, they vote by an overwhelming majority to cut across the old bomb testing ground to make up the time. Of course, Ruby/Rachel knows what this entails – going back near the old stomping ground! But she doesn’t tell anyone. Off they go, over the bomb testing range, and they start running out of fuel. Then they completely run out of fuel.
Can they use the new rocket ship fuel that Bobby and Ruby developed? No, they can’t, it would be too flammable for a bus. (But OK for a motorbike). The kids start roaming about and to cut a long story short, Pluto (one of the mutants from the first film) is still alive, and he’s running things in the desert with his pro-wrestler looking uncle, the Reaper. They pick the kids off one by one until there’s only Cass and Roy left.
And I’m bored already just thinking about it again...
There is SO MUCH wrong with this film, it's untrue, and I’m sure that many people other than myself have already made these points in various critiques of this film. What were you thinking, Wes, other than “When do I get paid?” To list all the bad things about this film would take a very long time, so I’ll try to keep it short. This 'critique' contains spoilers.
1) Implausible plot holes.
Why did Ruby go back to the desert in the first place, and not tell the others that it was likely to have at least one mutant there? How can the crossbow operate itself with any degree of accuracy? Where did the helmet on fire on a stick come from? Why would someone decide to strip off in the middle of the desert, with no screens or other means of protecting her nudity and have a shower? How come it took the Reaper a good minute or so of screen time to merely cross the threshold of a door? Instead of running off when Hulk was knocked off his motorbike, why didn’t Ruby use the motorbike herself to make her escape? If the bus still had some fuel in it, then why didn’t they carry on travelling until it ran out completely, rather than stopping on the doorstep of some cannibalistic mutants?
2) Ridiculous dialogue.
Sample: (Pluto to Beast, the dog) “Pus-eater!”
3) No consistency between the original and the sequel.
If Papa Jupiter nearly ‘ripped his mother in half’ when he was born, and the Reaper is even bigger and older, how come the mother survived giving birth to the Reaper? How come Reaper wasn’t in the original film? Why didn’t anyone even mention him in the original film? (Why has he got a large lump of dough stuck to his forehead?) What happened to the mother who survived the original film? What happened to Bobby’s sister Brenda, and his older sister’s husband Doug?
4) Loose ends at the end of the film.
Where are Cass and Roy going? How will they get back? If they are happy walking at such a snail’s pace with no supplies, then why couldn’t they all just wander off in the first place, rather than all huddling around a knackered old bus? These are burning questions on no-one’s lips after the film has ended. And what about Ruby? She didn’t seem to die, in fact she seemed to doze off after being knocked over. So where is she? And where’s Beast?
5) Inappropriate behaviour by characters.
How come one minute Foster is having sex with Sue, then he’s attempting to seduce Jane in a pretty sinister way? Why does Roy jump out of the way of the Reaper but leave his blind girlfriend basically in the path of a flaming mutant who is headed towards an open mine shaft?
6) A small point: the music sounds like out-takes from Columbo and as a consequence fails to generate any tension or interest in on-screen events.
7) Cass’s hearing.
One minute she can hear a mouse treading on a pebble from 3 miles away, the next she can’t hear the Reaper launching himself from a great height ready to smash through a window directly above her. (Where exactly did he jump from, anyway?) There are so many things that she CAN hear, then things that are closer but she CAN’T hear, it’s just too much to list them all.
8) The reliance on clips from the first film when there are so many inconsistencies with it.
This film features many flashbacks, all taken from first film. Unfortunately, they all appear to have be re-scored, probably because of copyright reasons. But anyway, this boosts out the film’s running time. I was going to time the amount of screentime that they old film had in the sequel, but I really lost interest and fast-forwarded through the old bits. It was too upsetting to be reminded of how good Wes Craven can be. But one thing that you all need to know – dogs can have flashbacks too. Oh yes, Beast flashes back to when he attacked Pluto in the original film. This is probably the highpoint of the film, a certainly is much funnier than any of the intentional attempts at humour (see below).
9) Humour (or lack of it).
There are many, many bad jokes in this film. Most of them aimed towards Foster being black, and Cass being blind. Sample: “You must have been on holiday, Foster, that’s a hell of a suntan.”
Are Pluto and the Reaper supposed to be omnipresent? They whisper at different characters throughout the film, then seem to disappear to somewhere else near another character, then disappear again…if everyone is so close together, then how come they can’t hear each other? And how come Cass can’t hear what’s going on (see point 7)?
For the love of GOD, only watch this if you want to laugh at it. If you want a horror film, get the original: as I've already said, this both sucks AND blows.
The Movie Trailer
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