Tag Archives: exploitation

Really Awful Movies: Ep 186 – The Hills Have Eyes (2006)



On today’s episode, a journey to the Valley of the Sun…”death” valley, as it were in this serviceable, yet flawed remake of the Wes Craven classic, The Hills Have Eyes.

In this 2006 flick, Alexandre Aja is behind the camera lens (he of, the new-wave French classic, Haute Tension and Piranha 3D). And we get a little preamble featuring some nuclear scientists in hazmat suits and Geiger counters, roaming around in a desert setting. Soon, they’re poleaxed / bludgeoned to death…and we know something is lurking in this highly radioactive locale.

Cut to a more conventional horror set-up: the road trip. There’s nothing more American than going away for a long weekend in an RV or a trailer with the family, and venturing out somewhere along one of the many interstates that dot the nation. In The Hills Have Eyes, the Carter Family (which includes pops, mom, their two daughters, son, grand-daughter and son-in-law) is out crossing the desert to try to get to California.

That staple of the horror film, the seedy gas station attendant, leads the Carters down the garden path when he suggests there’s a short-cut that’ll save the family “two hours!” Soon, a spiked belt stops the family’s pickup and Gulfstream trailer, sending them careening into a rock. And whoops, they’re stranded.

And we all know what’s lurkin’ in them hills.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we explore the millennium phenomenon of remakes, the various horror franchises that were given a re-imagining in the 2000s, how nuclear weapons/warfare is treated in the original Hills Have Eyes compared with its successors, where Wes Craven stands in the pantheon of horror directors, the sensibilities of Alexandre Aja, characterizations that focus on Red / Blue state cultural differences, female characters, pet demises, and much much more!!!

Tune in each and every week to the Really Awful Movies Podcast for genre films of all stripes, predominantly horror.


Really Awful Movies: Ep 183 – Blacula



This puts the sucking in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka? Anyway, here’s a terrific African American vampire movie…a portmanteau of black and Dracula (obviously). And that movie is: Blacula. The flick stars the imposing, booming-voiced actor, William Marshall (a Bard-trained theater guy brings great gravitas to the role of The Count. .

He plays an 18th-century African prince named Mamuwalde, who is turned into a vampire (and later locked in a coffin) by Count Dracula in the Count’s castle in Transylvania in the year 1780 after Dracula refuses to help Mamuwalde suppress the North African / European slave trade.

Two centuries later, in the year 1972, two very effete interior decorators from modern-day La La Land, travel to Eastern Europe and unknowingly purchase a rare piece of furniture – Blacula’s coffin. They have it shipped to Los Angeles…and you guessed it… All hell breaks loose.

Blacula was followed by the sequel Scream Blacula Scream in 1973 and inspired a wave of blaxploitation-themed horror films.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, Jeff and Chris break down:

  • Vampire movies
  • Our love of blaxploitation
  • The terrific performance of William Marshall
  • The ways in which Blacula differs from traditional horror and traditional blaxploitation