Near Dark & Hills Have Eyes, The UMDs
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System: PSP (UMD Movies)
Released: March 7th, 2006
Produced by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
*editor note – the products reviewed below are sold separately in stores*
The PSP movies business is a big one. So big that it sustained the system for the entire length of last summer, when games for the little system became few a far between. Seemingly every movie company has produced at least one movie for the PSP. Anchor Bay had already stepped into the game last October when they released “Children of the Corn” and “Hellraiser.” Both movies were expertly recreated on the PSP (though CotC was pretty cut & dry), however they lacked any features what so ever. There were no subtitles, no audio options, and not even a chapter menu! In the end, it was obvious that both films were rushed to UMD in order to make a quick buck. It’s been awhile since then and now Anchor Bay has released two more movies on UMD, and once again, Anchor Bay rushes another two films to UMD.
“The Hills Have Eyes” (1977)
Before we look at the extras (or lack of extras), lets take a look at the movies themselves. First up is “The Hills Have Eyes” (The original, not the remake), Wes Craven’s sophomore effort. Now I’ve never been a fan of Wes Craven’s more recent films. To be honest, outside the first “Scream”, I thought they were all pretty mediocre. Now I had heard that in his hay day, Craven was quite the moviemaker, up there even with the legendary Hitchcock. I had never seen “Last House of the Left”, his directorial debut (I believe), but after viewing THHE, I’m making it a priority to hunt down a copy.
The film is about a “wholesome” family who gets stuck in the desert on the way to California and has to fend off mutated cannibals. It was quite the controversial film way back in ‘77 and it was that controversially that helped launch his career into the limelight. Today, it wouldn’t be considered as controversial, but it’s still one hell of a film. The acting is pretty mundane and the pacing is typical 70s/80s snail pace, but it’s still worth a look, especially if you’re a fan of those horror films.
Score: 3˝/5 cans
“Near Dark” (1987)
Next up is a whole different kind of horror, the western-drama-comedy kind. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film was completed shortly after the company that produced it went bankrupt, so obviously it tanked at the box office and unfortunately the director kind of fell off the face of the movie business. It’s a shame, as “Near Dark” is an awesome movie that obviously influenced certain other vampire westerns (like “From Dusk to Dawn”). It’s one of the few horror films in the 80s/70s that doesn’t resort to the “sixty minutes of slow buildup” sort of design featured in nearly every horror film at the time. It fast paced (for its time) and is always interesting. If you’re a fan of vampire movies (like “The Lost Boys” or “From Dusk to Dawn”) do yourself a favor and pick this up.
Both movies have a box on their packaging detailing “5.1 quality sound”, but to be honest, it’s pretty much the same as every other PSP release, with or without headphones. The sound is decent enough, but being the old movies that they are, it’s still pretty mundane. Both movies sound very similar, so both get the same score.
I could go on and on (and on) about the extras, but one word sums it all up nicely: pathetic. Just like before, there’s NOTHING here. No extra, no captions, no audio options, not even a chapter menu! Okay, so now the lone menu (which only features a “PLAY” button) features animations and music (and to be honest, they do look somewhat cool), but there’s still no excuse as to the complete lack of anything beyond the menu (other than both movies were rush jobs).
Score ˝/5(it earns half a can for having an animated menu).
Two good movies with no extras what so ever. What’s to stop someone from bootlegging this on his or her memory stick? Nothing at all. The least Anchor Bay could have done was throw together a chapter menu, audio options and some trailers, but instead we got nothing. Skip out on both and hunt down the DVD releases (especially for “Near Dark”).
“The Hills Have Eyes”: 1˝/5 cans
“Near Dark”: 2/5 Cans
Added: Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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