The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984)
the hills have eyes | the hills have eyes part 2 | the hills have eyes part ii | sequel | wes craven | tamara stafford | kevin spirtas | john bloom | thriller | united kingdom | united states | michael berryman | slasher
Film: The Hills Have Eyes Part II
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Starring: Tamara Stafford, Kevin Spirtas and John Bloom
This film begins with the star of the previous film, played by Robert Houston, speaking with his psychiatrist, played by David Nichols. He is recounting some of the traumatic events which we see through flashbacks. Nichols informs us that Houston has been very successful in the moto-cross business and there is a race coming up where he will unveil his new fuel he has created. The problem is that Houston is having issues dealing with the race being in the desert. He is worried about what happened last time happening again.
We then shift to a woman sleeping. She wakes up to find she is alone in her bed. She is blind and is played by Tamara Stafford. Driving up on his dirt bike is Kevin Spirtas. He is wearing a mask and he moves around the building with a ladder. He climbs in through the second floor window, trying to scare her. She is already up and knows it is him.
They then go to his racing team’s garage. There we meet John Laughlin, who goes by the name Hulk in the film. They go inside where we meet another member, Willard E. Pugh. The next to arrive is Peter Frechette. He drives up while riding a wheelie and crashes. A bus then comes next with Colleen Riley, who is dating Frechette, Penny Johnson Jerald, who is dating Pugh, and Janus Blythe. Blythe is back in her role as Ruby, but she is going by Rachel now. She points out that Houston is struggling with today. Spirtas offers to speak with him.
He goes in and we find Houston crying and crouched down. Spirtas tries to cheer him up and convince him that it will be fine and Blythe joins them. It is decided that Blythe will go without him as she feels she can handle it.
The bus then hits the road. They first stop by a dog kennel to collect the surviving dog from the previous film, Beast. They also collect money from a woman there as Beast is being used for a stud.
The problem they run into is that they are behind schedule and Pugh points out that they forgot about Daylight Saving’s Time ending yesterday so they are behind much more. The group suggests they use Frechette’s method, shortcut to make it. Blythe is against it, but they convince her it will be fine. What makes matters worse for her is that Frechette is making jokes about what is bothering Houston, not realizing who Blythe is.
In the desert Frechette thinks he sees a flash, but can’t be sure. They end up finding a random sign that is welcoming them. They come upon what they believe to be an abandoned mine. They have to stop as the road busted a hole in their gas tank and they are pretty much on empty. As they investigate, they see that someone has been there.
Stafford becomes quite the asset in that her hearing is more acute, as well as her sense of smell and she seems to have these psychic feelings. The bus is broken into when they are investigating and one of the bikes is stolen. Spirtas and Frechette chase after the person. Frechette runs into a rope that knocks him off his bike. Spirtas gives chase until he gets him off the bike. Returning in his role as Pluto is Michael Berryman. The chase continues on foot until Spirtas bests him and a knife fight ensues.
Frechette is not so lucky. He comes upon another trap, but he finds it first. He trips it from safety and thinks he has outsmarted them. A rock is dropped down onto him. Spirtas comes back with Berryman looking for him, but an ambush is set. Spirtas is knocked out in the process by Jupiter’s, the leader of the cannibals from the previous film, older brother The Reaper. He is played by John Bloom.
Stafford believes she heard Spirtas scream, but she can’t be sure. Pugh believes they are playing a joke, so they are setting up traps of their own to get the practical jokers. Blythe is uneasy, even more so when she runs into Berryman. He almost kills her, but she gets away.
Will any of these people survive this ordeal? Bloom and Berryman begin to pick them off one by one. Is there a way to stop them?
I will lead off that I really liked the first one and I actually liked the concept of this one. I think actually like the moto-cross team coming up against the cannibals. A biker gang would probably hold their own better, but these people are not hardened. I really liked Stafford in this film as the blind girlfriend. She is at a disadvantage without having sight, but she actually seems to be the most equipped in surviving. I like the traps that the cannibals use also. I’m also a big fan that the characters that were brought back are all played by the same actors from the pervious film as well.
There were a lot of issues with this film though. The first and the biggest problem for me was that this film completely changes the back-story from the previous film. Bloom is supposed to be Jupiter’s older brother, but clearly we were told in the first film that the old man had two children, a daughter and son. Where did this third child who is now the oldest come from? I don’t like that for this one we only have the two cannibals, meaning that Bloom and Berryman killed the rest of the family off. Berryman’s character I am pretty sure died at the end of the first film, but Bloom somehow gave him proper medical care to be in this one. I also felt the bikers weren’t too bright and ignored what happened. I get this is a horror film and that is what they do, but not even believing Blythe and what she is telling them doesn’t feel right. We also get the horrible horror film cliché of not killing someone when they have the chance. I get why Spirtas doesn’t when he first catches Berryman, as he is not hardened yet. I don’t get why Bloom doesn’t kill Spirtas minutes later. When you have someone alone, especially a male, wouldn’t it make more sense to eliminate them immediately?
I would not recommend this film, unless you are set on seeing what Wes Craven followed the original up with. I have learned that due to budget reasons this film was going to be scrapped, but only released after A Nightmare on Elm Street did as well as it did. It wasn’t even finished, which explains why there are so many flashbacks. The acting is decent, the story is still creepy and the concept for this one isn’t bad. It breaks some continuity issues which I have a problem with. There are much better films in this genre, as this film becomes more of a slasher film that the original. I would watch the previous one or the remakes for a better product.
My Rating: 4 out of 10