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Movie Review

"I've always felt that to make this kind of film, you have to cross the boundaries [to] where people feel you're being irresponsible," says horror king Wes Craven.

Viola, The Hills Have Eyes II.

Craven wrote and directed the 1977 film that first brought this concept to the big screen, as well as its 1985 sequel. He stepped back a bit from 2006's remake. But now has re-entered the fray to write the screenplay for this year's second sequel, as it were.

Against what backdrop does he set his irresponsible boundary crossing? When a gaggle of poorly trained National Guard PFCs show up at the Army's training and testing facility in Yuma Flats, N.M., to deliver a piece of equipment to scientists stationed there, they discover that the scientists are dead. The guardsmen are about to be. Those "cannibalistic, mutant offspring of miners who refused to leave the area when the government was conducting above-ground nuclear tests during the Cold War" didn't all die in the first flick the way they were supposed to. But since their numbers were thinned, they're bent on retaliation. They want to kill. And they want to breed.

Positive Elements

Private First Class Amber refuses to leave PFC Missy in the clutches of the creatures, even when she's pressured to do so by her terrified comrades. PFC Napoleon ultimately helps her find and rescue Missy.

Spiritual Content

After God is hastily invoked during a moment of crisis, one soldier remarks, "I'm not sure God knows anything about this place."

Sexual Content

Jokes are made about masturbation. And the guys joke about Amber having sex with a fellow soldier.

A woman's bare breasts are seen during the film's opening—and bloody—birth scene. She'd obviously been captured months earlier, and is giving birth to a mutant baby which is snatched away from her the instant it emerges. She's then bludgeoned to death.

Missy is brutally raped by two mutants. ...

Violent Content

... While there's no explicit nudity shown in the multiple scenes devoted to this, the creature's vicious movements and obvious orgasm, along with Missy's screams, make them sickeningly severe.

Mutant births and rapes aside, gory killings are about the closest thing this film has to plot points. Mickey is the first one down. (Down the hole, literally, as he's nearly torn in half while being dragged underground through a small rock opening.) Not that names matter much here, since Hills II mostly makes a game out of the old "and then there were three" routine.

One man goes down with an ax to the skull. A soldier smashes in a mutant's head with a rock. (All that's left when the killing is done is a mass of mutilated flesh, broken bone and gray matter.) Trying to kill another creature, Amber digs her fingers around inside his skull, reaching through a bullet hole that's already failed to fell the beast. Missy beats her assailant to a pulp after his Achilles tendon has been sliced, stabbing him repeatedly while concentrating on his crotch. He's finished off finally when he's impaled through the mouth.

Most scenes boast both gore and blood. And the camera often goes in for close-ups. That's the case when the soldiers find the dead scientist. His skull has been split open.

Sarge is caught by friendly fire. A dynamite explosion takes out PFC Crank. A colonel blows his brains out in despair and falls off the hill. One soldier gets his arm chopped off. The mutant then waves it at him before pushing him off a cliff—the man's head explodes on impact. Sarge (who's already dead) and one of his men (who's alive) fall and are mangled by the rocks below.

The few who are still living by the movie's final act are led down into a room that's crammed with assorted body parts—in piles, hanging from the ceiling, etc.

In an early clash between two PFCs, one nearly pushes his rival out of their moving truck.

Crude or Profane Language

Close to 100 f-words. Fifty s-words. Jesus' name is abused a half-dozen times, as is God's (by pairing it with "d--n"). An obscene gesture, obscene references to anatomy, and various other crudities and vulgarities round things out.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Who's got time to smoke when marauding mutants are murdering your buddies?

Other Negative Elements

"All presidents lie," Sarge tells his troops, "No president has told the truth since Truman." One of the death scenes takes place in and around a porta-potty. A man has been hiding inside, underneath the feces. Of course he emerges at the precise moment Napoleon decides to relieve himself (an act we get a pretty clear look at). Missy is also shown relieving herself (an act that leads to her capture).


We concluded our review of The Hills Have Eyes with, "The film's tagline is 'The lucky ones died first.' It would better read, 'The smart ones never bought tickets.'" Since the tagline for The Hills Have Eyes II only changed slightly to "The lucky ones died fast," I'll only slightly change our conclusion for this sloppy, futile exercise in gruesome butchery: "The smart ones learned their lesson the first time."

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Michael McMillian as PFC Napoleon; Jessica Stroup as PFC Amber; Daniella Alonso as PFC Missy; Jacob Vargas as PFC Crank; Lee Thompson Young as PFC Delmar; Ben Crowley as PFC Stump; Reshad Strik as PFC Mickey; Eric Edelstein as Cpl. Splitter; Flex Alexander as Sarge


Martin Weisz ( )


Fox Atomic



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Steven Isaac

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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