THE HILL HAVE EYES (REMIX)
Just back from checking-out the remake of “The Hills have Eyes” w/ CyRus Da VyRus (no, he went with me; he’s not in it...pay attention, dummies)…which is, like, pretty okay, I reckon. Def. worth a look.
Fairly faithful to the original in places, but not in others, it’s more like remix than a remake, probably due to Wes Craven’s participation. A few too many MTV music-video rapid jump-cuts in places though (something that seems to infest so many modern films, as Dom and I moaned about over gin and cocktail sausages recently…it’s almost as if a busload of 30 or 40-something mediafolk sat down and decided (w/out actually asking them) that this is what young people want in a film….) ...yeah, and too much use of digital filter plug-in thingys to make the picture seem appropriately scuzzy and grainy. These techniques are so bloody endemic now that future film geek/historians will be able to tell what year/decade films were made-in by the filtering software that was used. Trust me, in a few years time this is gonna date films sooo badly; it’s the cinematic equivalent of the big gated-snare sounds used on mid/late eighties pop records.
Anyhoo, back to the film: it’s the nuclear family versus The Nuclear Family, innit.
But, there’s some weird sub-texts going on in this film that I haven’t fully decoded yet. There’s some sort of inner-war going on in the lost tourist family even before the irradiated cannibal family start pickin’ ‘em off: Ex-Cop Alpha-Male Big Bob constantly taunts his beardy, speccy, wimpy (Jewish? ) cell-phone salesman son-in-law for not measuring up to his own ideals of manhood. Early on in the film, he calls him a “Democrat-voter”, which may provide a few clues about what’s actually going on here…
Forget the cannibal mutants, this family seem to represent an America that's at war with itself; a divided America w/ Big Bob and his wife symbolising Old America (Boomer/Republican values), whereas older sis and her husband are New(er) America (the Anti-Bush/Anti-War/Post-Boomer White Middle-Class Liberal Generation, whose voices have been shouted down over the last few years)…younger brother & sister are the apolitical, iPOD-obsessed Next.Gen Kids. This is all about a generational transition of power (a subliminal, cinematic backwards-masking message prepping the audience for a possible Post-Bush handover back to centre-right 'liberal' politics?) as much as Rite-of-Passage to Manhood movie, as speccy Beta-Male becomes head-of-tribe and has to reach deep inside to find some steel w/in himself in order to defend what is now his...
There's also a corpse with an American flag embedded in its head (dig the symbolism, man) that later gets used w/ mucho gorey effect on Uber White Trash Cannibal Boy. Hmmm...and another cannibal sings a terrifyingly off-key version of "The Star-Spangled Banner"... this feels more like an alternative State of the Union address than a blinkin' horror film.
There's also a mocked-up 1950's style Everyville town populated by rusting cars and manniquins covered in dust, that was used during the A-Bomb tests...it seems to hint at an older, spectral Cold War America (populated by the cannibals) whose ways now seem almost as alien and strange to us as the cannibals themselves.
All that plus the fact that Dom Zero named his cat after cannibal-king Daddy Jupiter, and...and a character whose head is three times its normal size. How topical is that?