Thursday, November 13, 2014

Film Review: The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 (1985)

The Hills Have Eyes Part II (2) (Review)
United States/1985
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"... a 'so bad, it's good'-type film."

Eight years after the events of the original, Rachel unwittingly leads a team of bikers into the same location of the original massacre.

The Hills Have Eyes Part II follows Rachel and her team, who have created super fuel for their bikes, as they enter the desert for a race. The group decide to take a shortcut, but run out of gas on their way. Soon, they fall prey to a pair of cannibals named Pluto and The Reaper -- sound like some wrestlers' names. That's practically all that happens in the film. Also, the plot is contrived. There are also plenty of flashbacks to fill you in on the vastly superior original film; in fact, there's even a dog has a flashback! The ending is predictable and cheesy, but enjoyable.

Well, as enjoyable as a cheesy film can get. This isn't a good horror film. In fact, this film isn't particularly scary -- at all. It's one of those cheesy horror B-movies that feels phoned in for a sequel. You know, like a studio or director was in need of cash, so they rushed out a sequel. Fortunately, it's also a charming film. It's kind of like Piranha and The Incredible Melting Man. They're bad films by most standards -- well, at least the latter is -- but they're wildly entertaining, regardless.

So, if you go into this with the proper expectations, or none at all, you may find some enjoyment in this film. There some mild suspense here and there. Nothing unbearable or impressive, but some decent tension. There are some surprisingly impressive death sequences, like some bone crushing and a wicked slit throat. The humor falls flat most of the time. But -- and this is a massive but -- you'll likely have a good laugh at the "so bad, it's good" aspects of the film.

Such as: the mediocre acting. Some of the actors may try to be funny, but their hilariously mediocre performances steal their thunder. It's as robotic as many of the other 70/80s horror movies. I could barely remember the music, to be honest; it sounded like a typical horror soundtrack from the era, though. The film looks decent at times; during others, it's often too difficult to see, especially during some of its dark/nighttime sequences. This is written and directed by Wes Craven, who also wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street, one of my all-time favorites. Unfortunately, like his work on Pulse and My Soul to Take, this film feels uninspired, often dull, and not scary. This is one of those moments where a legendary filmmaker delivers a "so bad, it's good"-type film.

Overall, The Hills Have Eyes 2 is a decent film. Sure, it failed to frighten, the plot was contrived and somewhat forgettable (I'll never forget that dog flashback, though), and the acting was mediocre, but the film is enjoyable. It's the same type of enjoyment I found in The Incredible Melting Man. If you don't like B-movies, especially the so-bad-it's-good kind, then you'll likely dislike this film. If you watched the superior original or the remake, there isn't much of a reason to watch this film, unless you're open-minded or drunk -- or both.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some brief nudity and sex.

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