A TV talk-show hostess and her boyfriend investigate a shady magician whom has the ability to hypnotize and control the thoughts of people in order to stage gory on-stage illusions using his powers of mind bending.
A demented, elderly woman has her mentally retarded son kill and scalp various young women to use their hair for her wig shop while a persistent coed tries to link various killings on a local Florida college campus to them.
Herschell Gordon Lewis
A naive and innocent teenage girl is blackmailed into modeling in the nude for a photographer who is in league with a teenage gang whose boss illegally sells photos of teenage girls being abused and degraded.
Herschell Gordon Lewis
Allison Louise Downe,
Lawrence J. Aberwood
The citizens of the southern town Pleasant Valley lure six Yankee tourists into town where they are to be the reluctant guests for the centennial celebration of the day a band of renegade Union troops decimated the town. The town then participates in events, a different event for each of the tourists, in which the tourist is dispatched. One couple begins to suspect something and seeks a way to escape.Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Director Herschell Gordon Lewis novelized his screenplay into a tie-in book, the original edition of which, is now in high demand by collectors. See more »
Wait a minute, folks! Wait aminute! We're embarrasing our guest! We're not showing any sportsmanship at all! Come over here, Rufus!
That last throw was just a warm up! This one's gonna be for keeps! Now, Mrs. Wells, I'm going to give you a little tip! I'm going to do this just right! This teetering rock's gonna fall in just 10 seconds!
No! No! Please!
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The 1986 UK video was cut by 4m 27s. The cuts list was as follows:
[26 mins] Reduce to absolute minimum the severing of Bea's finger and chopping off of her arm, removing the sight of finger being cut off and most of the scene that follows, reducing in particular the sadistic glee of the townsfolk at the pain and terror they are inflicting.
[45 mins] Reduce tearing apart of John by horses, in particular the cackling and gloating of the crowd, the smiling women as he dies, and the shot of the dismembered arm.
[52 mins] Remove shot of nails coming through barrel from victim's point of view inside, with laughing face peering in. Also reduce to minimum sight of bloody body at bottom of hill.
[60 mins] Reduce length of scene in which Beverley is tied under stone, in particular removing the last close shot of her struggling body as boy kneels by her, and reducing other shots of bound girl struggling to minimum.
TWO THOUSAND MANIACS is HG Lewis' best film, or most complete film. Unlike so many of Lewis' films, TTM actually has characters, you either care for or dislike. There's some suspense. There's actually a beginning, a middle and an end to it. The story's concept is brilliant and inspired, even if its execution is a tad lacking. And the violence is actually disturbing and important to the story. There are the usual HG Lewis touches in TTM, like bad acting and static film-making but the whole product is so well made that, in the end, the typically HG Lewis weaknesses don't harm the film.
There is one big mistake in the story: the town looks modern and the people of Pleasant Valley act like modern folks and are dressed in 1960s clothes. The town should have looked like a town from around 1860s, and the people should have looked and acted like folks from that period. It would have been even more fantastic and creepy. But they probably didn't have the money to recreate such an elaborate setting so I understand why everything looks like the 1960s in Pleasant Valley. The plus side of this mistake: the juxtaposition of 1960s sunny retro quaintness with extreme gory violence actually adds a lot to the film's unique quality.
I love TWO THOUSAND MANIACS. It's a cool flick and it's a classic horror film.
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