I love cheesy B movies. I always have and I always will. It’s because of this that I love the movies of The Asylum, their filmmakers are the new Roger Cormans. In this series, I will take a look at all of their so-called “mockbusters”, and compare them to their theatrical counterparts. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Hillside Cannibals was The Asylum’s attempt to capitalize on the release of 2006’s remake of The Hills Have Eyes. Written by Steve Bevilacqua and directed by Leigh Scott (King of the Lost World, Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers), the film claims (in summeries at least) to be an adaption of the possibly-true story of Sawney Bean and his cannibal clan. However, this is something you’d never tell from the actual movie unless you noticed that among the unintelligible grunts of the cave-dwelling cannibals was something that sounded vaguely like “Saaaaw Kneeee Beeeeeen”.
The movie itself was kind of dull. It starts out with a group of campers getting slaughtered, with the exception of two of them who are captured and brought back to the caves. Linda (Heather Conforto – you’ve never seen her anything else, except maybe The Beast of Bray Road), the ostensible lead keeps escaping and getting caught and escaping and getting caught for the remainder of the film. Some other stuff happens too, like a coup among the cannibals and another group of campers getting killed, but that’s basically the movie. Linda gets captured by cannibals, Linda escapes from cannibals, repeat.
What was really weird though, was how much of a mixed bag the effects were. For no discernable reason, two characters had full face prosthestics. And they looked fucking awful. On the other hand, the gore effects were actually pretty great. The best example being one character who gets torn in half. She’s laying on the ground, and the camera is close on her face when suddenly her face leaves the frame and her torso with intestines hanging out is dragged past the camera. It’s a hell of a shot.
(In about a second, this will be revealed to be a dummy.)
All in all, I think if the filmmakers hadn’t killed off all the campers in the first scene and instead spread out the honestly, pretty decent kills throughout the movie rather than just chasing the same girl over and over Hillside Cannibals would have a really fun little cannibal-slasher flick. What we got though, was a something that had a lot of wasted potential and really bad make-up, even for an Asylum movie. But even with that said, it might be worth throwing into your Netflix queue, if only for the kills.
And I really have to say, I did not expect that ending. Christ.
Stuff To Look Out For
Check out director Leigh Scott as both cannibal leader “Seaney Bean” and victim David.
(Under some seriously terrible make-up.)
Watch for the male lead, Bill (played by Tom Nagel), in Zack Snyder’s Superman movie, Man of Steel. He won the coveted role of A10 Pilot #2.
Also, why is it that whenever a character in a movie has drugs with them, let’s say, when they go camping, it’s always like a half-pound of marijuana? Seriously, that is ridiculous.
How does it compare?
The 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes really wasn’t much better. The only things it really had going for it were slightly better pacing (in that everyone wasn’t killed in the first 10 minutes) and Ted Levine essentially playing his character from Monk. Though both films obviously pale in comparison to the 1977 original Hills.
Next time: The Da Vinci Treasure