Two Thousand Maniacs
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
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Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast: Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Two Thousand Maniacs!, Moonshine Mountain, Color Me Blood Red, Something Weird, The Gruesome Twosome, A Taste of Blood, She-Devils on Wheels, Just for the Hell of It, How to Make a Doll, The Wizard of Gore, The Gore Gore Girls, This Stuff ll Kill Ya! + documentary The Godfather of Gore|
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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,
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 ...
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 ...