I recently got a chance to watch the sequel to the remake of Wes Craven’s the Hills Have Eyes. Though I have not seen the original or the re...

Terrorist Mutants in the Hills Have Eyes 2

I recently got a chance to watch the sequel to the remake of Wes Craven’s the Hills Have Eyes. Though I have not seen the original or the remake, you don’t need any backstory to appreciate this barrel full of gore. The Hills Have Eyes 2 is good for what it is, a sequel to the remake that gives the audience more gore and another look at those oh-so-scary mutants living in the desert hills. Even so, the film surprises with the parallels it draws between the mutants lurking in the hills and Iraqi terrorists, and the creative way it racks up a body count.

The film draws a direct parallel between the war in Iraq and the war against the mutants in the New Mexico hills. At the beginning of the film, the military trainees who face off with the radioactive freaks are shown in the heat of battle in what looks like Iraq. They gun down insurgents and accidentally bomb civilians in what turns out to be a training exercise. Their battle against the mutants also evokes the guerilla warfare of Iraq as they struggle with an enemy that has knowledge of the rough, cavernous terrain and uses it to their advantage. As the trainees try to escape, they are foiled by the mutants who steal their weapons, damage their gear and stage an attack where the trainees’ commanding officer is struck down by friendly fire.

Even Colonel Redding, the man on a mission to bomb the mutants back to the stone age, tells the remaining troops that “it’s not the fucks in caves halfway around the world that keep me up at night,” suggesting that the mutants of The Hills Have Eyes 2 are a double for the Iraqi insurgents half a world away. This parallel between terrorists and mutants calls for an interesting reading of the ending, as the existence of yet more mutant cells suggests the war isn’t won yet.

As for inventive ways to off people, The Hills Have Eyes 2 delivers and I have only three words: death by latrine. You’ve got your more standard deaths throughout the film, including death by climbing accident, dismemberment and being dragged into a hole, but this one got my attention. Apparently one enterprising mutant thought it would be fun to cut up scientist and stuff him in the port-a-potty. The result is massive infection due to the pathogens in poo and…you get the idea.

My final word on the film comes with LoudLion’s metal opus played during the credits. With a Def Leppard sound and lyrics like: “they kill you dead , they’re gonna eat your head , they'll make you scream…” they remind me of a simpler time when hair bands and power ballads ruled the music charts. Ahh to be young again.

2 comments:

  1. The remake is one of the few films that far surpasses the original. Still haven't seen the sequel. Sounds like fun. Great review!

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  2. To compare bloodthirsty mutants with Iraqi insurgents without dealing with the implicit or explicit racism that kind of reading of a text naturally brings up seems intellectually lazy at best and condoning a view of the other as a subhuman beast at worst.

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