Relax, it’s not a rip-off sequel to the rip-off remake (or sequel) of The Hills Have Eyes. Nor is it any relation to the spaghetti western of the same name. And, surprisingly enough, Dave Parker’s The Hills Run Red isn’t just your average brain-dead direct-to-video splatterfest aimed at the teens — it actually has some meat on its bones.
The tongue-in-cheek story tells of a young film buff’s obsession with a lost 1982 horror film, The Hills Run Red. On the outside, it looked like just another dumb slice-n-dice drive-in flick, only this time, the masked killer was named Babyface. The movie was soon banned however, due to its unsettlingly gruesome nature (think Gigli, but only bloodier), the controversial slasher film was quickly withdrawn from moviehouses and all prints were ordered destroyed.
But that’s not enough Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrink). He’s determined to make his own documentary about the now-legendary film. It isn’t an easy task, though. All that currently exists of the film are some movie memorabilia and a trailer. The original cast members were never seen again, and the film’s director, one Wilson Wyler Colcannon (played by the great William Sadler, who was probably on set for only a few days), went into hiding.
Loading his Jeep up with his trusty film equipment and his pal Lalo (Alex Wyndham) and girlfriend Serina (Janet Montgomery), Tyler sets off to discover the original shooting locations of the film. His only guide throughout it all is a junkie stripper named Alexa (Sophie Monk) — who not only happens to be the only known cast member of the film, but also happens to be Concannon’s daughter. Setting out into the wooded wilderness, our four heroes soon find themselves at odds a menacing, masked killer known as Babyface.
Hey, what do you know: life does imitates art! And this homage to the classic slasher films of yesteryear may scream “imitation” to some, but it is really the most sincerest form of flattery: while it looks like it’s going to be another B-grade shot-in-Bulgaria horror film at times (which it is), The Hills Run Red actually goes on to surprises its viewers (despite a number of inconsistencies) with its humor — not to mention its unconditional love for older horror titles.