“The Hills Have Eyes” is a 1977 American horror film written, directed, and edited by Wes Craven and starring Susan Lanier, Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace. The film follows the Carters, a suburban family targeted by a family of cannibal savages after becoming stranded in the Nevada desert. Craven based the film's script on the legend of cannibal Alexander “Sawney” Bean, which Craven viewed as illustrating how supposedly civilized people could become savage.

Alexander "Sawney" Bean was said to be born in East Lothian, Scotland, during the 16th century. He was said to be the head of a 45-member family in the 16th century who was eventually executed for the murder and cannibalization of over 1,000 people. While historians tend to believe Bean never existed or that his story has been greatly exaggerated, it has passed into local folklore. (“Sawney” was an English nickname, now obsolete, for a Scotsman, playing much the same linguistic role that "Jock" does now.)

Legend has it that the Bean clan ambushed travellers at night to rob and murder them, bringing their bodies back to the cave in which the Bean family lived, where the bodies were dismembered and eaten. Leftovers were said to be pickled in barrels and discarded body parts would sometimes wash up on nearby beaches as part of the plan to make people think a wild animal was responsible.

Helm, Christie and Packer (it is Alferd Packer) were all cannibals from the 19th, 14th and 19th centuries respectively.

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