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2001 Maniacs

USA 2005
produced by
Brett W. Nemeroff, Eli Roth, Scott Spiegel, Christopher Tuffin, Boaz Yakin, Jonathan Bross (executive) for BloodWorks, Raw Nerve, Velvet Steamroller
directed by Tim Sullivan
starring Robert Englund, Lin Shaye, Giuseppe Andrews, Jay Gillespie, Marla Malcolm, Dylan Edrington, Matthew Carey, Peter Stormare, Gina Marie Heekin, Brian Gross, Mushond Lee, Bianca Smith, Brendan McCarthy, Adam Robitel, Christa Campbell, Wendy Kremer, Kodi Kitchen, Cristin Michele, Ryan Fleming, Johnny Legend, Scott Spiegel, Eli Roth, Craig Stark, Travis Tritt, Hugh Casey, Bill McKinney, Isaac C.Singleton jr, Kevin 'Pondo' Canady, Kane Hodder, Andy Mantineo, Jacob Hair, Tim Sullivan, Cleave Frink, Amanda Tuffin, William 'Billy' Burnside
written by Chris Kobin, Tim Sullivan, based on the film Two Thousand Maniacs by Herschell Gordon Lewis, music by Nathan Barr

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Even though the title might suggest a sequel, 2001 Maniacs is nothing more than an unimaginative remake of Herschell Gordon Lewis'  Two Thousand Maniacs, with the gore effects and the black humour toned down - which makes one ask why to remake Lewis' film, where the main selling points were gore and black humour, in the first place. Oh well, some will never learn.

 

The story: 8 students want to go to Daytona Beach for Spring Break, but somewhere in Georgia, they take a detour and suddenly are in Pleasant Valley, where nothing seems to have changed since the Civil War. However, even though our tourists are from the North (and one even black) they are warmly welcomed by the townfolks and especially their mayor (Robert Englund), and are invited to be the guests of honour at this year's Jubilee ... only for the townfolks, guests of honour has a slightly different meaning (which everyone who has seeen Two Thousand Maniacs will already know) - and so soon enough the killing starts.

One girl (Gina Marie Heekin) is tied to four horses, and then torn apart when the horses run off in different directions, a guy (Dylan Edrington) is given Moonshine that actually turns out to be acid, another girl (Bianca Smith) is squashed by the town's freedom bell, yet another guy (Brian Gross)ends up on a giant skewer rammed through his ass, still another guy (Matthew Carey) is treated to a blowjob by a local beauty (Wendy Kremer), and then there's the black guy, who is squashed by a big press.

Of all our tourists only Anderson (Jay Gillespie) and Joey (Marla Malcolm), who have become a couple during their visit in Pleasant Valley, make it to the barbecue which is supposed to be the grand finale of the Jubilee ... and out couple is supposed to provide the meat. But even though they are both tied up and the whole town is watching, Anderson manages to somehow free himself and then untie Joey, without anybody interfering. Then he challenges the mayor for a duel for his and Joey's life - and the mayor accepts and loses, but gives Anderson his word as a Southern gentlemen to let him (and her) go.

They drive off on a motorbike, but when they return with the police, Pleasant Valley is nothing more than a graveyard (literally, not metaphorically), and they learn that during the civil war this town was erradicated by Union soldiers ... and it seems the souls of those deceased now seek revenge.

And as a punchline, our surviving couple, driving away on their motorbike, is decapitated by a wire stretched over the road ...

 

2001 Maniacs is pretty much derivative filmmaking at its worst: The story is taken over from the original film pretty much one to one, but with the ommission of black comedy and gore, the film's impact is pretty much gone. Instead some lame-assed, historically rooted explanations of why all this is happening are tagged on - which don't help the film one bit. And what the film further lacks are any scenes of horror, suspense, or even any likeable characters ... I mean most of the characters in the film are just so annoying that you really want them killed - which is not at all helping the film along.

A dreadful waste of time and money, and further proof that some remakes are just not meant to be made - then again what good would you expect from a film in which Eli Roth is involved ?

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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