The Hills Have Eyes Part II appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. An erratic presentation, the movie showed its age.
Sharpness varied. The movie usually looked acceptably detailed but rarely much more than that. Not too many scenes looked really ill-defined, but few came across as particularly distinctive.
This meant most of Eyes was acceptably concise and no more. Jagged edges and shimmering caused no concerns, and I encountered no signs of edge haloes or noise reduction.
Print flaws became a distraction at times. Though never especially heavy, I did notice moderate examples of specks and marks, and periodic lines crossed over the screen. Again, these didn’t dominate, but they created more than a few distractions.
Colors seemed erratic. Daytime exteriors looked pretty good, but interiors suffered from messier hues.
Black levels tended to appear somewhat inky, while shadow detail was a little too dense much of the time. Interiors seemed fairly flat and muddy. This was a mediocre presentation.
As for the film’s LPCM monaural track, the quality of the material seemed average for its vintage. Speech was intelligible and lacked edginess, but the lines tended to be somewhat thin and tinny.
Music lacked much range, as the score and songs were clear but without pizzazz. Effects also didn’t muster a lot of punch and they occasionally showed some roughness. This was a decent track for its age but not anything memorable.
As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from members of The Hysteria Continues, a podcast group. We hear from Justin Kurswell, Erik Threllfall, Joseph Henson and Nathan Johnson. All four chat together for this running, screen-specific look at cast/crew, other horror flicks/influences, sets and locations, and related subjects.
My first experiences with Hysteria commentaries left me pretty cold, as they came across more as casual chats among fans rather than anything else. That format seems better suited to their natural podcast habitat than the more fact-oriented world of the audio commentary.
The Hysteria guys appear to have adjusted to the differences in formats, as their Eyes II track focuses pretty well on film-related information. It still comes with some fan impressions, but those complement the more fact-based tone, so this ends up as a pretty useful discussion.
A documentary called Blood, Sand and Fire spans 31 minutes, 16 seconds and offers notes from producer Peter Locke, production designer Dominick Bruno, composer Harry Manfredini, unit production manager/1st AD John Callas and actors Michael Berryman and Janus Blythe.
“Blood” examines the first movie and the push toward a sequel, budgetary/schedule limitations and their impact, locations, cast and performances, stunts, effects and action, music, and the film’s legacy.
Overall, “Blood” brings a decent overview. It can be a little scattershot but it gives us a nice array of insights.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a Still Gallery. It presents 76 images that mix shots from the set, publicity materials and home video art. It’s a good compilation.
Note that this package also includes postcards and a 40-page booklet. My review copy didn’t provide these so I can’t directly discuss them.
Even compared to its erratic predecessor, The Hills Have Eyes Part II offers a terrible film. Cheap, shoddy and ridiculous, the movie comes with virtually no redeeming factors. The Blu-ray brings acceptable picture and audio with some useful supplements. Only Wes Craven completists should bother with this stinker.