Then again, I’m not the victim of nuclear testing – unless you count the Easy Mac in my microwave that’s about to rapidly booby-trap my digestive system.
We’re in New Mexico, where nukes in the ’50s fouled the earth, the water, and the DNA of anyone with three or more legs and a nose on every one.
Our story begins with a Styrofoam container opened to reveal that the hills not only have eyes, but also ears. A bloody ear from take-out, and they forgot to include a fork!
An American Family is in the middle of nowhere, a nearly deserted desert where the sign reads: “Population 8, Teeth 3 – and we’re rounding up.”
They set out along a deserted road, trailer in tow, when spikes rise from the dust, totaling their truck.
“Where did those spikes come from?” asked one guy.
“I don’t know, but it sure beats dinner theater,” replied Kathleen Quinlan, once Tom Hanks’ wife in Apollo 13, her forehead now retaining Botox like the Hoover Dam retains the mighty Colorado. “One expression can sanitize the desert’s vermin for eons to come,” warns Quinlan.
Kathleen, what has brought you to this?
“At this point in my career Apollo 13 is a million light years away,” she says.
Kathleen has a teenaged daughter. So what do you do when you’re stuck in the desert and you look like a young Reese Witherspoon? Why, stretch out on a beach chair in a bikini, of course! If you’re going to die, do it with a little color, I always say.
Suddenly there’s a mirror flashing the sunlight in the distance. It’s a sign! A sign that genetic mutants are using mirrors for something that definitely doesn’t include primping.
From behind me in the theater comes a disgruntled voice: “I’ve done mugshots that look better than these freaks.” That’s one-time hood ornament Tawny Kitaen, digging in her purse for a pack of Luckys and a fresh rubber band for what she described as her “country facelift.”
Back on the big screen, Reese-light is being…watched!
“She’s USDA Prime,” says one freak as his mouth waters – or maybe his mouth is just dissolving.
“That’s no USDA stamp,” says his brother, “that’s a piece of your brow drooping over your eye like a dag-nab turkey and blocking your view!”
One of these freaks has a neck brace, which is the least of his troubles. With a fashion sense best described as Laurel & Hardy meets homeless schizophrenic, these desert maniacs eat animal flesh without first processing it into convenient Frisbee-shaped patties. That’s right. When these mutants enjoy the golden arches, they’re talking about feet with a tan!
“Dang it, she’d love me if I ate Abercrombie or Fitch,” said one.
“Not unless you start using a dag-gum napkin!”
So the dad goes in search of help and comes upon a gas station en route to nowhere. Inside he finds – guess what! – a bulletin board pinned with dozens of incriminating photos and newspaper clippings I’ve seen enough movies to know that only perps post their backstory confessions on bulletin boards. If the movie cops just arrested anyone buying push-pins, crime would end overnight!
“What do you want from us!?” one helpless would-be victim screams into the walkie-talkie at the freaks as every member of the audience wishes for a laugh-track so they don’t have to expend the energy of providing their own.
“Get us a Morton’s franchise,” replies one mutant. “Or at least a Red Lobster!”
“And a Wal*Mart,” adds another. “Yes, everyday low prices!”
If you’ve been waiting for a movie where a disfigured mutant suckles a woman’s breast while holding her infant at gunpoint, then these Hills are all yours, pal! Whatever happened to the hills that were alive with the sound of music before that music included the crunching of bones?
As the final frame approaches (and not a moment too soon), the music swells (and my head along with it), our surviving heroes overcome evil, and the sanctity of the U.S. Nuclear Testing program is preserved.
Glory, glory, hallelujah.
Photos Copyright ©2006 Fox Searchlight Pictures
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