The Hills Have Eyes (1977) Movie Review

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

1977 | Horror, Thriller
89 minutes /

User Score: 67/100

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The Hills Have Eyes Review


On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) is an American exploitation thriller horror movie that astounded me. Director and writer Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), New Nightmare (1994), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Paris, je t’aime (2006)) did a fabulous job executing his screenplay. The movie contains thrills, gore, suspense, violence, frightening scenes, sexual content and mild language. The Hills Have Eyes is about a clan of cannibals who are deformed that hunts a family that is stranded in the Nevada desert on a road trip. Below is a little info about the movie but nothing that will spoil it for you.

Ruby (Janus Blythe - Phantom of the Paradise (1974), Eaten Alive (1977), The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984)) is a little girl that does not have much to eat. Ruby approached Fred (John Steadman - The Longest Yard (1974), Fade to Black (1980), Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (1980)), asked him to take what is in her bag and give her some food for it. Fred told her that he cannot trade with her and proceeded to walk with her into the cabin. Fred angrily tells her that it is not nice what her family has done. Ruby’s family is desperate for food because no one goes around their house anymore since they had ambushed an airfield. Ruby ignores everything the old man (Fred) is saying and continues to beg him to take her with them on their trip. Is Fred as innocent as he presumes himself to be?

We later see Bob (Russ Grieve - Foxy Brown (1974), Dogs (1976), The Dead Don’t Die (1975)), his wife Ethel (Virginia Vincent) driving with their son Bobby (Robert Houston), daughter Brenda (Susan Lanier) and their eldest daughter Lynne (Dee Wallace) with her husband Doug (Martin Speer) and their baby Katie. Lynne also brought along their dogs Beauty and Beast. Fred convinces the Carter family to stay on the main road after they stopped at his shop for gas. The Carter’s listen to Fred but accidently skid off the road and crashed their vehicle. Bob began walking back towards Fred’s Oasis to seek help. Fred appears to be a nice guy so far - he warns Bob of the cannibals that live in the hills where his family is currently stranded and that it might have been a trap that made them skid off the road.

Papa Jupiter (James Whitworth - Fandango (1970), Planet of Dinosaurs (1977), Black Angels (1970)) is the commander of the cannibal group and also is Fred’s son. Fred told Bob that Papa Jupiter killed his mother during childbirth and continued on to kill farm animals during his childhood. Papa Jupiter was not satisfied with the farms’ animals and killed his sister. Fred goes on to tell Bob that he tried to kill his son after he killed his sister, but he survived. Papa Jupiter went on to having kids with a prostitute Mama (Cordy Clark - For Love of Ivy (1968), Who’s Minding the Mint? (1967), Mister Ed (1958)) who is also an alcoholic. Jupiter and Mama had four kids together named Mars (Lance Gordon), Pluto (Michael Berryman), Mercury (Arthur King), and Ruby, who they abused. As Fred is telling Bob about Papa Jupiter; he shows up and the movie escalates to an even better watch.

The Hills Have Eyes was a fantastic treat that I will watch again with friends on a dark night. The movie was visually appealing, and the cast did an incredible job with their parts. Wes Craven did a marvelous job creating this movie for horror fans on a low budget in the late 1970’s. Imagine a movie from over 35 years ago that did not have all the technical items to use that are used in movies today is still an enjoyable watch. This is by far one of the best movies that Wes Craven directed in that era.

About The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Title: The Hills Have Eyes
Original Title: Blood Relations, The Family That Woke Up Screaming, Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes
Year: 1977
Runtime: 89 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Score: 3.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.3/5 stars from 15 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 15
Starring: Dee Wallace, Michael Berryman, Suze Lanier-Bramlett, James Whitworth, Lance Gordon, Cordy Clark, Flora, Striker, Virginia Vincent, Martin Speer, John Steadman, Janus Blythe, Peter Locke, Russ Grieve, Brenda Marinoff, Robert Houston
Writers: Wes Craven
Director: Wes Craven

The Hills Have Eyes Cover Poster Art