The Hood Has Eyez (2007): Reviewed by BRYAN SCHUESSLER
I still may be in semi-shock from this low-budget independent horror film that gives films like I Spit on Your Grave a.k.a. Day of the Woman (1978), The Last House on the Left (1972), Hostel, Saw, and any Olaf Ittenbach film a run for its money! This film is raunchy, filthy, and just plain nasty! It reminded me of a Troma film that took its college-humor sex jokes and turned them into real-life cruelty and punishment. Nothing is taboo in this film. There are no insinuations as to what may or may not happen next-expect the worst and view the worst.
Director Terrence Williams does not cut the camera away to spare the viewer some carnage that may just be too much for one to view. Instead, the camera is zoomed in to capture the whole picture. This film was sickeningly fun for me to watch. I like extreme films and The Hood Has Eyez delivered. The title makes one think of the classic and its remake, The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and The Hills Have Eyes (2006). What the two have in common may be next to none, but the title probably was inspired by the films.
The film starts out with the lead actress taking a shower, full-frontal nudity and all, the camera specifically angling itself to get the crotch shots, where in most films (besides porno) there would be a tasteful pan away as the actress gets the towel and dries off, camera zooming in on her shoulders and head- then when fully covered the camera would pan back to a full body-shot. Not in this film! It films raunchiness for the sake of raunchiness! But, the ride is fun. The film is backed up by some decent performances, excellent pace, creepy synth music, and different twist on the torture porn genre. The credit for the music goes to QDC (a.k.a. Lukasz Brzostek) and Greg Stanina.
I liked this film for most of the wrong reasons, specifically the vileness of the gangbanger villains, the sluttiness of the lead actresses, and the cruel and sadistic revenge by our lead character. The Hood Has Eyez is definitely a tale of revenge. The only major character flaw I felt was made was casting women that did not look like they have been in school anytime recently and were probably actresses in their mid-30s.. At a stretch, they could be going to continuing ed. classes after taking a 10-year hiatus from college, but that is me being nit-picky! It really did not take much away from the film. Once the degradation begins, that thought will be the last thing in your head!
The story is simple enough- 3 sluts (they are dressed in skimpy plaid skirts that barely cover their asses!) decide to ditch class from the private /Catholic school (they all are wearing uniforms) to go meet up with their buddy to go to a party. There route takes them through the hoods of California as they head out to Echo Park. I believe Echo Park is a ghetto in California, specifically East L.A. and predominantly Latino. The lead actress, Kimmy (Cyd Schulte), is trying to fit in with her peers, the “preppy” white girls that are characterized as being far naughtier than the Hispanic girl. Along with her friends, Susan (Jesselynn Desmond) [you may remember her in Flavor of Love for a few episodes!], Rachel (Jaimielyn Kane) [had a cameo in Boogie Nights as the Colonel’s hot traxx girlfriend!], and Jerry (Tom Curitore), they are duped into stopping for a girl (Shy Girl played by Anne Stinnet) that they think they hit while driving. It all is a ploy so that they get outta the car and the gangsters Psycho (Antonio Royuela) and Joker (Carlos Castillo) embark on their onslaught of degrading rape, torture, and humiliation.
Director Terrence Williams does not hold back. The only saving grace I can think of is that revenge is played out and served. This film is not really that far-fetched in how these events can play out. A few of the scenes in the film I have read in the papers as happening and that for me give it a major dose of realism. The Hood Has Eyez gives the viewer a look into pure evil and almost paints a vivid picture of how the average human can dole out just as much violence and sinister humiliation as the bad guys-in this case the gangbangers.
Probably the one scene that took horror to a whole new level was the abortion scene. If your curiosity has been peeked, go rent or buy this film. It is worth a watch, although you may be in shock upon the first viewing. Trust me, after watching it three more times, it really grows on you. I found myself humming the soundtrack in my head after watching it the second time. It really is catchy and fits well with the film. The character of Psycho (Antonio Royuela) had some very memorable lines of dialogue. I had to laugh at a couple of classic lines he belted out.
The filmmakers also take a little cue from Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead series or maybe even from the John Woo style of camera-work (take your pick) , with more than one point-of-view shot with a bullet and a knife. It was scenes like this that made the film much more interesting and enjoyable to watch. It just wasn’t torture for torture’s sake. The most memorable scene in the film was the abortion via hangar scene and the nail in the penis hole scene. The film delivers the goods on a whole new level of crude gore. Shot on a budget of an estimated $10,000, I would say that the film looks like it was shot on a larger budget. The gore was effective and used well. Williams not only directed this shot on video production, but he is responsible for the cinematography, the story, the editing, and was co-producer on the film.
“I always wanted to know the difference between a 69 and a 6.9. Now I know- its the period.“-Psycho
This line of dialogue was spoke right after our lead gang-banger pulls out a tampon and sucks the blood off of it. I think I almost vomited after that scene, but did find the line of dialogue funny. This gives you a small taste of the unfiltered nastiness that this film portrays for one’s sick enjoyment.
The Hood Has Eyez is an extremely nasty and funny film. I think Terrence Williams will really have to outdo himself to top this film. I anxiously await the next film Williams ‘discharges‘ and hope that its just as brutal!