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The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

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On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Steadman ...
Peter Locke ...
Mercury (as Arthur King)
Russ Grieve ...
Brenda Carter (as Susan Lanier)
Brenda Marinoff ...
Martin Speer ...
James Whitworth ...
Lance Gordon ...
Cordy Clark ...
Flora ...


A family going to California accidentally goes through an Air Testing range closed to the public. They crash and are stranded in a desert. They are being stalked by a group of people, which have not emerged into modern times. Written by Paul Popiel <marekp@interlog.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They burned the father, killed the mother, and raped the sister! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 July 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Relations  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$230,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Berryman's condition (Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia) means he has a lack of sweat glands, among other things. Despite this, he worked on the movie for five months in 100+ degrees heat out in the desert. See more »


As Jupiter and Pluto are heading toward the trailer, the scar on Jupiter's face disappears for several shots. See more »


Big Bob Carter: Do you always try to stop trespassers by hanging yourself?
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Shock! Shock! Shock! (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Classic Craven, and one of the best horror films of the 70's.
1 January 2006 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

Wes Craven's greatest B horror film was this harrowing low-budgeter that has gained quite a fan base over the years.

Charming, all-American family becomes stranded in the dessert wilderness and are preyed upon by a clan of savage hill-dwellers.

Violent, shocking, gory, and genuinely frightening, it's not hard to see why The Hills Have Eyes gained it's reputation as one of the most ruthless horror films of its decade. Craven's direction is well done, nicely exposing the raw and scenic filming locations. His story is also quite powerful. Craven gives us a taught, merciless tale of fear and survival that dares to break the audience's comfortable expectations! It has plenty of unexpected twists and a steely suspenseful climax. As with Craven's early film, Last House on the Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes is a film about clean-cut,likable people who must become brutal animals to avenge themselves. It's solidly intense and very poetic.

The cast of unknowns turns in great performances. Lanier, Houston, Speer, Grieve, Wallace, and Vincent all make for a well identifiable American family. While Whitworth, Gordon, and Berryman make for perfectly scary monsters!

A startling and memorable thriller all around, The Hills Have Eyes remains one of Craven's greatest achievements and one truly relentless horror picture! Genre fans should not miss it.

**** out of ****

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