This is one of my favorite examples of a well-done horror movie from the 1970s. Wes Craven gets all the credit for Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream but I think this is my favorite of his horror efforts. The casting of both the family and the mutants is pretty perfect. Craven found actors who looked like crazed inbreds, draped them in animal skins and set them loose in the desert with names based on Roman Mythology.
The set up is simple, after the requisite warning from an eccentric local, a family on their vacation takes a wrong turn into a restricted desert area where nuclear testing happened decades before. The locals are a family of inbred cannibals who love to rape, kill and eat whoever crosses their path. The family is made up of the mother and retired cop father (well past his prime), a brother and sister who are kind of young and stupid and another sister with her husband and newborn. Plus, the family dogs Beauty and Beast, that are very protective. As the killer clan stalks the family, separating them and picking them off one by one, we get some really horrific images.
Unlike torture porn stuff like The Strangers, the family finally gets a handle on the situation and tries their best to turn the tables. Will any of them make it out of the valley alive? Will the killer clan have fresh baby meat on their menu? Watch this movie to find out.