The Scottish Hills Have Eyes
When a girl leaves a Glasgow night club and refuses to get in the car with her boyfriend she sets about walking him, she doesn't make it and she becomes a headline in the local paper when a journalist reports on the gruesome details of her murder. His report not only enrages the police who are unhappy about the detail but also the girl's family especially her sister who he is sweet on. Determined to make things right the journalist takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of the murder and others which leads him to the remote home of Sawney Bean (David Hayman) and his family of inbreds who rape, torture and cannibalize their victims.
I say it's a good day when thanks to a movie I learn something new and as I sat down to watch "Sawney: Flesh of Man" I learned that this was a horror not only based on the life of Scottish legend Sawney Bean but that the legend was the inspiration for Wes Craven's 1970's horror "The Hills Have Eyes". Unfortunately whilst I learned something thanks to "Sawney: Flesh of Man" I can't say the movie did a great deal for me and amongst other things the look holds it back. It has the look about it which makes it look like a made for TV movie from the 90s and it does it no favours if this look was intended.
But then "Sawney: Flesh of Man" for me has a more critical issue and whilst it serves up this story of a journalist trying to solve a series of murder it seems purely a vehicle for as much graphic horror that writer and director Ricky Wood can get away with. That means scenes of body parts being chopped up with a cleaver, other parts being put through the mince and maggots crawling through the rotting eye socket of a victim and that doesn't even mention the rape scene. In a way the crime solving side of the story is not strong enough to match up to the graphic nature of the horror and so combined with the British TV movie look makes it uneven.
Unfortunately it is the same with the acting as on one hand Samuel Feeney who stars as Hamish MacDonald the reporter is ordinary in fitting with the TV movie look but then you have David Hayman who gives a larger than life performance as Sawney Bean. It means that scenes with Hamish are dull and uninteresting whilst those with Sawney are full on and whilst so graphic they make you cringe at least have energy.
What this all boils down to is that "Sawney: Flesh of Man" is an uneven movie and being so uneven and having a made for TV look unfortunately makes it feel like little more than a vehicle for the graphic scenes.