Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird."
Whenever you start a horror movie with a woman slowly singing the Hush, Little Baby rhyme juxtaposed with brief images of a young man cutting flesh off of his face so he can sew a doll's mask on, you've pretty much have my attention.
This is a new movie from one of my favorite horror production companies, Dark Castle, and while I do recommend it for viewing I have to caution it gets a little bloody at the end. Of course if your movie is named The Hills Run Red you better deliver.
The story is about Tyler, a film student, who becomes obsessed with locating a fabled 80's horror movie entitled the Hills Run Red that was so scary that all prints of it were removed from theaters by outraged viewers and destroyed. The only remaining evidence of director Wilson Wyler Concannon's (William Sadler) film is a theatrical trailer and a couple of black and white stills.
Tyler talks his fellow film student friend, Lalo, and girlfriend, Serina, into joining him in the search for the lost film for he reveals to them that he has located the daughter of Concannon and believes she not only knows where the film is but can help him make a documentary about her father and the shocking piece of celluloid he brought into the world.
Concannon's daughter, Alexa, is a strung out stripper and informs the student that she does know the possible location of the film, that and the rest of the film's memorabilia is stored in her father's cabin and that Concannon passed away ten years before, a lonely recluse. This 'beginning' section of the movie is the only part that I actually thought went on a bit too long...it suffers from that direct to DVD market where the producers must have held a meeting and decided that we needed five minutes of nudity from most of the cast. Alexa in the stripclub and scenes where we find that Serina and Lalo are more than casual acquaintances.
Tyler after interviewing Concannon's daughter in a motel ties her to the bed and forces her to go cold turkey from the drugs, explaining that he needs her help and she needs his. Days pass and finally the four get together to go in search of the cabin, the film and the history of its creation.
Throughout the movie as they are lead by Alexa deeper into the woods, she has disturbing flashbacks of her childhood on the set...and slowly comes to realize why she is fuzzy about what went on in her childhood. As she leads the group further into the woods to the cabin and specific locations seen in the trailer we suspect that the legend of the film's deformed character, Babyface, may not be just part of the movie that Concannon filmed.
I cannot really go into further detail without ruining the movie. I was happy that the film students avoided the Scream syndrome where they constantly make a mention of their situation in regards to a famous horror movie, in fact I can only recall one scene where they almost touched on that.
The movie in its very twisted and dark ways is quite fun but as I've said earlier the ending is pretty bloody, almost reaching Hostel 'torture porn' level. If you get a chance to watch it make sure to stick through the first few credits as you will want to see what lays in store for a particular character.