The Hills Have Eyes 2 (1984/85/?)

This review is for the sequel to the 1977 Wes Craven film 'The Hills Have Eyes,' which despite it's cult status is a bit over rated in my opinion. I would argue that the Alexander Aja helmed remake from 2006 is the superior film. I would not be alone. You'll notice right off the bat some dating discrepancy. That's because depending on where you look the film could have come out anywhere from 1984 to 1987. Truthfully, it doesn't really matter when the film came out. All that matters is that you never watch it and forget it even exists. It's that bad. It is Hellraiser : Revelations bad (review here). Maybe even worse.

Written and directed, much like the original by horror genius Wes Craven, the film picks up with Bobby, who you'll remember survived the first film (and if you don't there's a good 3 minute long flashback to refresh your memory) seeing his psychologist who finally forces him to confess to the fact he's scared of the desert. Simple enough then right? Don't go to the damn desert. Except Bobby has just invented some sort of motorcross super fuel that can only be tested at a race right by the desert. He of course, refuses to go to the race, but his girlfriend or companion or something Rachel, who's really Ruby from the first film says she will go in his stead...but not after a lengthy flashback from her. So good bye Bobby...hello stereotypes!

The team of racers that are going to be racing with/testing Bobbys super fuel come right out of lazy writing/casting 101. There's the sensitive good looking guy, the sensitive muscular guy, the blind girl who's lack of sight gives her super human powers, the two black stereotypes who are dating, and the plain girl everyone forgets about. I couldn't tell you their names, because, well that really doesn't matter. The group piles on a fancy red school bus and heads to the big race, sans Bobby, who was the whole reason they were going in the first place. They are running late, but figure they will get there just in time to register, that is until the black guy reads that it was daylight savings time and they are really an hour behind. Well, you have to give Craven, I think that takes the cake as dumbest reason to to get caught in the desert. They decide, in their infinite wisdom to take a shortcut through the desert, despite the numerous warning s saying not to. Blind girl senses something is wrong with Rachael and forces her cop to the fact she's Ruby. Standard ridiculous horror fare follows, as the bus runs out of gas, they find an abandoned service station etc...Eventually Pluto (Michael Berryman) attacks, apparently Beast didn't kill him despite a flashback from Beast himself  (yup, animal flashback, that's where we are here folks,) detailing the fact he ripped Plutos throat out.

Pluto is joined by The Reaper, who in another piece of ridiculous exposition (literally told mid-attack), we learn is Papa Jupes older brother. Okay then. They have apparently rigged the desert (which looks more like someones backyard) Home Alone style against people who drive dirt bikes. Good for them that's exactly who comes along. Pluto eventually steals a bike and out drives the professional dirt bikers. They knock off the faceless idiots one at a time until only the blind chick is left.

Then for some reason, for about fifteen minutes, a more interesting film is spliced into the movie. It looks like some outtakes from a Friday the 13th movie. The hack and slash part of the film is dare I say...decent? Adding to the Friday feel, is the fact that original Friday maestro Harry Manfredini performed the films score. Just when things start to get mildly interesting, good looking guy shows up with a ridiculous plan to kill The Reaper.

'The Hills Have Eyes 2' stands as a testament to the fact that sometimes it's okay to hand the reigns over to someone else for a sequel (Sideshow Bob?). Although, in his defense Craven acknowledges that he made this film strictly for the money. That may be true but it will make your head explode when you try to reconcile the fact that Craven was coming off the red hot 'A Nightmare On Elm Street.' Cravens catalog can be called inconsistent at best, but you'd be hard pressed to find a film he's done worse that this.

This film is bad...really bad. Not bad in that 'Troll 2' way bad either. It's just really bad. Other than a ten minute period where it becomes a Friday the 13th film, the film is uninspired garbage. It's full of idiot, unlikable characters who do the  most illogical things at the most illogical moments. The two bad guys are about as threatening as a pair of house cats - dirt bike riding house cats. If you want to subject yourself to 90 minutes of eye gouging torture (75 minutes really because at least 15 minutes is flashback to the first film) then look up the film on Netflix like I made the mistake of doing. Don't say you weren't warned though.

1/2 star our of *****

As always, thanks for reading and "Enjoy Every Sandwich!"

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