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Movies The Hills Have Eyes (Includes movie recap)



Behind the screen:
is a 2006 remake of Wes Craven's film of the same name. Director Alexandre Aja and
art director Grégory Levasseur met with Craven in November of 2003 and the film was
released in theaters in the US and UK on 10 March 2006. It received $15,500,000 on
its opening weekend. In the U.S. it was originally rated NC-17 for strong gruesome
violence, including rape, terror, and strong language, but was later edited to be
released under an R-rating in the United States. An unrated DVD version was released
on June 20, 2006. The Hills Have Eyes 2 is confirmed to be released to theatures
March 2, 2007.

1. Aaron Stanford — Doug Bukowski
2. Emilie de Ravin — Brenda Carter
3. Dan Byrd — Bobby Carter
4. Vinessa Shaw — Lynne Bukowski
5. Kathleen Quinlan — Ethel Carter
6. Ted Levine — Bob Carter
7. Robert Joy — Lizard
8. Maisie Camilleri Preziosi — Baby Catherine
9. Laura Ortiz — Ruby
10. Billy Drago — Papa Jupiter
11. Michael Bailey Smith — Pluto
12. Tom Bower and Desmond Askew — Big Brain
13. Ezra Buzzington — Goggle


As the beginning credits come to the screen, the words "Between 1945 and 1962 the United States conducted 331 atmospheric nuclear tests. Today, the government still denies the genetic effects caused by the radioactive fallout", set a tone for film, foreshadowing the cause of the future foe's anger. In the present time, men in NBC suits are seen. They slowly comb over the desert rubble with the sound of a Geiger counter beeping. The calm is quickly interrupted when the men are brutally attacked by what seems to be a large man wielding a pickaxe. The group of men are killed and dragged off, chained crudely to the back of a pick up truck.

In the very same desert, along a beaten dirt road, is the Gas Haven, a small time gas station run by an aging man. The man, clearly upset, yells out to the emptiness around him that he "quits" and he "can't do it anymore". After calming down, he walks to the door of the station only to find a black duffle bag filled with valuables. The man takes the duffle into the back room of his gas station and sorts through the mounds of jewelry and wallets. Midway through examining his "rewards", he is interrupted by the arrival of customers needing gas.

Driving in an SUV towing a trailer, Ethel (Kathleen Quinlan) and Bob (Ted Levine) Carter are traveling to San Diego, California on their Silver Anniversary from Cleveland, Ohio. Along for the trip is their teenage daughter Brenda (Emilie de Ravin) and son Bobby (Dan Byrd). Also along for the vacation are their eldest daughter Lynne (Vinessa Shaw), her timid husband Doug (Aaron Stanford), the couple's baby daughter Catherine (Maisie Camilleri Preziosi) and the family dogs, Beauty and Beast. Taking the time for a pit stop, the family breaks, and the dogs let loose. Beauty wanders into the back room of the gas station and begins to bark at an unseen object outside the window. As the group prepares to depart, Lynn heads to the back room of the station, following Beauty and attempting to take her back to the trailer. Not seeing the duffle bag, she is confronted by the gas station attendant and quickly leaves with the dog. Suspicious that Lynn may have seen the valuables, he decides to tell the group of a short cut through the hills.
The Un-Rated DVD cover
The Un-Rated DVD cover

After driving a few miles along the short cut told by the gas station attendant, the tires of the are strategically blown out with a line of spikes, quickly pulled away to give the effect that it was a mere accident. The blown out tires result in a small car accident leaving the group shaken, but unharmed. Doug, who works telecommunications selling cell phones, attempts to call for help, but can not seem to find a signal. Bob, a retired detective, decides that he would walk to the gas station for a tow truck and Doug would walk the opposite way, in hopes of rescue. Bob takes a gun for himself and leaves another for Bobby, telling him that he is in charge. Bob reassures the group that he would be back before nightfall, but as a precaution, Ethel rounds the group together and says a prayer. Unknown to the family they are being watched by someone through a pair of binoculars.

When the men depart, Brenda, Ethel, Bobby, Catherine and Lynne are left behind at the trailer. As Brenda opens the door to their trailer, she accidentally releases Beauty. The dog runs off into the hills and Bobby chases after her as the rest of the family call for Bobby to return. Bobby, not hearing his family, runs deeper into the hills, finally stumbling upon the corpse of Beauty. He kneels next to Beauty and realizes she had been torn apart, stunned at what he has discovered, Bobby runs and slips on a rock. Instantly knocked unconscious, he is watched by a young girl, who's face is distorted. She watches over Bobby as another mutated man perches atop a cliff overhanging them, eating the severed leg of Beauty.

Meanwhile, Doug finally makes it to the end of the dirt road short cut, only to find an enormous crater filled with cars and other forgotten belongings. He heads down to the bottom exploring the odd place and rummages through the numerous cars’ belongings, completely oblivious to the blood smeared on some of the cars. As the view pans out, it shows that this crater is not the only one, but one of many craters created by nuclear tests.

Later, as night falls, Bob finally makes it to the gas station and finds it empty. After taking a water bottle, he stumbles into the back room looking for a phone. Noticing the duffle bag, Bob's curiosity gets the best of him, and from searching the bag he finds a styrofoam container. Opening the container, he finds a severed ear with earrings adorning it, and after looking around at the room he realizes the danger. Pulling out his gun, Bob takes a closer look at newspaper clippings and photographs on the walls that depict the horrific effects of the nuclear testing and the missing people resulting from the gas station attendant’s deal with the mutated family in the hills. Over many years, the gas station attendant would lure victims into the hills and the mutated family would give him their valuables. Because of this the attendant had become weary of the life he had chosen.

Bob walks out of the gas station and finds a car parked in front. Moments from driving off, he hears a distraught voice coming from an outhouse nearby and with his gun at his side, he proceeds to investigate it. Carefully opening the door to the outhouse he sees the gas station attendant crying and completely hysterical saying that this was no way to raise children (referring to the children being raised with the cannibalism and killing). With a shotgun in hand, the attendant quickly puts the gun to his head, killing himself with an explosion of blood.

Bob takes a few steps back, but not before taking the shotgun for his own protection. Jupiter or Papa Jupiter (Billy Drago), who could be considered the leader of the mutated family begins to taunt Bob from the darkness. In a blind panic Bob fires several rounds ineffectually into the night and makes a run for the car. Bob quickly makes it to the car, but in the refection of the rear view mirror sees Jupiter and before he can escape, his head is pounded repeatedly into the car window. Dizzy and barely conscious, Bob is dragged into a mine tunnel by Jupiter with the help of Jupiter's mutated family members, Lizard (Robert Joy) and Pluto (Michael Bailey Smith).

Back at the trailer, Brenda still calls out for Bobby. As the night hours continue, the Carters become increasingly concerned for Bobby's safety. Bobby, still unconscious, has been protected by Ruby (Laura Ortiz) who has stayed by his side since his fall. Hearing Brenda's call, Bobby wakes up and makes his way back to the trailer. As Ethel cleans his wounds he is silent about Beauty's death. The girls tell Bobby that Beast has gone missing as well and although they tried to radio for help, there was no answer except for what Lynne refers to as what sounded like a perverted phone call.

Moments later Doug returns with numerous items in hand, most of which are brand new and include a fishing pole and toys for Catherine. He explains that the supposed short cut dead ends in 5 miles, but at the end is what he explains seems like a dump site. Doug, exhausted from the walk, heads to the SUV with Lynne to sleep, but Bobby - worried about the violent death of Beauty - tells Doug to stay in the trailer. After kindly refusing, Doug tells Bobby that if Bob has not returned by midnight that they would search for him. Mildly assured, Bobby goes to search for Beast and Brenda, not knowing of the danger as he heads to sleep. With her earphones playing music, she cannot hear the mutants, Pluto and Lizard, creep into the trailer, they muffle her screams and begin to taunt her. Bobby, who doesn't know of his sister's danger, wakes up Lynne and Doug claiming that there are "People in the Hills" and tells of Beauty’s death, explaining that he remained quiet to not scare his mother. Before any action could be taken an explosion in the distance catches their attention.

In horror, they realize that Bob had been tied to a wooded pole and set ablaze. Lynne, Bobby and Ethel go running to him screaming and in shock. Doug runs into the trailer to fetch a fire extinguisher and in the commotion does not notice Pluto and Lizard beat and rape Brenda. When Lizard wants a turn raping Brenda, Pluto is shoved aside and in his anger notices the baby Catherine.
Lynne (Vinessa Shaw is confronted by Lizard (Robert Joy)
Lynne (Vinessa Shaw is confronted by Lizard (Robert Joy)

Meanwhile, all is done to save Bob with no avail. The fire is put out and as Doug unties the rope holding Bob, Bobby runs off with the gun to kill who killed his father. Lynne returns to the trailer and is greeted by Pluto and Lizard, holding baby Catherine and a gun. Ethel enters moments later and is quickly shot in the stomach and thrown across the trailer. As Lynne sees this, she takes a near by screw driver and plunges it into Lizards leg, who then without hesitation shoots her in the head. Pluto and Lizard begin to leave the trailer with Brenda held by the neck; Lizard exclaims that he'll come back for her and they run off, leaving Brenda hysterical.

Doug and Bobby then return to see the chaos that ensued. As Bobby tries to comfort Brenda, Doug enters the trailer to see Lynne lying on the floor, the side of her head bleeding out on the floor. Doug cradles his wife, as the last bits of life leave her and he realizes that their daughter Catherine has been taken. Ethel, barely alive, is comforted by a shaken Doug and made comfortable before her passing moments later. Over Brenda's crying, voices over a walkie talkie are heard, and quietly Bobby creeps to the trailer door shooting through it hoping to kill the source of the noise. Realizing there is no danger; Doug and Bobby leave the trailer and pick up the walkie talkie only to hear the voice of Jupiter say kill them all. Doug yells into the walkie talkie and tells them to give back Catherine, but his call is answered only with the crying of Catherine over the static. Doug asks Bobby how much ammo he has left, and as Bobby replies, he makes a plan to rescue Catherine.

Beast, returning from killing Goggle (Ezra Buzzington), one of the mutated family members, accompanies Doug on his quest. Beast, going on the scent of the mutants, leads Doug through a mine tunnel, which inside has the scattered graves of dozens of killed miners. Once out of the tunnel, Doug stands atop a cliff and sees what looks like an abandoned town down a dirt path. Over the walkie talkie, he tells Bobby and Brenda his location and proceeds into the town.

Meanwhile, Bobby and Brenda, still at the trailer, begin to prepare for the next attack. As Brenda ignites a tire, hoping the smoke would signal a rescue, Bobby rigs the entire surrounding area. Taking the fishing line and pole Doug had retrieved from the dump site, he carefully fences the area off, tying the line to the fishing pole with a baby rattle dangling from the tip. They hope, the sound of the rattle will warn them before they get killed as they place the bodies of their loved ones into their SUV.

Walking deeper inside the town, Doug realizes that it is not a mere abandoned town, but a Military Testing Village. He walks past empty 50's style houses; all filled with eerily posed mannequins, until his eyes come to the house Catherine is being kept in. After leaving Beast safe inside a broken down car, Doug proceeds into the house with a baseball bat in one hand ready to fight for his daughter. He easily creeps past the mutant watching over Catherine, and as he nears escape, is knocked unconscious.
Doug Bukowski as portrayed by Aaron Stanford.
Doug Bukowski as portrayed by Aaron Stanford.

Doug wakes up disoriented and as he uses his lighter to look around, realizes that he has been locked in a meat storage bin; filled with the severed limbs of other victims. He panics and quickly breaks free just as Beast escapes from the car and runs off. Doug climbs out of the storage bin and makes his way to the dining room where the charred body of Bob rests, an American flag impaled in his head. Making his way through, he begins to hear the "The National Anthem" faintly sung through raspy breaths. As Doug turns the corner, a man who's mutation has hail him the title Big Brain, is supported in a wheelchair and is the source of the singing. He explains to Doug that they told the people to leave their homes because they were going to be destroyed. But the townsfolk didn't leave, they fled to the mines and the military set off the bombs, resulting in the mutation of dozens of people. After explaining to a very distracted Doug, he yells "Its Breakfast Time", and Pluto crashes in.

Wielding an axe, Pluto lunges at Doug and after struggling; Doug is saved by Beast who has made his way into the house. As Pluto fights off Beast, Doug takes the opportunity to run, hiding in a room that serves as a crude bathroom. He attempts to secure the room by pushing a bathtub to block the door, but Pluto doesn't think to use the door, he breaks through the wall. Using his strength and height, Pluto grabs Doug by the neck and tosses him like a rag doll. Fighting back, Doug takes the baseball bat, which has now been splintered and broken, and plunges it into Pluto's stomach. Pluto pulls out the bat and continues to overpower Doug, tackling him and swiftly throwing him through a window. All seems lost as two of Doug's fingers are cut off and he begins to tire. As Pluto raises the axe to ultimately kill Doug, Doug retrieves the screwdriver from his side and points it despreatly at Pluto but as all hope fails, Doug drops his hands and begins to beg for his life. "Please don't kill me." Doug pleas to Pluto, Big Brain mimicks him and laughs. But as Pluto realizes his victory, Doug drives the screwdrivier into his foot. With his foe distracted, Doug retrieved the flag from Bob's corpse, stabs it through Pluto's neck and finishes him off with a single axe blow to the head.

Big Brain tells Lizard over the walkie talkie to kill Catherine as Doug leaves the house in a rage, but not before Beast can take revenge on Big Brain, killing him. Doug, now with Pluto's bloody axe and shotgun, takes out Cyst, another mutant family member. Across the village, Lizard, receiving Big Brain's message takes a butcher knife and prepares to kill baby Catherine. Ruby, realizing Lizard's intentions, takes Catherine and flees; only fueling Lizard's rage.
Brenda (played by Emilie de Ravin) is terrorized by Papa Jupiter (Billy Drago)
Brenda (played by Emilie de Ravin) is terrorized by Papa Jupiter (Billy Drago)

Meanwhile, at the trailer, the baby rattle sounds and signal the start of Brenda and Bobby's plan. They go to check on who may have signaled the rattle, but see it was just a tumbleweed. As they head back to the trailer, they find the body of Ethel is missing, realizing a member of the mutated family has taken her, Bobby tells Brenda to head to the trailer to execute their plan. Bobby, then runs into the hills to find the culprit and sees Papa Jupiter, devouring Ethel's heart. Bobby catches Jupiter's eye and he begins to pursue Bobby towards the trailer. Brenda, inside the trailer, quickly releases gas from the remaining propane tanks as Bobby runs inside, attaching a strip of matches to the sliding door behind him. Jupiter finally makes it to the trailer, crushing the window and pinning Brenda. Bobby takes this time to free Brenda and tie Jupiter's hand to the window. They proceed to escape through the window on the opposite side as Jupiter struggles to break free. Jupiter manages, though and, not knowing the two have already escaped, makes his way to the sliding door and sets off the gas tanks. The trailer and everything nearby is engulfed in flames as Bobby and Brenda rejoice at their accomplishment.

Deep in the hills Doug follows after Ruby who then sees him and attempts to return Catherine, but before father and daughter can be reunited, Lizard jumps from a high perch between Ruby and Doug. Ruby ducks away protecting Catherine and leaving Doug to fight Lizard. Doug, worn from his other encounters of the family, doesn't last long and is seemingly killed as Lizard loses interest and goes after Ruby once more.

Lying on the dirt ground, Doug spots his wedding ring through the bandages and blood and is given the strength to continue. He steadily gets up and goes after Lizard, hitting him with the shotgun and shooting him down. As Lizard seems to go down for the last time, Ruby slowly gives Catherine back to Doug. Doug holds her and is caught in the moment he fought for, and killed for, that he does not notice Lizard stumble up. When Ruby sees this, she throws herself at Lizard in the ultimate sacrifice and plunges them both over the edge of a cliff, instantly killing them.

Meanwhile, at the remains of the exploded trailer, Bobby and Brenda walk through the ruins and see that Papa Jupiter is still alive. Although severely injured and impaled through the chest, he had survived the explosion. Suddenly, Brenda, with Jupiter's mining pick, finishes him with a swing to the head. As Bobby and Brenda, realize what they have survived through, Brenda spots Doug. With Catherine and Beast, Doug joins Brenda and Bobby in a hug. As they celebrate their victory, a pair of binoculars watches from the hills.

Movie facts:
Although the film is a commercial success, playing in total 2,521 theatres and taking in (as of June 15, 2006) a total of $41,773,472 in the United States Box Office and $57,808,032 worldwide, it has only a 49% freshness rating at rottentomatoes.com. Ebert and Roeper have also given the movie two thumbs down. Roeper has said, "I appreciate a quality kill and a good jolt of the senses as well as anybody... but this is an ugly slice of splatter porn that simply wore me out."[1]. Even with these put downs The Hills Have Eyes has been praised by many other critics, such as Ted Fry of The Seattle Times who wrote a review saying, "Consider yourself warned. "The Hills Have Eyes," a brilliantly reimagined version of Wes Craven's 1977 micro-budget horror classic, is unrelenting in its brutality and contains imagery as disturbing as anything seen on mainstream movie screens since "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974)." [2] It has also been reported that Wes Craven enjoyed the remake.

* The trailer crash was shot in one take.
* Director Alexandre Aja and art director Grégory Levasseur initially intended for the film to be shot in Morocco because of the similar landscape they needed to achieve (the New Mexico desert). But due to some producers' fears of terrorism attacks, Aja and Levasseur were told to find other filming locations. After searching, another location wasn't found suitable and producers finally agreed.
* Aja pays tribute to the film True Romance in the scene where Doug pretends to give up, begging for mercy; then stabs a laughing mutant in the foot. He also referenced True Romance in his debut film Haute Tension.
* The introductory credits images of mutated babies from the nuclear fallout are actually images of the effects of the defoliant Agent Orange.

is currently in production with its theatrical release on March 2, 2007. Due to scheduling conflicts, Alexandre Aja will not be directing the sequel. Instead Craven has chosen film and music video director Martin Weisz. Craven explains on the films plot to Fangoria.com, "We want to continue the story of the miners. This time, a group of National Guard screw-ups come face to face with the mutants on their last day of training in the desert. We will take the audience underground as well." Craven and his son Jonathan will be writing the script and Michael Bailey Smith (Pluto) will star as another character.

Interesting facts I found:
The girl that played ruby in thie film is also the girl that can be seen on the T-Mobile commercia chatting it up.

Vinessa Shaw who played Lynne Bukowski was the girl that played in the ladybugs this movie released in 1992 starring Rodney Dangerfield.

My final thought:
It was an ok move (I only saw the uncut version) it was really slow tille like 20 minutes till the end. I loved hoe the film ended. I liked the kills but it was not the best horror movie I have ever seen

Credit to wikiedia for info.


Forum Drifter
I LOVED this movie! I like crazy-ass movies and this was certainly one of them.
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