Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
The Hills Have Eyes DVD (1977)

The memorable tagline for this Wes Craven shocker ran: "The lucky ones died first!" You'll be inclined to agree if you've ever witnessed this brutal and relentless vision of doom and death, excellently directed by Craven. Such is the film's continuing cult appeal that some serious time and effort has gone into producing this double-disc DVD release; it will keep horror fans royally entertained.

The movie has been restored and looks better than it has for many years. It's still a bit grimy but then, that's part of the charm. The original mono sound has been cleaned up, or you can enjoy surprisingly detailed and effective Dolby or DTS sound mixes.

Despite the 26 years that have passed since Craven and producer Peter Locke made the movie, neither seems to have any trouble recalling even the smallest details for their audio commentary. They strike a good balance between describing how scenes were shot and remembering amusing anecdotes. They both take turns to marvel at certain scenes and wonder at how they got them passed, and how a film today could not get away with those same elements.

Screengrab from The Hills Have Eyes DVD

On disc two you'll find a brand new hour-long documentary on the making of the movie. Anchor Bay has managed to dig up all the cast that count and edit their comments skilfully into an entertaining programme.

Another documentary on disc two is a must see for horror fans. Entitled American Nightmare, it takes a theoretical and sociological look at how various films from Night Of The Living Dead onwards have reflected important political undercurrents in American society. It's far easier viewing than it sounds, and as it includes interviews with Romero, Landis, Carpenter, Cronenberg, Savini, Craven, and Hooper among others, you can't afford to miss it.

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary with Wes Craven and Peter Locke
  • Looking Back at The Hills Have Eyes documentary
  • American Nightmare documentary
  • Alternative ending (10 mins)
  • Restoration Demo
  • DVD-Rom: screenplay and screensaver
  • Image galleries: behind-the-scenes, storyboards, advertising/posters
  • Wes Craven biography
  • Trailers and TV spots
  • This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.

    Technical Information

    REGION SOUND MENUS RATIO
    2 Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, DTS 5.1 ES, 2.0 (mono) Animated, with screams! 1.85.1(anamorphic)
    CHAPTERS SUBTITLES AUDIO TRACKS
    16 None English
    CAPTIONS EXTRAS SUBTITLES CERTIFICATE
    None None of the special features come with subtitles 18

    End Credits

    Director: Wes Craven

    Writer: Wes Craven

    Stars: Susan Lanier, Robert Houston, Martin Speer, Dee Wallace-Stone, Russ Grieve, Michael Berryman

    Genre: Horror

    Length: 89 minutes

    Cinema: 1977

    DVD: 29 September 2003

    Country: USA