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Two Thousand Maniacs

USA 1964
produced by
David F. Friedman for Box Office Spectaculars, Friedman-Lewis Productions
directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
starring William Kerwin (as Thomas Wood), Connie Mason, Jeffrey Allen, Ben Moore, Gary Bakeman, Jerome Eden, Shelby Livingston, Stanley Dyrector (as Mark Douglas), Linda Cochran, Yvonne Gilbert, Michael Korb, Vincent Santo, Andy Wilson, Andy Wilson, Candi Conder, the Pleasant Valley Boys
written, cinematography & titlesong by Herschell Gordon Lewis, music by Larry Wellington

review by
Mike Haberfelner


Somewhere deep South: six tourists - John (Jerome Eden) and his wife Bea (Shelby Livingston), David (Michael Korb) and his wife Beverly (Yvonne Gilbert) and Terry (Connie Mason) and Tom (William Kerwin), a hitchhiker she has picked up - are tricked into going to Pleasant Valley, where they are welcomed by the locals and their mayor (Jeffrey Allen) and made guests of honour to Pleasant Valley's centennial celebration, with promises that they will be taken care of all during the celebrations ... of course, taken care of can be interpreted in many ways.

Bea is soon invited to a barbecue, but suddenly has to realize that she is to provide the meat ... well, she is the meat.

John is tied to four horses, who run off into different directions (he doesn't survive).

David is rolled down a hill in a barrel ... but the barrel is full of spikes (he doesn't survive etiher).

And Beverly is squashed by a giant rock (need I say she died?).

Only Tom figures that it's mighty weird for Southerners not only to celebrate the centennial of the end of the Civil War (which they lost), but also to invite Northerners ... and soon he finds a plaque that commemorates a blood bath that yankee soldiers brought upon the village of Pleasant Ville 100 years ago ... and Tom figures, maybe the villagers have thought it might be time to retaliate.

Tom persuaded Terry to make a getaway, but by that time the villagers have already gotten wise to them, and they have a couple of surprises in store ...

 

After Blood Feast had opened the floodgates, Two Thousand Maniacs was the second straight gore movie for Herschell Gordon Lewis and producer David F. Friedman, and it was quite an improvement: The whole thing looks much more refined, the production values are higher, the death scenes are more elaborate and inventive, and the film's already high on the dark humour that permeates Lewis' best movies. That said, you of course get plenty of what you'd expect from a Herschell Gordon Lewis film, a stupid story and silly dialogue, wooden actors and improbable characters - and all's just a hanger for a few crude gore scenes to draw in the audiences. In other words, don't expect perfection, and that's what makes this movie perfect in a nostalgic sort of way ...

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD