The Hills Have Eyes (1977 film)

The Hills Have Eyes (1977 film)

name = The Hills Have Eyes

caption = Film poster
director = Wes Craven
writer = Wes Craven
starring = Susan Lanier
Robert Houston
Martin Speer
Dee Wallace-Stone
Michael Berryman
music = Don Peake
cinematography = Eric Saarinen
editing = Wes Craven
producer = Pete Locke
distributor = Vanguard
released = July 22, 1977
runtime = 89 min.
language = English
budget = $230,000 (estimated)
followed_by = "The Hills Have Eyes Part II"
amg_id = 1:22470
imdb_id = 0077681

"The Hills Have Eyes" is a 1977 horror film, directed by Wes Craven and starring Michael Berryman.

*"The lucky ones died first..."
*"A nice American family. They didn't want to kill. But they didn't want to die."
*"The story of an American family who lost everything, except the will to survive."
*"Murdered, Burned, Raped, Eaten......But not defeated!"
*"The story of one family's refusal to die."
*"A night of Horror. A day of revenge."
*"They wanted to see something different;but something different saw them first."


*Susan Lanier as Brenda Carter
*Robert Houston as Bobby Carter
*Martin Speer as Doug Wood
*Dee Wallace as Lynne Wood
*Russ Grieve as Big Bob Carter
*John Steadman as Fred
*James Whitworth as Jupiter
*Virginia Vincent as Ethel Carter
*Lance Gordon as Mars
*Michael Berryman as Pluto
*Janus Blythe as Ruby
*Cordy Clark as Mama
*Brenda Marinoff as Katy
*Pete Locke as Mercury


The film opens with an old man named Fred who is packing up his truck and drinking heavily, as though worried. He frequently glances worriedly around the arid landscape around him, and makes continual comments about "them" and what "they" would do to him if they ever found out he was making a run for it. Suddenly, a ragged and somewhat feral ragamuffin girl turns up, wearing a tattered skirt and blouse. Annoyed, Fred addresses her as Ruby. She is offering to trade what she has in her bag for food and the old man refuses.

They move into a small cabin and Fred scolds her for what she and "them" have done. Ruby says that her family ambushed a nearby airfield because they were hungry: no one passes by their home anymore. She then pleads with Fred to take her with him. He mocks her and laughs in her face. He tells her she could never live with normal people: "You don't know a knife and fork from your own five fingers; and you stink like a horse." Ruby continues to beg and Fred continues to refuse. He demands whether "the pack" know what she is doing, and also if someone named Jupiter knows. He warns her of the danger she is in if Jupiter ever knew, and she retorts that her "pa" would do the same to Fred if he knew he was getting away. A noise distracts them and Ruby hides.

A family of five, Bob and Ethel Carter, and their kids Bobby, Brenda and Lynne are traveling on vacation. Lynne also is with her husband Doug, and their little baby girl Katie. They pull over at Fred's Oasis, where Fred tells them that there is a shortcut some miles ahead, that they should turn off the main road and onto a dirt road to take this "shortcut" and it will save them some time. "I knew it", Bob says as they pull off, satisfied that he has gotten good directions from the local. Later, they skid off a desert road and crash the truck (in what is revealed to be a booby-trapped road), totaling it. Bob leaves Bobby a handgun and goes to find help.

It turns out that a vicious family of deranged cannibals dwell in the barren wilderness that the Carters are traveling through. They are led by Papa Jupiter, the patriarch of the clan. He was born a monster and killed his mother in childbirth. As a child he was vicious and brutal, killing all the livestock on his father's farm, then eventually murdering his sister. His father Fred, the owner of the gas station, eventually reached breaking point and left the brat in the wilds to die. Sadly he survived, and took up with a depraved whore known as Mama. Together they had four children, three sons and one girl. Now they run wild in the desert, killing and cannibalizing all who cross their path.

As night falls, Bob is ambushed at Fred's Oasis and is taken to be burned by a mysterious man. Doug and Lynne go inside the family car while everyone else stays in the large camper. Bobby gets locked out and asks Doug for his set of keys. What Bobby does not know is that a strange man, Pluto, is inside the trailer looking at their valuables while Ethel and Brenda are asleep in the next room. Bobby gets the keys and goes inside, when Bob is set ablaze on a stake out in the distance.

Ethel, Lynne, Doug, and Bobby rush to Bob, while Brenda is left inside with the strange man. Everyone tries to help put out the fire on Bob, while Pluto rapes Brenda. Mars jumps down from the top of the trailer, and he goes inside. Mars pulls Pluto away and rapes Brenda in turn. The family puts out the fire on Bob, but he dies shortly after. When Ethel and Lynne go inside to get water, Pluto jumps out and runs away. Lynne rushes inside to find Mars taking her baby. She attacks Mars, but Pluto subdues her. Ethel steps in with a pole, she hits Mars repeatedly but is shot in the stomach. Brenda throws Lynne a knife on the floor. Lynne grabs it, stabs Mars in the leg, but is shot in the stomach twice. Pluto comes back and takes the baby, while Mars and Jupiter follow. Doug then comes rushing in, finding out that Lynne is dead. They cover her up with a blanket, Ethel dies shortly thereafter.

Only Brenda, Bobby, and Doug survive. Doug sets out to find his baby with his dog, while Bobby and Brenda remain behind, traumatized. Meanwhile, Beauty the Carters' dog has been savaged by the clan and Ruby is being made to eat it as punishment. She is chained up outside the cave where the clan live, and Mama torments her. The men folk return, but for Mercury the outlook is grave. He was pushed from a hilltop by the Carters' other dog, Beast, and died on the sharp rocks. Enraged, Jupiter threatens Ruby and vows to avenge his son's death. The brothers hurry back to the trailer the next day and vow to wipe out the remainder of the Carter family.

Doug, meanwhile, attacks the savages' camp. Ruby purposely takes the baby higher into the hills, being followed by Mars. Pluto and Jupiter are on their way to the trailer to wipe out the rest of the Carter's family but they meet their ends at the hands of the dog and Bobby and Brenda.
Mars follows Doug and Ruby into the hills and is eventually stabbed by Doug to death, saving the baby. The film ends with a closeup on Doug, who still stabs and kicks the dead body of Mars.


The film did reasonably well in its initial release and today enjoys a large cult following.Fact|date=July 2007 Craven made a sequel in 1985, which he later disowned. His son, Jonathan Craven made a sequel in 1995. Alexandre Aja made a remake in 2006, which Craven both endorsed and reportedly enjoyed.Fact|date=July 2007 In the film "The Evil Dead", during the scene in the basement, a torn poster for "The Hills Have Eyes" can be seen in the background. In turn, Craven has "Evil Dead" playing on a television in his film, "A Nightmare on Elm Street".

The film was ranked #41 on Bravo's "100 Scariest Movie Moments".

The film was given an X rating by the MPAA and several of the most violent/graphic moments were edited for an "R" rating. The cut footage is believed to be lost.


The film was conceived as a modern retelling of the Sawney Bean story. In the [ script] , titled "Blood Relations: The Sun War", the clan consisted of dozens of incestuous family members, similar to the Sawney Bean family that inspired the story. In addition, the film was set in 1994, took place in a desert rather than a forest, and most of the major cannibals (such as Mars, Pluto, and Mercury) were adolescents. The baby was stolen not for food, but for a perverted religious ritual.

"The Hills Have Eyes" Series

*"The Hills Have Eyes" (1977)
*"The Hills Have Eyes Part II" (1985)
*"The Hills Have Eyes III" also known as "The Outpost" or "Mindripper" (1995)
*"The Hills Have Eyes" (2006)
*"The Hills Have Eyes 2" (2007)

External links

*imdb title|id=0077681|title=The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
* [ 2,000 people singing Happy Birthday to, and then a brief interview with, Michael Berryman] on the podcast "The Future And You" (beginning at 1:07:44)
* [ Wes Craven interview for "The Hills Have Eyes"]

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