The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning

Jimmy Palmiotti, Author, Justin Gray, Author, John Higgins, Author . Harper/Fox Atomic Comics $17.99 (112p) ISBN 978-0-06-124354-7

This tie-in to the horror film series created by Wes Craven serves its genre well—the book will appall tasteful readers while delighting its bloodthirsty core audience by delivering all the expected gore and formulaic horror tropes. An origin story, the book explains the murderous proclivities of the Sawney Bean clan, deformed freaks who live in the desert of the American West, luring unsuspecting travelers into their cannibalistic trap. Using the faintest dash of social-political commentary—arrogant government jackboots and atomic testing are the source of the clan’s sorry state—the story incorporates the movie plots into a larger tale about the group’s attempt to avenge its abuse at the hands of the U.S. military. Written more with professional skill than originality, Palmiotti and Gray deliver the hallmarks of conventional horror—extreme brutality and numbing violence delivered with a minimum of wit or characterization. These efforts are ably assisted by explicitly detailed, albeit rushed-looking art that manages to capture all the gruesome splatter. Higgins even manages a vivid injury-to-eyeball homage to the infamous 1947 Jack Cole image in True Crime Comics #2. While fans of the genre will likely flock to the book, more casual readers should beware. (This volume was edited by PW contributing editor Heidi MacDonald.) (July)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
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