It's hard to believe that the same man who wrote and directed one of the best horror films of the 1970s, THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1978), could have pulled the same duty on the sequel and come up with a film as shockingly bad as this. Eight years after the first film's events, Ruby (Janus
Blythe), who has now been integrated into normal society and is running a motorcycle shop with Bobby (Robert Houston), the survivor from Part I's "normal" family, takes a group of teenagers back into the desert to run an important motorcycle race. When a rock ruptures the fuel line of their bus,
the group is stranded and they soon find themselves under attack by Ruby's brother, Pluto (Michael Berryman), and their uncle, the Reaper (John Bloom), another desert savage. The teens try to defend themselves against the onslaught, but are picked off one at a time by the vicious desert rats.
There was little reason to make a sequel to THE HILLS HAVE EYES, and the only interesting aspect of this film is to see how Bobby, Ruby, and Pluto have dealt with the events of the original. Unfortunately, Ruby's role is little more than a cameo and Pluto is dispatched after uttering just a few
lines of dialog. Ruby's transformation from savage desert girl to productive and trusted member of the community is rife with dramatic possibilities, and the awakening of her animal-like instincts when she reenters the desert is fascinating, but she disappears from the film before any insightful
development of her character occurs. Director Craven was unhappy with the film. The producers ran out of money and promised Craven could shoot additional scenes when more funds were raised (this was also how THE HILLS HAVE EYES was made), then changed their minds and released the film as it was.
This may explain some of the scant character development, lengthy flashbacks to footage from the first film (even the dog has a flashback!), and disjointed scenes. Nevertheless, Craven did bastardize his own work and, considering the lack of any true inspiration for a sequel, the film boils down
to just another teenagers-in-trouble horror dud. The man who gave us THE HILLS HAVE EYES and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET should have done better.
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- Released: 1984
- Rating: R
- Review: It's hard to believe that the same man who wrote and directed one of the best horror films of the 1970s, THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1978), could have pulled the same duty on the sequel and come up with a film as shockingly bad as this. Eight years after the firs… (more)