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The Hills Have Eyes 2(2007)
What started with the Carter family, clearly didn't end with the Carter family. Some time later, as part of a routine mission, a unit of National Guard soldiers stop at a New Mexican outpost only to find the isolated research camp mysteriously deserted. After spotting a distress signal in a distant mountain range, the team decides to commence a search and rescue mission into the hills. Little do they know that these are the very hills that the ill- fated Carter family once visited, and that a tribe of cannibalistic mutants lies in wait. And this time, there is an even larger force of evil at work that is intent on the soldiers'' very destruction.
For more about The Hills Have Eyes 2 and The Hills Have Eyes 2 Blu-ray release, see The Hills Have Eyes 2 Blu-ray Review
Starring: Michael McMillian, Jessica Stroup, Daniella Alonso, Jacob Vargas, Flex Alexander, Lee Thompson Young
Director: Martin Weisz
» See full cast & crew
The Hills Have Eyes 2 Blu-ray Review
Is this the worst film currently on Blu-ray?
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 19, 2008
Oh man, we're getting picked off one-by-one here!
It's really a shame that the entire fictional National Guard unit depicted in The Hills Have Eyes 2 weren't picked off within the first five minutes of the film. It would have certainly saved both the characters and the audience an awful lot of suffering. This is definitely the worst film I've reviewed to date. Even Hostel, a film I found despicable and gratuitous seemingly only for the sake of being as disgusting as possible, can at least boast halfway competent direction and acting on top of a paper thin story that seems as thick as a brick compared to the drivel that is the script for The Hills Have Eyes 2. The film offers nothing but less than one-dimensional characters whose lot in life seems to revolve around finding out who can insult the others the most while using the foulest language this side of Pulp Fiction, a film whose language was a character itself, foul-mouthed yes, but also witty, clever, and genuine. The Hills Have Eyes 2 features dialogue that may as well have been written by a few pre-adolescent teenagers whose only objective was to throw as many F-bombs in as they could. The characters are completely clueless, including the supposed "leader" of the group, "Sarge" (how original). How these individuals progressed far enough in the National Guard to be allowed to carry weapons is beyond me, and it's just another in a mile long list of problems with The Hills Have Eyes 2.
As a favor to whomever may still have the slightest interest in watching The Hills Have Eyes 2, here is my ultra-condensed rewrite of the script that will hopefully spare you, dear reader, of the insufferable mess of a movie we have here, and if anyone ever dare re-make this film, please use the script below, as the runtime should come in at around 5 minutes. Oh, and please do not acknowledge me in the credits.
EXT. A MOUNTAINOUS MILITARY INSTALLATION-DAY.
Several eighth-wit NATIONAL GUARDSMEN have just failed in a training exercise and are being grilled by SARGE, a wannabe stereotype of the serious soldier who's as big an IDIOT as his IDIOT SOLDIERS.
IDIOT SOLDIER #2
TEN-HUT! (The soldiers clumsily snap to attention). You %^&$^$ maggots are too stupid to boil water, but we're being sent on an important mission to rescue some important scientists in a secret and restricted military installation! Saddle up!
The men head out to the installation. "$^$%&!," "&*^$%&!," and "@$%^*&!" represent the height of dialogue in the film. Each solider tries desperately to insult his peers with the foulest language they can think of. Finally, they arrive at the remnants of a military base, continue to insult one another, and head out to look for signs of life.
IDIOT SOLDIER #1
I think I heard something...AAAAARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!
We see IDIOT SOLIDER #1 Getting bent in half, blood squirting everywhere, as his fellow soldiers shoot their weapons randomly, yelling obscenities as they do so. A stray bullet hits SARGE. He dies after his men cannot save his life.
IDIOT SOLDIER #3
%&*%^ &%^^&* %^$#%@!
The men attempt to lower Sarge's body and IDIOT SOLIDER #2 to the ground via a rope. The rope is cut and IDIOT SOLDIER #2 falls to his death, grasping onto the body of SARGE.
IDIOT SOLDIER #4
IDIOT SOLDIER #5
Oh man, we're getting picked off one-by-one here! Let's boogie on out of here!
IDIOT SOLDIER #4
Stand your ground soldier!
IDIOT SOLDIER #5
Stay if you want, $^&%^&!, but I'm getting the %^%^#@ out of here!
IDIOT SOLDIER #4
Stand your ground, soldier! (IDIOT SOLDIER #4 points his weapon at IDIOT SOLDIER #5, who in turn points his weapon at IDIOT SOLDIER #3, who in turn points his weapon at IDIOT SOLDIER #4, resulting in a Mexican standoff).
A FALLING ROCK tumbles off of a nearby cliff, and all three IDIOT SOLDIERS open fire, all collapsing to the ground, dead.
FADE...to the sound of an evil, maniacal chuckle.
The version of The Hills Have Eyes 2 that actually appeared on the screen could have easily been a decent movie. It's hard to go wrong with monsters vs. soldiers, but there was definitely some kind of breakdown in the process of moving from idea to script to screen. Movies such as Dog Soldiers, Aliens, and 28 Weeks Later pulled the concept off with ease, providing first rate stories, solid acting and direction, and mostly good dialogue, and all conveyed a certain sense of realism, tension, and fear. The Hills Have Eyes 2 seems nothing more than a decent idea gone horribly wrong, and it's so bad on such a grandiose scale that any attempt to completely dissect what's wrong with the picture might just fill up an entire "how not to make a movie" textbook. I couldn't find one redeeming quality in this film, so in the interest of stopping while I'm ahead and not piling on, I'll end this portion of the review here.
The Hills Have Eyes 2 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Fox has one again provided a tip-top Blu-ray transfer here. Contrary to the horrendous quality of the movie, this 1080p, 2.35:1 image looks fantastic. Thankfully, this transfer (along with stellar sound) made watching the movie slightly tolerable. The film offers two contrasting visual styles. The first part of the film takes place in the great outdoors, shot in locales lit naturally by a very bright sun, and the tans of the desert, mountains, and military uniforms look fantastic. Detail is high, clarity is amazing, and the image is crisp and sharp. As the film progresses, the action moves into a dark, poorly lit underground location where the monsters live, and the disc handles this startling transition with ease. Black levels are spot-on perfect and color reproduction remains excellent. Shadow detail and fine detail both receive high marks as well. Flesh tones are uniformly excellent, regardless of the setting or lighting conditions. Fox shows that they are dedicated to Blu- ray for the long haul, giving The Hills Have Eyes 2 a wonderful transfer, despite the questionable quality of the film itself, and that says a lot to me. Keep 'em coming, Fox!
The Hills Have Eyes 2 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
As usual, Fox provides listeners with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack that, like the picture quality, ranks rather high amongst its peers. The sound quality on this disc is powerful and immersive. There is quite a bit going on, from gunfire and explosions up front to quite a few pleasant ambient sounds in the rear. The surround channels certainly do their part in creating the semblance of a spooky atmosphere. There is usually something going on in the soundtrack that tries to reel the viewer into a horrific atmosphere that the film fails to create. More mundane effects such as wind blowing, birds chirping, and insects buzzing create a believable, realistic atmosphere in the first half of the film that makes you feel like you are in the middle of the barren wasteland of the military encampment. Once underground, the focus of the sound shifts more to musical cues and creepy breathing and other sub-human effects to scare the viewer. It' mostly effective, and would have had a much greater impact had the action on screen matched the sound in intensity and scares. Dialogue and music reproduction are excellent as well. Even though the movie is lousy, this soundtrack is sure to please and give your sound system a decent workout in the process.
The Hills Have Eyes 2 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Hills Has Eyes 2 features a plate full of extras which, on the whole, proved more interesting than the movie itself. Lacking is a commentary track, but in this case the absence of one was probably a smart move. Leading off are four deleted scenes (480p, 3:11) that really don't appear as if they would have improved the film one iota. Batting second is an alternate ending (480p, 0:55). Unfortunately, I couldn't understand what the bad guy was saying at the end, even listening to it three times, but I'm sure it really doesn't matter. Batting third is a gag reel (480p, 3:37) that proved more entertaining and funny than anything in the movie itself. Hitting cleanup is a feature entitled Mutant Attacks (480p, 9:47), which discusses the difference between the mutants from the first film and this sequel, the power structure among the mutants, and creating the unique look of each mutant. Batting fifth is Birth of a Graphic Novel (480p, 12:42). This is a look at the graphic novel prequel to the Hills Have Eyes franchise entitled The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning. Hitting sixth is another feature entitled Exploring the Kills: The Making of 'The Hills Have Eyes 2' (480p, 12:43), which examines some of the stunts and the design of some of the sets. Batting seventh, we have Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School With Wes Craven (480p, 10:20). He discusses film and politics with several interviewers who seem awestruck to be speaking with one of the true Masters of Horror of the past few decades. Up to bat eighth is a trailer for The Hills Have Eyes (1080p, 2:25), and finally, batting ninth, we have 1080p trailers for other Fox Blu-ray discs, including Alien Vs. Predator, From Hell, and Sunshine.
The Hills Have Eyes 2 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Featuring unlikable characters and sophomoric dialogue that is more cringe-worthy than "funny" as I imagine that it was supposed to be, not to mention poorly structured villains, The Hills Have Eyes 2 proves to be one of the most disappointing films, ever. It's too bad there is no "reverse scale" to rate the quality of the movies here. Perhaps rather than just blue letter "B's," we could also have red letter "R's" that signify the negative scale, and The Hills Have Eyes 2 would definitely score a perfect 5/5 "R's." Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the Blu-ray? This one boasts spectacular video and audio quality and a nice helping of extras. I have a hard time believing even hardcore gore hounds will like this one. There's plenty of blood and guts and brains, but watching this film will probably kill more brain cells than if an IDIOT SOLDIER reached into a bullet wound in your head and started yanking out brain matter. Skip this one entirely.
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