The Curator of Schlock #107 by Jeff Shuster

The Hills Have Eyes

(Now that’s a scary title for a movie)

Hills Have Eyes Poster

Your Curator of Shock continues our celebration of the Maestro of Maniacs, Wes Craven! Tonight’s feature presentation is 1977’s The Hills Have Eyes. To think, this movie came out a couple months after a little movie called Star Wars. I mention that for no reason in particular except that the country has Star Wars fever and there’s no reason why this blog shouldn’t be saturated with it. Let’s just say I’ve got a surprise for you Star Wars fans coming in November.

The Hills Have Eyes is a fun little film about a family on vacation who get attacked by a family of mutant cannibals.


Right off the bat, I’m getting very frustrated with this movie because they’re just way too many characters. It’s like watching The Fellowship of the Ring again. I guess you could argue that this movie is about two families. One is the Carters, an all-American family who have the same last name as the then-sitting President. The other family doesn’t have a name, but we’ll call them the Cannibals.

The patriarch of the Cannibal family is Papa Jupiter. I guess the US government was testing nukes nearby while his mother was pregnant and all that radiation made her give birth to a mutant cannibal. Now I don’t want to hear your hippie objections. The Cold War was still running strong and we had to show that bear in the woods that we meant business. If a few mutant cannibals got born as a result, so be it. We were a number of years off before Sylvester Stallone would end the Cold War for our great nation.


As for the Carter family, I’ll do my best run through the family members. We have old man Carter, a retired police officer with a bum ticker, his wife cooks hamburgers and screams at him while he’s driving so he’ll crash into a bush leaving them stranded in the middle a desert.


They have a daughter who’s played by Dee Wallace and her husband who’s played by Sonny Bono or a guy that looks like Sonny Bono. They have a baby daughter named Katie that Papa Jupiter will later refer to as “tenderloin,” but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There are also a couple of teenagers named Bobby and Brenda and a couple of dogs named Beauty and Beast.


After the car accident, the Carter family decides to set up camp. Old man Carter heads back to a gas station run by a guy who kept warning them to “Stay on the main road!” Sonny Bono heads on out to an abandoned military base. I’m sure the two of them will be fine. The dogs go running off into the hills. Bobby finds Beauty gutted like a fish and gets spooked by one of the crazy men in the bushes. Bobby gets back to the camp, but keeps a tight lip on what happened to the dog. Yeah, maybe this is vital information that your family needs! They’ll be cannibal food regardless.


Five Things I Learned from The Hills Have Eyes

  1. Mutant are people too…No, they’re not. They’re mutants!
  2. Blueberry Frosted Mini Wheats are the cereal they serve in hell. Okay, I didn’t learn that from the movie, but they really are awful.
  3. If you kill Beauty, you’d best be sure to kill Beast because dog will seek revenge. I’m serious. He’s the most competent member of the Carter family.
  4. Casual wear from the 1970s looks terribly uncomfortable to wear.
  5. Never go outside when you hear a noise!


Jeffrey Shuster 3

Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.