Hills Run Red, The (DVD)
When a young slasher movie fan's obsession with finding the complete print of an infamous horror film leads him and his friends to the woods where the picture was shot, they realize too late that filming has never ended -- and that their fate is to become the stars of the next horrifying scene, immortalized on celluloid even after their gruesome deaths, if they don't find a way to survive!
There was once a film so terrifying, so incredibly scary, that it only briefly played theaters and was immediately suppressed. And possibly destroyed. Never heard of it? That's because this urban-legend mystery exists in director Dave Parker's The Hills Run Red
, a clever little number about a group of young cineastes on the trail of the aforementioned movie. Would-be filmmaker Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrinck) finds a stripper named Alexa (Sophie Monk), who just happens to be the daughter of the mysterious director of the legendary lost film; Tyler drags two other friends (Janet Montgomery, Alex Wyndham) into the woods to research the location shooting of that fabled project. Since these characters are all hip in a post-Scream
way to the dangers of young people going off into the woods, there's plenty of self-conscious humor about horror-movie clichés. Sure enough, once they leave civilization, the inbred weirdos and secret hiding places and gothically bizarre torture implements begin to crop up. The movie gets points for being clever, and there's at least one great plot-shifting moment (it involves the word fetch
); but once the blood starts running, a familiar series of lacerations and punctures fills in for character development. Veteran character actor William Sadler runs a few variations on the classic bad guy, and Parker introduces a mask-wearing, knife-wielding killer who's clearly meant to join the ranks of Jason and Pinhead and other slasher icons. Call him… Babyface! In other words, not terrible for a direct-to-DVD offering from the Dark Castle company, but not great. The Babyface sequel can't be far off. --Robert Horton