Sunday, June 1, 2008


Actually, the hills are alive--with the sound of bad filmmaking.

For a brief moment--we're talking maybe thirty seconds--I thought this 2006 short written, produced, and directed by brothers Dylan and Joseph Conner would be an effective example of backyard cinema. The film begins with a slow, eerie montage of bucolic farm country that brings to mind the opening credits of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, capped off with a hand reaching from beneath the ground. I had pretty high hopes that THE HILLS ARE DEAD was going to sustain this level of cost-efficient dread throughout its running time; hell, it even tries to approximate the music from BLOOD FEAST! However, once the story starts to roll it all goes to hell real quick.

I think this might be a comedy. This tale of a redneck teaming up with a pretentious scientist to exterminate the living dead elicits too many belly laughs to be anything but. (How else do you account for dialogue like "On the count of three: three, two, one!"?) I won't spoil them for you, since the film's included below, but the wretched acting and limp storytelling will keep you entertained in a manner far from the one the Conner Brothers intended (and by the way, fellas, better brush up on your movie-making abilities before passing yourselves off as some creative force a la the Coen Brothers). From wrestling the undead to characters who don't notice a prowling zombie in Captain Spaulding makeup until it's right on top of them, THE HILLS ARE DEAD is a laff riot.

Unless you enjoy redirecting liquids through your sinus cavity, I suggest not drinking anything during this short.

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