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Those already familiar with the original will know what they've gotten
themselves into as our main characters follow a bogus Detour signjust
after narrowly avoiding Justin and Professor Mambo, character favorites
from CABIN FEVER who are trying to hitch a rideand arrive in the town
of Pleasant Valley, whose residents are hard at work preparing for
their weekend "Guts and Glory Jubilee." Soon the Confederate knife
fodder arrive with Yankee good looks and are declared "guests of honor"
by the one-eyed Mayor Buckman, played pitch-perfect by everybody's
favorite sadist, Robert (Freddy Krueger) Englund. But what else can you
expect when there's a population of, you guessed it, 2001
is! What follows, surprisingly given our times and political climate,
is refreshingly vulgar, completely un-PC and, much like the original,
an expected excuse for extremely sadistic humor and gore. Where the
first film now seems boring and slow, the new version is upbeat and
well-paced. Happily and sadly, the first and only fully clothed female
victim to get tied up and quartered by horses is the film's only waste
of T in a movie overflowing with T&A. Many viewers may be offended by
the black humor and straight-up racist jokes that pepper the film's
dialogue, but those of you can rest assured that everyone gets their
due by the end. It'll be interesting to see how the red states will
react to such a searing and scabrous document of the South. Englund
seems to imbue Mayor Buckman with a well-judged imitation of President
Bush, and even the lives of his two sons in the film appear to closely
ape those of the Bush daughters.
Longtime Lewis fans will be ecstatic that much, if not all, of his score from the original has been transferred to the new film by way of musical narrators Johnny Legend and his strumming sidekick Scott Spiegel. Somewhat in the vein of THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, these musical country bumpkins pop up from time to time, like Sullivan's version of a Greek Chorus, hinting at the dangers to soon befall our ethnically and morally diverse blue state victims. "The South will rise again!" The supporting cast is stocked with many fine new actors and veterans of the genre. Fans will enjoy the cool seething evil of Giuseppe Andrews (Fever's Deputy Winston) as he kills Yankee belles with kindness, and Lin Shaye (fast on her way to becoming a middle-aged scream queen after her role in the haunting DEAD END), who stars as Granny Boone, the murderous matriarch of Pleasant Valley. One day, this fine actress will hopefully be cast in a role that capitalizes on her real-life beauty and sassy charm; in the meantime, she here has a ball pushing the envelope, as when she sucks the red gore off a spear protruding from the gullet of a hapless victim! Newcomer Jay Gillespie evokes a REAL GENIUS or TOP GUN-era Val Kilmer with stern good looks and a thrill for the action around him. The rest of the MANIACS cast seem to be having fun with the bloody lowbrow horror and are in on the joke, all ready to "take one for the team" and die in a less-than-flattering manner. As each member is dispatched, you can tell they were having a great time taking it to the next level. This is a movie where "over the top" is just scratching the surface. Just ask Peaches, the Southern belle who wears a "retainer" that would make the shark in JAWS envious when she "services" a good ol' boy! (He doesn't last long.) By the third reel, characters are walking around town all alone for no good reason, so we know they aren't going to end up much better than their missing brethren. Then Sullivan and crew punch up the action a bit with a scene that doesn't necessarily match the vibe of everything we've seen thus far, but has a maggot-worthy moment that makes up for the switch in tone. If you're looking to get scared, this is not exactly the right film, but if you're familiar with Lewis and his brand of goremongering, you'll squirm, screech and then writhe with laughter. 2001 MANIACS has all the elements of a good time yet still raises a dialogue among viewers that not many have had the balls to address in horror, or film-making in general, since the '70s.
Tim Sullivan's remake of TWO THOUSAND MANIACS, to me, was nothing but
fun from start to finish. From the first kill to the last, this film
rocked. Like EVIL DEAD 2, this is more of a comedy/horror, which
Sullivan himself describes as "Splatstick"...sure it's over-the-top,
but it's supposed to be, and that is what makes it so much fun.
Robert Englund and Lin Shaye are a blast as "Mayor Buckman" and "Granny Boone", but I must say there were some excellent casting choices for everyone involved...the group of gorgeous girls who play both hapless victims and charming? Southern Belles...Giuseppe Andrews, who lends his unique style to the film...Dylan Edrington who plays the perfect smart-ass...and the actors portraying incidental characters like "Hucklebilly" and "Lester" really help add to the film's humor and creepiness.
While some are complaining about the few off color jokes the film offers, and these might get some people's panties in a bunch, this is not a racist picture. Personally, I found the jokes to be pretty funny (Malcom, a black character, is told to "wait just a cotton picking' minute" at one point in the film). Others are criticizing the acting...I thought the acting was fine. Not Shakespearian by any means, but remember, this isn't GHANDI and it won't be nominated for an Academy Award (and exactly how many of your favorite films have been?)
Bottom line is enjoy this for what it is, a throwback to good old-fashioned blood n guts, T & A horror.
I saw "2001 Manacs" last night at a midnight screening at the Fantasia Festival and I really enjoyed it ... so did the 300-400 other people in the theater with me. Tim Sullivan and Christa Campbell introduced the movie and held a Q&A session after (I had to leave, it was 2am) but I'm sure they were pleased with the audience response. It was great to see Robert Englund again, he always does a great psycho. The movie was funny and gory ... sure the plot wasn't Oscar caliber, but anyone looking for that is going to the wrong movie. If you want to see a good horror movie, the real 'guts & glory' kind, this is the movie for you. I feel confident in recommending this movie and plan on picking up the DVD (especially since the version that was screened hasn't gone to the ratings board yet, so the DVD will probably be the only place to see this exact version).
The almighty Hershell Gordon-Lewis already promised us through a very catchy song that the South was going to rise again... and it did! Slightly more than forty years after the Godfather of Gore's terrific splatter-classic, energetic director Tim Sullivan gathered quite an impressive cast and updated Lewis' screenplay with new gory sickness and nowadays sleaze 'n swearing! I'm usually not this enthusiastic when it comes to remakes of classic horror films, but "2001 Maniacs" simply is a fun & unpretentious little movie that clearly intended to please horror fans first, rather than to hit big at the box office. The original story is preserved, as a whole bunch of young party animals on their way to the Southern beaches are detoured the peculiar little town of Pleasant Valley where they're given a warm reception as honoree guests to a local jubilee. The townsfolk, with one-eyed mayor Buckman in charge, all soon turn out to be deranged killers that are still very rancorous about the Southern Civil War casualties and, one by one, the Yankee tourists are butchered in very imaginative ways. Some of the killings are strangely similar to the ones in Lewis' original, some of them are completely new...but they ALL are utterly grotesque and exhilaratingly gross! Whenever there isn't any gore on display, we're treated to absurd dialogues, morbid jokes and oh yeah loads of naked flesh supplied by the most ravishing babes of nowadays horror flicks. Of course, purely talking cinema, this isn't much of good film because it totally lacks tension and it's tasteless, offensive and completely ridiculous. Personally I couldn't care less about this because A) you pretty much know what to expect here and B) it's a splendid throwback to the rancid 60's and 70's; the times when horror cinema didn't necessarily had to justify its exploitative tendencies. Robert Englund clearly hasn't had this much fun portraying a mad character than since the original "Nightmare on Elm Street" and Lin Shaye once again proves she's a sadly underrated but great actress that delivers no matter how silly her lines are. The younger cast members perform adequately and Sullivan's directing is fairly surefooted as well. Although the additional maniac in the title never really gets introduced, I suppose it relates to the little silent girl who dissects rats for fun. "2001 Maniacs" is one of the most entertaining horror films of the past couple of years and I recommend it highly!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When you go through the long list of films in horror that could use a
major overhaul, the films of Herschell Gordon Lewis are the last films
that tend to come to mind. Today, Hollywood's exploitation consists of
a PG-13 rating and Jennifer Aniston and they want films with a wider
fanbase established. It just doesn't seem likely that's there's ever
going to be a bunch of suits sitting around a conference table,
pitching ideas and coming to the conclusion that Two Thousand Maniacs
must be remade.
Thank God for Tim Sullivan.
It's so damn refreshing to know somebody out there is hearing the fans. Sullivan's 2001 Maniacs is set to prove to the mental midgets making cookie cutter horror for my little sister that horror fans really do want original, adult horror.
Three college screw-ups head out on Spring break in search of a bit of fun and relaxation when they hit a detour that lands them smack dab in the middle of a sleepy little southern town by the name of Pleasant Valley. The town is a' jumpin' as the townsfolk prepare for their Guts & Glory Celebration!
They're greeted by the boisterous Mayor Buckman(Robert Englund) and asked to stick around as the Guts & Glory Celebration's guests of honor! The three decide to stay in town when a few girls they met at a gas station show up. The two carloads of college kids aren't the only guests though as a motorcycle roars into town with Malcolm (Mushond Lee) and Leah (Bianca Smith) aboard. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a black guy and Asian girl are the unwelcome guests!
Pleasant Valley is a quiet little town full of smiles and hot freaky babes but there's only one problem one by one the guests are disappearing and being dispatched in horrifying ways including being drawn and quartered and drinking acid from a hose! If that wasn't bad enough we get a long steel pike up the ass!
As guests start dropping off like flies we're left with brave Alexander Lee (Jay Gillespie) and his gal, Joey (Marla Malcolm). A final confrontation ensues between the two, Mayor Buckman, Granny Boone (Lin Shaye) and the townsfolk! Will they escape Pleasant Valley? Will they become the main course?! Will poor Cory (Matthew Carey) finally get some from the kissing cousins?
The town of Pleasant Valley will not rest until the slaughter of two thousand and one of the townsfolk are avenged on the Northerners!
Watch the movie! Do yourself a favor, buy some beer, grab some chili cheese corn chips, give little Suzy and Sarah a few bucks to go see Stay Alive, put the dog out and send the wife to the store because this is one of those movies only a horror fan can truly appreciate! We get blood, boobs, gore, comedy, guys chasing sheep, kids killing cats and super hottie cousins "boning" each other! The comedy is actually funny the gore is actually well gory! The T&A is top notch(its Christa Campbell guys!) and the acting was excellent.
Not only do we get a damn good horror film but we get a DVD that actually puts most "Special Editions" to shame! This release is packed with extras! I would like to point out to readers though that no matter how hard a DVD company tries to convince you subtitles and closed captions are not bonus features.
I'd like to point out a few facts as well for starters; Eli Roth is back to reprise his role from Cabin Fever as wonky drifter Justin (Eli Roth) and his good buddy Dr. Mambo (the dog) is back as well! Eagle eyed viewers may also spot Tim Sullivan hammering on a coffin and Scott Spiegel (Evil Dead 1 & 2, The Dead Next Door) as one of the hillbilly banjo singers that constantly wander about the movie! I'm also officially going on record as having said that I consider Lin Shaye to be a hottie. There, I said it! So, for those of you looking for a damn good film, run, don't walk, to your nearest Best Buy and purchase 2001 Maniacs. Don't hesitate! Remember to keep your eyes peeled on Sullivan's upcoming horror flick, Driftwood!
"2001 Maniacs" is a thoroughly enjoyable film.
Driving through Florida on their trip for Spring Break, Nelson Elliot, (Dylan Edrington) Anderson Lee, (Jay Gillespie) Cory Jones, (Matthew Carey) Ricky, (Brian Gross) Kat, (Gina Marie Heekin) Joey, (Marla Malcolm) Leah, (Bianca Smith) and Malcolm, (Mushond Lee) take a detour and wind up in Pleasant Valley. Mayor Buckman, (Robert Englund) welcomes them all accordingly and lets them stay as guests for the celebration. As they start to dwindle in numbers, they suspect that the townspeople are committing evil deeds against them. Desperate to get out alive, they realize their true intentions and are forced to make a deadly decision.
The Good News: This was a really surprising film. There was a no-boundaries, anything goes type of feel to it that makes it so entertaining. The film was overloaded with massive amounts of exploitative goodies. The twisted, off color and politically incorrect sense of humor often times made for tons of laughs. The beginning wanders around the time and the comments made about the backwards nature of it were pretty good, and the ironic moments that come later on where great as well. Everybody was a target here as well, and it made several great remarks about the differences between the two parties there. The kill scenes were also creative and make for some fantastic kill scenes. We get a drawn-and-quartered victim where both arms and legs are yanked out, acid burning a whole in the chest and neck, a huge bell being dropped and being crushed in a huge vice to the point where the eyes pop out, among other fantastic and very gore-soaked kills. The very fun pace adds to it as well, making it seem like it's going along at a very fast pace with no let-up. The fight at the end is a nice little addition, giving it a fiery, action-packed conclusion that really is a pumped up affair. The fact that Robert Englund had an obvious blast with the part went a long way to this one as well. A great over-the-top and yet credible and entertaining role went a long ways here, and seeing him always makes it seem special. It even scores well with a nice twist at the end that is very hard to see coming and the result is a great move. Tie all these together with a copious and generous display of nudity and it's a very well-rounded film.
The Bad News: There's only one main problem here, and that was the ending. The last half of the film was all about padding. We get way too much wandering around for nothing other than boosting the clock time and it got a tad tedious. There's really no reason why it has the characters wandering around the village for as long as they do, as it's obvious what has already happened and it makes no sense why, but that's the only part that really didn't seem all that great. Otherwise, this was a really great film.
The Final Verdict: One of the most fun movies around, this is basically a free-for-all that is most centered on what can be done to entertain. It's a simple film that is mostly recommended for gore-hounds or anyone else looking to be entertained for an hour and a half.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Nudity, animal killings and themes of bestiality
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Initially I tried 2001 Maniacs because the horror master Robert Englund
was the star and plastered all over the cover. I should have known that
with the exception of playing the infamous Freddy Kreuger Englund's
other attempts at horror have fell flat (The Phantom of The Opera,
Python, Dance Macabre and so on.) I will say however that I have NO
doubt that 2001 Maniacs will thrive as a cult classic and somehow it
will most certainly find an audience with horror fans who love complete
camp, and utter stupidity and over the top ridiculously humorous death
scenes. The film was made with not horror in made but silly stupid
blood splattering, breast baring type of slasher flick. And it just
doesn't work for this one.
Robert Englund does a decent job as Mayor Buckman, the ghost Mayor a small town wiped out during the civil war. Now he leads his town folk back to the living to get vengeance on anyone who happens into their town. Englund is appropriately deranged although he doesn't directly do much if any of the killing. He is definitely a figure head and used as such but he is one of the better campier characters. Jay Gillespie plays the lead college student who gets him and his friends stuck in this town of horror. He is appropriately handsome and typical for the part and does a decent job being the hero of the story. Gina Marie Heekin, Brian Gross, Mushond Lee, and Bianca Smith I think are all the actors that play the other doomed college students looking for a good time but get picked off one by one due to the usual stupidity like promiscuous sex, following the wrong person to the wrong place and so on. I will give kudos to Lin Shaye, a veteran actress who plays Granny Boone, the horrendously disturbed matriarch of this town who likes to fry up some of her killings and eat them. I saw Shaye recently in the spectacular horror film Dead End and she really does a great job in this film. Wendy Kremer, Ryan Fleming, and Giuseppe Andrews all play main role Maniacs in the film and their characters are great...hilarious, campy, and completely deranged.
So with a cast that is decent and characters that are funny, campy and horrific what is so wrong with this movie?? Story, script, setting, BORING!! It wasn't believable for a second and I know horror films don't have to be but at the same there should be some sort of sense to it. There was absolutely NO reason that these 6 kids would stay in this completely out of the way, no power, no modern appliances little village when they were on their way to Daytona. On top of that there was ZERO suspense, and the death scenes which in a slasher/horror flick should be original, gory, even maybe a little realistic were so stupid they did nothing but cause eye rolls. It is really a shame considering the originality of the cast and killers and what they had was potential for a real series here. Director and co-writer Tim Sullivan slapped together something that felt more like a teenagers class film project and none of it worked. You didn't care about any of them and it was just boring. The nudity, which in horror films is always blatant and overused, was so forced that it was annoying...and I mean hey it's nudity but still it just all BORED ME. I would only suffice to say that this film is only for the true campy horror fan who will probably love the way it was done. If you're just the average movie goer you're gonna think this is stupid and a waste of time and probably give it far less than what I gave it credit for. 4/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A group of typically sex-crazed obnoxious northerners take a wrong turn on their way to Daytona Beach and wind up(thanks to some detour sign)in Pleasant Valley where they are greeted rather warmly(albeit a bit sinister)by the southern town folk. Then they all begin being slaughtered by these people as they get revenge for having perished during the Civil War. Robert Englund is indeed a hoot as the head of this southern clan as they butcher and maim these kids(one dies from acid, another gets pulled apart by horses). If one wonders how to take this film seriously at all should've taken a look at the cover of the box which features a crazed Englund donning a confederate themed eye patch. The film is one long gory comedy as we either are turned off at the excessive violence or giggle at the silliness of it. It's certainly geared for those who are willing to let go and just watch not taking anything really that serious. It has written all over it.."This is only a movie." A film like this will have a built-in fan base for it delivers on the gore and hokey humor(specifically covering every hick joke known to man except the fart gags). If you are easily offended or can not bend a little in the implausibility of it all..stay away.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off, I am a huge horror film fan who has a special soft spot for
slasher films. Nothing can beat the early works of Argento, Carpenter
or Hooper in my opinion, especially the horror films, by and large,
over the past 10 years. Recently, we've had a few decent throwbacks to
the genre which have revitalized my interest in these cheap, schlock
When you see the cover of this film, you immediately see a familiar face, Robert Englund of A Nightmare On Elm Street fame. Seeing him dressed up as a Civil War era character, donning a huge Confederate battle flag as an eye patch, I simply had to see this, hoping for crazed, over the top goodness.
Let me start off with the good points of 2001 Maniacs, bc though there aren't many, they do really deliver. The violence in this film will satisfy any gore hound. I thought they did a spectacular job on the violence, making it bloody, but not sickening...over the top, but not way over the top...shockingly brutal, but not disgusting. The fates that the victims of the towns folk meet are all ultra violent, but presented with a collective wink of the eye from everyone involved. And of course, Englund steals the show as a crazed Southern mayor who goes as pleasingly far over the top without hamming it up too much. And also, I won't say who, but one of the group who I thought would be the main character was one of the first ones to bite the dust! I thought this aspect was awesome, as to me it was mildly surprising, but it was probably accidental as a product of bad editing. And of course, blink if you miss him, Kane Hodder (aka Jason of Friday the 13th Parts 7-10) pokes up literally for half a second just for the hell of it. Cheap a trick as it is, I just love it when movies throw us horror film buffs a bone by giving us 'a no one else in the room will understand why the hell we are pointing at the TV and yelling some random actor's name that they've never heard of while spilling our beer on the floor' moment that reminds us that we are who we are. Sadly, Hodder just grimaces for the camera in a quick shot, and does not get to go all Jason on anyone this time around, but hey, I enjoyed it.
However, the rest of the movie is kind of hard to sit through. I am talking of course, about the acting. Oh man, was this a misfire! Now, I know that slashers are not known for their Oscar caliber acting...in fact, some of the best ones have some of the kids acting so bad, it makes the movie good. Now, there are some out there that actually have good, believable acting that 20 somethings would actually act like. The worst slashers, in my opinion, are the ones that have actors who act painfully bad, but are trying their best to be serious. This film starts off with line after line, of horrendously bad dialogue delivered by impossibly unbelievable actors you won't give a damn about when they meet their demise. I mean seriously, how hard is it to find someone who can act like a normal human being? The acting in this film ruins any type of feelings you would ever have for someone in this situation. I hated Cabin Fever (which Eli Roth, who I think is incredibly overrated, is a producer of this film, and has a cameo early on), but at least that film had some somewhat believable acting.
Speaking of Roth, his fingerprints are all over this film. You can see a lot of parallels between Cabin Fever and 2001 Maniacs if you have a sharp eye (especially a few of the actors who are in both movies). Both films have a situation that could have been...should have been great, but fail miserably to millions of plot holes, a razor thin plot and acting that would make Ed Wood frown at. Since this movie never makes you care about anyone, or establishes any sort of hero, you are left with whoever is left at the end, in an ending that makes little sense, nor is fully explained (though, the final minute was a welcome change of pace).
One thing I didn't get was, if these people were supposed to be what was explained at the end, why in the hell did Englund duck from a flying axe, and cower at the threat of impalement? Why would I even care to ask such a question after watching a cheap horror film? Exactly my point...the reason I did ask this, and many more questions after watching this movie was because the story never brought any type of mystique to the townsfolk...we merely see that they are all crazy, most of whom do a horrible job of projecting it. You never really get entranced into the situation which means this movie will never scare you. A movie like this should be dripping with atmosphere (a la Texas Chainsaw Massacre)...not do nothing but deliver cheap jokes about Southerners and then show the occasional scene of carnage.
If you want to see some good gore scenes and have an ability to filter out painfully bad acting and a razor thin plot, then give 2001 Maniacs a try. It is definitely not the worst film you will ever see, but if you are a horror buff, whom I presume this film was made for, you will be severely disappointed.
I loved this movie. It was funny and the death scenes were just freaking awesome! I highly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone. Good stuff right here. The people of Pleasant Valley were just cruel and very unusual. You were either on the killers side or the victims, whichever way you go the movie is still great. The ending was funny and gory. 2001 Maniacs was definitely a good rebel south horror movie. 2001 Maniacs follows it's original, Two Thousand Maniacs, very well. Stayed very true. The Twilight Zone twist was pretty good, so look out for that. The acting was mediocre, but overall the movie was great. 2001 Maniacs is a fun movie, you'll enjoy it.
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