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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Surviving the Hills: Making of 'The Hills Have Eyes' is a 50 odd
minutes long look at the making of the 2006 remake of The Hills Have
Eyes & is a fascinating & informative watch, I don't usually watch
these 'making of' type documentary's on special edition DVD's but after
enjoying the main feature so much this afternoon & discovering it's
longer than usual length I decided to give this one a try & I'm glad I
did. It chronicles specific parts of the production one at a time so
there's no long dull self-congratulatory back patting promotion, well
there's a bit but it's cut to a minimum let's say.
Being a huge horror fan I was enthralled with the special effects side of things, there is much behind-the-scenes footage that I found fascinating, from the original 3D computer designs for the mutants to watching the make-up being applied, there are many instances where the gore scenes are played from different angles & for longer or people just filming them on set with a camcorder or where the special effects haven't been finished like when Doug has his fingers cut off on set they just covered the fingers that went with green tape so they could be easily be removed via CGI & the original shot as it was filmed is present & where the whole 'take' is shown in one go from the word 'action' to 'cut'.
There's stuff on the car crash, the explosion, working with children & animals as there are plenty of unused shots of the scorpion scuttling across the rock at the start of the film the wrong way & the revelation that they just had to keep shooting until the scorpion went where they wanted it! The actor's talk as well as plenty of the production crew including the director, the producer, the special effects guys, the cinematographer & more. There's a deleted scene of Pluto stealing gas from the Carter's car, there's loads of production stills & lots of scenes of people with camcorders filming people filming the film (if you know what I mean!).
It's a great watch full of interesting & relevant information that focuses on the good stuff & it doesn't get bogged down with needless repeating of clips from the film itself to pad the time out & everyone seems enthusiastic about the film. Oh, there is also a piece about Billy Drago eating Ethel's heart complete with many close-up on set shots of the special effects & it being shown from different angles along with the revelation that Drago actually enjoyed eating it & that it made the cinematographer feel sick...
Surviving the Hills: Making of 'The Hills Have Eyes' (2006)
*** (out of 4)
Good documentary taking a look at the making of Alexandre Aja's 2006 remake of THE HILLS HAVE EYES. A lot of the documentaries that found themselves on DVD releases were usually 10-15 minute promotional pieces where everyone talked about how great the other person was. That really isn't the case here because this documentary clocks in at 50-minutes and really gives you a great idea of what went on behind-the-scenes. We start off learning why the film was being remade and what attracted Aja to do it. From here we learn about deciding on the location and then we get into the actual shoot.
Subjects include the special effects, the use of CGI, the mutant creations and of course we get interviews with the cast and crew on what it was like to make the picture. If you're a fan of the film in question then you're really going to enjoy this because just about all the main people are interviewed. All of the cast members are on hand discussing their parts but we also get the director constantly talking about the production and Gregory Nicotero is on hand talking about the special effects. There's a lot of terrific behind-the-scenes footage and we also get a couple scenes that aren't in the movie.
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