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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

The Hills Have Eyes Part II

1984 | United States | 86 min | More...
A still from The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984)
  • Watched on F: 1 star (out of 5)
    on Wed Feb 2, 2022 via Arrow Player

    Wes, what have you done? You return to your independent roots after two studio efforts (Deadly Blessing and Swamp Thing) and deliver a tepid, inane mess. Was this a paycheck gig? Was the film wrested away from you? The truth fades, but your “written and directed by” credit remains.

    Set seven years after the first film, a teen motocross crew comprising some of the first film’s survivors becomes stranded in the desert. There, they run afoul of the first film’s lone surviving baddie Pluto, now teamed up with his monstrous uncle, the Reaper.

    Unlike the first film, where the savages operated with paramilitary precision, Pluto and the Reaper rely on elaborate booby traps. Given the isolated location, who did they expect to fall prey to said traps? And how did they know said intruders would ride motorcycles? Speaking of motorcycles, we see Pluto’s learned to ride one. I guess they get lots of motorbikes and gas in the desert?

    I have more questions. Why don’t Pluto and the Reaper just rush the teens? Unlike the first film, they’re unarmed. And they don’t seem very smart. Upon finding an open mine shaft, one teen warns the group to be careful—but no one seems concerned about the blind teen wandering around unassisted. And later, after some of their crew has disappeared and they’ve seen evidence they’re not alone in the desert night, two girls decide to take an outdoor naked shower.

    Maybe Pluto and the Reaper feared the dog. Fair enough, but Wes, while I understand your desire to remind us how the dog tore up Pluto in the prior film, a flashback from the dog’s POV was a bridge too far. And about that dog. How does he not smell the savage lurking underneath the RV? He just tears off into the desert. Was he running toward something important or just away from this turkey?