Friday, October 9, 2009

Southern Savages


_____"Two Thousand Maniacs"(1964)_____

Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis
(Terry Adams)Connie Mason
(Tom White)William Kerwin
(Mayor Buckman)Jeffrey Allen
Tag Lines:
"An Entire Town Bathed In Pulsing Human Blood! Madmen Crazed For Carnage!"
"Brutal... Evil... Ghastly Beyond Belief!"
"Gruesomely Stained In Blood Color!"
"A town of madmen crazed for carnage!"
"The Most Diabolical Device Ever Contrived... Designed Solely for Carnage by a Town of Madmen Crazed with BLOOD LUST!"

The second horror film from Goremaestro Herschell Gordon Lewis. Also the second film by Lewis and Friedman; and the second in the blood trilogy. That's something I'm confused about. If the title doesn't have blood in it, why is it part of the trilogy? Well maybe its because it was made with David F. Friedman; or it could just be the fact it has blood in it. The movie has Connie Mason again playing one of the main roles. She was Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month, June 1963 and starred in two of Lewis's films, this being her last film working with Lewis. Herschell Gordon Lewis wasn't very found of the actress, and said she never could get her lines right, or be on time to the set. The movie, like Blood Feast has a great poster with tons of great tag lines and is mainly red and white.

The story is fairly simple, its the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. So if the Civil War ended in 1865, and the film was made in 1964, its actually off by a year. So its been 99 years, not 100. Its basically a Redneck Torture film, where a bunch of hicks gather some northerners and put them through horrific games. The film opens up with a great song sung by the director himself Herschell Gordon Lewis called "The South Gonna Rise Again". They lure the 6 northerners by putting up detour signs and blocking off roads. They end up in a small southern town by the name of "Pleasant Valley"; population 2000. The town is full of hillbillies and southerners including buck teeth bumpkins and a little monster of a kid who goes around with a noose hanging cats. The jolly mayor, Mayor Buckman greets the new folk and makes them honorary guests of their Centennial celebration. Not knowing exactly what the celebration is for the 6 decide to stay. Part of the group is Connie Mason's character Terry Adams who came with hitchhiker Tom White, who's on his way to a teacher's convention. The other 4 characters are just two young couples. Right away things get weird as they don't allow them to leave or call.

The movie goes on a bit before the blood starts to flow; but when it does its pretty good. They grab one of the group, a woman, and cut her up then barbecue her. Next they get to one of the guys, and pull him into pieces by tying him to horses. The next victim is put in a barrel with nails sticking through, and sent downhill to his bloody fate. Last one is killed by a gigantic boulder! Well they grab the woman, tie her under it, and throw balls at a target to let it down. How exactly did they get this huge rock on top of the stand? If it hits said target, then down goes the boulder. The death is kinda strangely shot; but I can understand why since it is hard to replicate death by boulder back then with that little of a budget. If I want to see a good death by boulder ill probably watch Lord Of The Flies. Tom and Terry get spooked by all this and sneak away during the festivities. They get a kid named Billy into taking them to where their car is and to give them the keys. Meanwhile the huge mob of townsfolk march towards them. They drive off just in time, and drive away. The town decides to let them go, saying that everything will be gone by the time they come back. The couple go to the police and tell them about the events that happened. The police officer sceptical goes with them in search of Pleasant Valley. They don't find it and they learn that there hasn't been a town called pleasant Valley for 100 years. During the war a group of Northerners come and kill and demolish everything in the town. So apparently they just entered a literal ghost town. The movie leaves it open for a sequel, them saying that they will return in another 100 years. I smell sequel; but seriously that would be pretty interesting if there is a sequel in 2064.
Well apparently you wont have to wait too long, since there is a remake called "2001 Maniacs". I have yet to seen the film, but it looks interesting, especially the fact Robert Englund is in it. The film has that real Grindhouse feeling to it; the bad quality, sound and extreme gore. The movie has a good amount of gore, although the film does get very slow at times, the deaths are very over the top and entertaining. The film has a very dark feel to it, I mean its really twisted. The acting is okay, some of it is really hammy and bad. Overall the deaths; while being a little more creative then Blood Feast, didn't have as much impact on me then Blood Feast. Though both are very good, I do prefer Blood Feast to this. The story is based on a older story by the name of Brigadoon, a musical about a Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years. The DVD, also put out by Something Weird was, like Blood Feast, very inexpensive. If you can find a copy I would say get it. The movie is a high energy hillbilly killer flick, that while not the best, is still a very entertaining film.

Survivor Girl:3/5
Best Scene: The barbecued beauty, and bullseye boulder.

3 out of 5
"It means this centennial is a centennial of blood vengeance! It means... It means we're here to be killed! "

No comments:

Post a Comment