The Hills Run Red
Wilson Wyler Concannon...William Sadler
Film blogger Tyler has grown obsessed with a mythical horror film entitled The Hills Run Red. It played briefly in theaters a few decades ago, but was promptly pulled due to controversy over its graphic and realistic portrayals of sadistic violence. With the home video market being what it is today, one would expect The Hills Run Red to have found its niche upon re-release, but once it was pulled from theaters, a print of the film was never seen again. Even stranger, no members of the cast have ever been located, nor has the director been heard from. All that remains behind, the only proof that the movie ever actually existed, is the original trailer and a few still photographs, and the fading memories of those who had seen it upon its initial release. And they claim it was the most frightening film they had ever seen.
No wonder Tyler wants to learn the truth behind this modern myth. Everyone needs a Holy Grail.
Tyler, his girlfriend, and his best friend locate the strung-out stripper daughter of the director and convince her to take them on a journey to uncover the truth: that maybe, just maybe, the movie wasn't just a movie after all.
The premise is a surprisingly good one, and original to boot. It's just too bad that the execution didn't live up to its promise. There was a lot of raw, untapped potential here, but it went slightly south and ended up too predictable and less than believable. That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the film--I did--but it should have been something more than it was, like a promising student who winds up pumping gas for a living.
This film was released with a modicum of fanfare among the Blogger Horror Society, but with proper marketing, it could have been much bigger. Had they played up the mystery angle prior to its release--leaked the trailer for the film-within-the-film, and it had gone viral, for instance--it could have generated quite a bit of buzz, but as it stands, no one outside of horror fandom seems to know that this movie was ever even made.
With its great concept and some strong performances, one can overlook its flaws and see that it is, if nothing else, the best movie from production house Dark Castle that doesn't involve CCH Pounder and a murderous Russian orphan.