Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Hills Run Red (2009)

The Hills Run Red (USA, 2009) - Color, Director(s): Dave Parker
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 81 min.

Z-rating: 8 out of 10 stars for explicit scene torture, graphic violence, and nudity

Not to be confused with the spaghetti western of the same name, this is one of the best slashers to come out since Hatchet. The opening scene to this incredible direct-to-DVD horror gem has a creepy old woman singing "Hush, little baby" while a kid sits in front of a mirror with a thunderstorm roaring on in the background. The kid picks up a pair of scissors while simultaneously pulling on the loose skin on his face, as though he were preparing to shave, but begins cutting sheets of skin from his face. Glimpses of this grisly act are shown, in painfully vivid detail accompanied by the sharp tearing sound that scissors make cutting through fabric, with each flash of lightning.

Fast forward some 20 years and an obsessed horror fanatic is on the search for the scariest movie ever made. The first 40 minutes or so when they're still looking for the movie is a little slow, much like Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, but the action totally picks up once Babyface makes his first appearance. Their only connection to the movie is Alexa, a strung out prostitute that also happens to be the director's daughter. They set off in search of the movie with her in tow, interviewing people along the way for more clues as to the whereabouts of the film. Soon, we get the entire back story to Babyface and discover his correlation to the opening scene. Apparently his mother was raped by a feral mountain man, so his father cut off his face and locked him in the cellar so he wouldn't be reminded of it. The son tried to sew his own face back on but was unable to do it. He had a baby-doll toy, with a perfect face, that he wore as a mask so maybe his father would love him. When a group of pig fuckin' hillbillies comes and ties the group up in the middle of the night, it looks like it's going to be another Deliverance moment. Suddenly, Babyface comes running out of the woods to get him some of these rednecks. Aside from a minor gripe about the minor use of CGI blood in this movie, everything from here on out is one of the best slasher movies I've seen in a long time. (Totally reminded me of Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Nudity: About 8 minutes into the movie, we see a gaggle of boobies when the main character steps into a nightclub in search of Alexa. There is no shortage of T&A here (just like it rightfully should be!) being a horror movie and all.

Gore: The gore in this movie was AWESOME!!! After the face-cutting intro, the beginning 40 minutes is relatively dull. (Probably to lull you into a false sense of security) Then all hell breaks loose after Babyface shows his ugly mug. Then you get some torture, violent killings, cringe-worthy scenes of brutality. At one point, Babyface is unmasked and his mask is broken. What he does to fix it was so hardcore, it seemed like a passing of the torch from Jason Voorhees. (His mask broke in half the same way in part VII

Awesome: Surprising little horror movie that brings together a variety of horror elements. This film is fresh yet familiar at the same time. While certain things about the movie followed old formulas, hulking masked deformed serial killers, other aspects of this film broke the old clich├ęs. (The kids actually had a gun to defend themselves with... the killer picks it up at one point and actually uses it!!) All-in-all, one of the best new slashers to come out but very few people have actually seen it. HIGHLY recommended for Halloween parties. Anyone who's a fan of Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Halloween will LOVE this movie.