Wallace got her start in this highly effective, extremely low-budget, early horror film from Craven. This is a must-see movie that even mainstream audiences should find terrifying, despite its shoe-string production values. At the time of this writing the movie was long since out of print and was selling for upwards of $60 in some used video stores.
Like "Last House on the Left," the flick is shot on grainy film and at times feels like a documentary. A former police chief (Russ Grieve) decides to take his family to Southern California and stop in Nevada on the way to check out some silver mines. Inevitably the family gets stuck in their Winnebago and find themselves stranded in a desert inhabited by an in-bred family of savages that live in the hills. Not surprisingly, they have to get in touch with their own savage, animal nature to survive. Craven manages to make the movie and its characters gritty and believable. It would be his last great film until 1984's "Nightmare on Elm Street."
It stacks up in his career as one of his better movies, but doesn't have the power of his debut effort and doesn't stack up to the last movies of his horror career: "The Serpent and the Rainbow," "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" and the "Scream" series. But it is way better than the crap he cranked out in the early 1980s, including the god-awful sequel, "The Hills Have Eyes II," which even he admitted was simply about making a fast buck.