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Disc of the Week: THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977)


Disc of the Week for October 11th, 2016

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THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977): Limited Edition (Arrow Video US & UK)

Wes Craven passed away a little over a year ago and it’s still unbelievable that he’s gone. People may argue that there have been more consistent directors whose best films were better than Craven’s, but no one in the history of the genre has reinvented horror three decades in a row. THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT was at the forefront of the wave of savage cinema films when it hit screens in 1972. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) created the most recognizable horror icon of the ’80s and effectively ended the classic era of slashers, from then on you had to add a supernatural flair to your stalk and slash film if you wanted it to hit at the box office. SCREAM not only kicked off a new wave of self referential horror films when it landed in 1996, it saved the genre from the doldrums it had been stuck in throughout the first half of the decade. Without Wes Craven horror as we know it today would be very different and as fans we will always be indebted to him for what he did for the genre.

THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977) may not be one of those three watershed Craven flicks, but it’s always sat right near the top of his filmography for me personally. As far as his ’70s output goes I find it more entertaining than LAST HOUSE and it’s easily the best in the surprisingly expansive HILLS franchise. Recent years have seen the myth persist that the 2007 remake is superior to this original film, but I don’t buy it. The remake is pretty good, but when I want the real HILLS experience this is the film I reach for. And when I end up doing that reaching, this Arrow Video re-release will be the version I pick up. It features a new 4K restoration (previous Blus were notoriously unimpressive visually) along with several new commentaries and featurettes. You’ll also get all of the supplements from the original Image Entertainment disc save for an episode of “The Directors” focusing on Craven’s career. The Limited Edition goodies exclusive to this edition include a booklet, poster, and 6 post cards.

Bonus Features

NEW 4K Restoration of the Film Supervised by Producer Peter Locke
Audio Commentary with Director Wes Craven and Producer Peter Locke
NEW Audio Commentary with Actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier and Martin Speer
NEW Audio Commentary with Academic Mikel J. Koven
“Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes” Documentary with Director Wes Craven, Producer Peter Locke, Actors Michael Berryman, Dee Wallace, Janus Blythe, Robert Houston, and Susan Lanier, and Director of Photography Eric Saarinen
NEW Interview with Actor Martin Speer
NEW “The Desert Sessions” Featurette with Composer Don Peake
NEW Never-Before-Seen Outtakes
Alternate ending (in HD for the first time, can be viewed as part of the film)
Trailers and TV Spots
Image Gallery
Original Screenplay (BD/DVD-ROM)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
6 Postcards
Reversible fold-out poster featuring new and original artwork
Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Brad Stevens and a consideration of the Hills franchise by Ewan Cant

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You can grab THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977) on Blu over at GrindhouseVideo.com!

Other Releases for October 11th

The Thing (1982): Collector’s Edition (Scream Factory)
Carrie (1976): Collector’s Edition (Scream Factory)
Dark Water (2002) (Arrow Video US & UK)
The Burning: Steelbook (Arrow Video UK)
Astro Zombies (Kino Lorber)
Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte: Limited Edition (Twilight Time)
Kolchak – The Night Stalker: The Complete Series (Universal) [Re-Release with Single Sided Discs]
Hannibal: The Complete Series (Lionsgate)
Bitten: The Complete Series (Sony)
The Munsters Scary Little Christmas (Universal)
3-Munster Laugh Pack [3-Film Set] (Universal)
Nurse Jill (Massacre Video)
555 (Massacre Video)
City in Panic (Massacre Video)
American Masters Presents: Rod Serling (Paramount)
The Girl in the Photographs (Lionsgate)
Ghostbusters (2016) (Sony)
Krampus (Universal) [Repackaging]
Tales of Poe (Wild Eye Releasing)
The Inhabitants (FilmRise)
Ghosts in the Machine (Tomcat Releasing)
The Invoking 3: Poltergeist Dimensions (Ruthless) [Another In-Name-Only Sequel to a Movie I Wrote/Produced]
Ghostheads (FilmRise)
2 Jennifer (Bayview Entertainment)
The Devil’s Forest (ITN Distribution)
Killer Ink (Lost Empire)
Do Unto Others (Bill Zebub)
Atomic Zombies!!! (R Squared Films Inc)
Rotgut (Camp Motion Pictures)
Insane (SGL Entertainment)
American Slasher (Worldwide Multimedia)
American Freakshow (Worldwide Multimedia)
Flytrap (Indie Rights)
Possessed From Beyond: Horrors of the Paranormal (Worldwide Multimedia)
UFO Chronicles: The Shadow World (Reality Entertainment)
Knight Rider: The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
Sliders: The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
Blood Father (Lionsgate)
Runaway Train: Limited Edition (Twilight Time)
Boxcar Bertha: Limited Edition (Twilight Time)
The Train: Encore Edition (Twilight Time)
The Chase: Limited Edition (Twilight Time)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (The Criterion Collection)
Private Property: Limited Edition (Cinelicious Pics)
Violent Cop (Film Movement Classics)
Boiling Point (Film Movement Classics)
A Werewolf in the Amazon Collection [4-Film Set] (Camp Motion Pictures)
Clint Eastwood: 4-Movie Thriller Collection (Universal)
Paranormal Sexperiments (Bayview Entertainment)

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