New corporate stepchild Fox Atomic pulled out all the stops at ComicCon yesterday for their latest offering, The Hills Have Eyes II. (If I have to explain that this is a sequel to a remake, you probably shouldn't be reading this post.) The day's activities started with an invitation-only breakfast, attended by producer and co-screenwriter Wes Craven and the film's two female leads, Jessica Stroup and Daniella Alonso. Most of the attendees of the breakfast arrived early and planted themselves at one of several round breakfast tables, in anticipation of some kind of formal welcome from Craven himself, but nothing of the kind was on the menu. Instead, Craven and party arrived without fanfare and sat themselves down at one of the tables, ready to eat. Just as the first coffee cups were starting to get cold, the busy PR people dimmed the lights and treated us to a never-before-seen clip of the upcoming film. The scene in question involves a 'mutant birth' sequence -- not a mutant giving birth, but a seemingly normal woman giving birth to a horrible mutant. After basically ripping his way out of mom's vagina, the mutant baby promptly stands up and punches mom in the face. No, I'm not kidding.
After this, we were allowed to view another clip, which seemed like a trailer but went on for several minutes and seemed to contain scattered bits of new footage. Not about to leave Craven and the ladies to eat in peace, several journos eventually began to saunter over to the director's breakfast table to pepper him with questions; for the next thirty minutes or so, Craven stood by his table, talking in the direction of several outstretched hands and digital tape recorders. Stroup and Alonso also received the treatment, although they seemed to be more in demand for photo opportunities than for serious, get-to-know-you, how-did-you-approach-this-character type of interviews. The breakfast dispersed about an hour after it began, and everyone went their separate ways. About four hours later, the Hills crew would reassemble in ComicCon's main auditorium for a panel discussion open to the general convention audience. The event may have been more sparsely attended than expected, because shortly into it, the organizers suddenly decided to let in the massive crowd waiting outside for Kevin Smith, an hour early.