The Hills Run Red (2009)
By: J.R. McNamara on March 18, 2011  | 
DVD
Warner Home Video | Region 4, PAL | 2.40:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 5.1 | 73 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Dave Parker
Starring: William Sadler, Tad Hilgenbrink, Sophie Monk, Janet Montgomery, Mike Straub
Screenplay: David J. Schow, John Dombrow, John Carchietta
Country: USA
External Links
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One of the joys of being a VHS/DVD/Lazerdisc/BD/ Betamax collector is the hunt. Thinking you know everything about a certain type of film, but then discovering, either through research or, thanks to the internet, that there is more to buy, more to collect. The most satisfying moment is when you get your hands on that rarity, though the joy is generally short lived as you quickly discover yet another missing treasure.

If this sounds familiar, The Hills Run Red is the film for you.

Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrinck) is a fanatical collector obsessed with finding a missing film called "The Hills Run Red", a notorious backwoods bloodbath about a killer nicknamed Babyface (Danko Iordanov), directed by the reclusive Wilson Wyler Concannon (William Sadler). Along with girlfriend Serina (Janet Montgomery) and best pal Lalo (Alex Wyndham) Tyler plans to make a documentary about "The Hills Run Red", but what he needs is a lead in.

This lead comes when his research brings him to Concannon's daughter Alexa (Sophie Monk), a heroin addicted stripper who he helps get cleaned up. After Alexa dries out, she takes the three to the backwoods town where the film was made, but what they find is a lot worse than anything they could have possible imagined: Babyface is a real creature and not a fictional character at all, and maybe film and reality aren't so different from each other.

This film is directed by Dave Parker, who was also responsible for The Dead Hate the Living, and written by David J. Schow, a fairly well known name in horror as he scripted 2 Critters films (specifically Critters 3 and Critters 4), Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part III, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and perhaps most famously, The Crow.

Schow's script has some interesting Scream type elements, turning many a genre convention on its head. One of the characters, whilst venturing into the woods, talks about horror film cliches and shows his mobile phone is working. He also has back-up flares in case the torches don't work, and a gun in case they get into trouble. Brilliantly, these modern back-up plans backfire and are used against the group. This is a thematic constant in the film as well; just when the bitter old horror fan inside you goes 'I know what will happen next', it doesn't. There are some great extra creepy moments in this film that are all based around this idea of being atypical.

The film is only quite short, but it bangs along at quite an appropriate pace. At no time was I bored, except maybe during the five minute long closing credit sequence, and the film had my attention at all times, especially during any scene of Babyface driven carnage or of Sophie Monk revealing the contents of her knocker locker.

I honestly think this is the best 80s styled slasher that wasn't made in the 80s, and I enjoyed it thoroughly!
Video
Whilst the film is only a fairly recent one and maintains a fairly good level of detail, I did find on occasion that the picture was a little soft. Also a few CGI effects weren't blended into the color scheme of the film and stuck out like dogs balls in mouse ball soup. The Hills Run Red is presented in in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
Audio
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The use of the subwoofer in jumpscares is so great that I must admit I almost blasted excrement from the depths of my bowels on at least two occasions. A grand time was had by all... well except for the lounge I was sitting on.
Extra Features
Only two extras on this:

Commentary by Director Dave Parker, Writer David J. Schow and Producer Robert Meyer Burnett is a quite animated commentary from the three. It covers a hell of a lot of stuff about of the film, and one gets a greater appreciation of the film when one hears how deliberately they avoided referencing other films directly, even though the film is about film fans falling afoul of filmmakers.

It's Not Real Until you Shoot It: The Making of the Hills Run Red is a great look at the filming of The Hills Run Red. It has a selection of interviews with almost all the cast and crew and is both funny and informative.
The Verdict
Easily my favourite slasher film in years. Perfect sized doses (all lethal) of beatings, brutalizations, babes and breasts all make for a great film, but don't think this film is light on story either. I love it.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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