21 December 2009 | Coventry
Hush, Little Baby, Don't Say A Word
Daddy's Gonna Make You A Messed Up Movie
Hmm, I definitely second what my pal and fellow reviewer TheatreX stated in his user comment! I am a devoted fan of horror genre as well and I also get a kick out of tracking down hidden gems that are extremely obscure or even considered "lost", but after seeing this film, I must make a mental note to never ever go and fanatically seek for lost backwoods slashers myself! That is what the basic plot of "The Hills Run Red" is all about. Tyler is a horror fan and amateur documentary maker obsessed with the idea of finding a horror film that was taken out of circulation shortly after its release, allegedly because it was too shocking and gruesome, as well as the director Wilson Wyler Concannon who mysteriously vanished as well. He convinces two friends and even the director's daughter, who nowadays is a heroin junkie and works as a stripper, to drive out to the middle of nowhere region where the movie was shot in the early 80's. Deep down in those backwoods, the foursome discovers that the film is real and never fully got completed. The maniacal killer from the trailer, referred to as Babyface, still prowls the area and butchers all trespassers in horribly painful ways. "The Hills Run Red", from director Dave Parker who previously made the hugely entertaining zombie flick "The Dead Hate the Living!" comes as a pleasant and refreshing little surprise in the overall worn out slasher genre. Especially the first half is compelling and innovative; at least if you're an obsessive horror fan yourself like I explained here above. All the little bits and footage and trivia details of the inexistent lost horror movie are truly fascinating. Supposedly "The Hills Run Red" revolved about a killer who cut off his own face as a child, because his stepfather said he was ugly, and replaced it with a doll mask. Director W.W. Concannon was a reputed freak who used real blood from a nearby slaughterhouse and hired a local retard to play the killer. The second half, meaning as soon as the main characters are confronted with the killer and have to run for their lives, feels a lot more like familiar slasher territory again with some implausible and grotesque plot twists as well as a few derivative clichés. Nevertheless, even then "The Hills Run Red" still transcends the majority of backwoods slashers because it literally oozes with perversion and sheer nastiness. The film is chock- full of macabre set pieces, harsh gore, lurid sleaze and vicious undertones like incest and mutilation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these trademarks exactly what the horror genre is all about? Add to all this a creepy horror lullaby that continuously gets repeated ("Hush, little baby, don't say a word
") and a downright depressing climax and you got yourself perhaps even a future classic. The basic premise is reminiscent to the John Carpenter's Masters of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns", but it's more properly elaborated and a lot more identifiable, and it was fun seeing B-movie veteran William Sadler star in gloriously demented role again. Recommended.