Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
A group of sex crazed college kids take a false detour on their way to Florida for Spring Break. They end up as guests of honor at the Guts & Glory Jubilee in the fine Southern town of Pleasant Valley. You ARE what they eat so gather round' y'all... It's SUPPERTIME!!!
Is it good movie?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from 2001 Maniacs. It’s been years since I’ve seen the original and I remember almost nothing about it. And with the current trend of remakes I was more than a little nervous about this new one, especially since we’ve been hearing about it for so long now. So I am delighted to say that this trip down to Pleasant Valley was well worth the time and then some. Tim Sullivan has crafted a deliriously macabre homage to Herschell Gordon Lewis’ original Two Thousand Maniacs! by giving us horror lovers something we can really sink our teeth into. This is more than just a remake or a sequel. This is a fresh and fun look at the road trip that turns into a nightmare. For starters I really dug the cast. We have horror icon Robert Englund as George W. Buckman, who is fantastic as the Mayor of Pleasant Valley. Then we have Lin Shaye as Granny Boone; she shines here, mixing good old-fashioned American Grandma with a touch of Lizzy Borden. It’s no surprise that these two pull off one hell of a good show. What is a surprise are the terrific actors as the unfortunate souls who wander into this twisted little town. I dug these guys and gals. Jay Gillespie as Anderson, Marla Malcolm as Joey, Matthew Carey as Cory and Dylan Edrington as Nelson were perfectly cast. What makes a movie like this work is when you want to invest in the characters, and I did. For such a large cast I was surprised at how much I actually cared. Sure you can’t wait to see their bloody demise but I felt kinda bad for them when it happened. And I can't forget to mention Guiseppe Andrews... the dude is always funny as hell.
But the real hero is Tim Sullivan, he did wonders here and kept these maniacs moving along like a champ. His direction is very self assured and his love for the genre really shined through. There are way too many moments that stand out here; including some fantastic cameos from Kane Hodder, billed in the credits as “Jason” to Travis Tritt as the creepy gas station attendant and finally a scene-stealing Eli Roth in a laugh out loud bit early on in the film. And not only was the humor there but the bloodletting was in full throttle. You want gore? You got it. The murders are not only creative but they fit the story very well. From the horror hoe-down to the cotton press mayhem there is enough here to please most every gore hound. My favorite moment was probably the acid moonshine. This is one hell of a bloody good time. It worked perfectly, not only cringe worthy but funny as hell. YEEHAW! And did I hear “boobs”? Yep, we got em’. There is enough T&A here for everyone. The women are hot and not afraid to show it. And the ladies get Dylan Edrington’s derrier. What is not to love?
Now it’s no surprise that there is not a whole lot of plot happening. But frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. There is too much fun to be had and I didn’t feel like I’ve seen this story one-hundred times before (even though I have). It was told with style, energy and a love for the genre with a twisted little script written by Mr. Sullivan and Chris Kobin. And one of the most important elements came with an, “I don’t give a f*ck who I offend” attitude. Nothing is sacred. This is one of the most politically incorrect flicks I’ve seen in a long time. In a time when the FCC attacks just about anyone they can, it is truly refreshing to see such a blatant disregard to morality. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a mean-spirited movie in any way. But everyone is a target so if you are easily offended, you might want to stay far, far away. To everyone else, dig in. It’s time for BAR-B-QUE!
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen 1.78:1 looks great in all it's blood-gushing glory.
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio and 2.0 Dolby Surround made the bone crunching sound great.
Once again Lions Gate shows the love with the extras. Starting off with two great Commentaries; the first is with director Tim Sullivan and actor Robert Englund. I loved hearing Tim and Robert talk about their love for drive-in movies and all the other info they pass along. And as a fan of horror I have to say, “Mr. Englund, I salute you”. To continue to praise this genre and not treat it as a “paycheck” is truly inspiring. Good stuff here.
The second commentary is with Tim Sullivan again but this time he is joined by co-writer Chris Kobin and producer Chris Tuffin. This is another very insightful commentary although there are occasional “quiet times” but not too bad. There is a great story about a “curse” put on them by a bunch of re-enactment actors in the “civil war town” where they shot this flick. Both commentaries are worth checking out.
Inside the Asylum – Documentary - In this six part documentary we follow the making of the film from location, special effects and everything in between. They include, “Welcome to Pleasant Valley” (2:59), “Splatstick” (9:40), “From Hell to Westville” (2:25), “The Gory Details” (13:08), “Sex and Slaughter” (7:45) and “The Grande Finale” (6:20). This is a terrific, informative documentary on the making of this picture. Most impressive was the behind the scenes on the gruesome effects. And producer Eli Roth may have a point; If you can't get laid after seeing this flick, you may very well be pathetic. Watch the extras and the movie and see what he's talking about. And make sure you stick around for the credits... we get a spirited rendition of "The South is Gonna Rise Again" from most of the cast. Fun times.
Additional/Deleted/Extended Scenes, Outtakes and Alternate Opening with John Landis - This is another great feature in which you can watch one at a time or play all. Take your pick. “Alternate Opening with John Landis” (2:21), “Sucks To Be You” (1:05), “Justin” (1:27), “Nelson Head Smash” (:26), “Welcome To Pleasant Valley” (2:10), “Intro To Hester and Glendora” (1:02), "Trouble Came A Knockin’” (2:16), “Wild Things” (1:01), "Buckman and Sons Conspire” (1:38), “March of the Wooly Sheep” (:34), “That Damn Blindfold” (:37), “Poker Game” (:59), “Orbs of Venus” (:59), “Kitty Crumb Cake” (1:25), “Kissin’ Cousins” (3:09), “Sissy Detail” (:37), “Morning Sausage” (:54), “Kissing Meadow” (1:53), “Done Knit Jezebel A Sweater” (:54), “Penis Fly Trap” (1:11), “Lester Or Leah?” (:33), “Cotton Press Aftermath” (:45), “Cool Wristband” (:47), “Nightmare Gauntlet” (3:55), “Look At What Your People Did To Me” (1:59), “Redneck” (:18) and “Buckman’s Song” (:35). Most of these are extended scenes but the Kissin’ Cousins is worth a look for a little extra girl on girl action. And the Done Knit Jezebel A Sweater has the funniest friggin’ line in the movie, too bad they took it out. And finally I really dug the Look At What Your People Did To Me because you get to hear very clearly what wrongs had been done to the people of Pleasant Valley. Lotsa tasty grub here.
Audition Reel (6:35) – Cool look at some the cast’s audition tapes. I dug seeing actors auditioning for roles other than the ones they ultimately got cast in.
And finally we get a handful of trailers including, “2001 Maniacs”, “Heebie Jeebies”, "The Mangler Reborn”, “Green River Killer” and “Street Of Legend”
Tim Sullivan’s 2001 Maniacs is a refreshing take on the old strangers in a strange town cliché. With the added bonus of a marvelous cast, over the top gore and a little T&A for everyone, this unapologetically un-PC movie will have you entertained. Succeeding in almost every way it should, this gory, clever popcorn flick is a modern day splatterfest which is sure to develop a huge following on its own. C’mon everybody, sing along… “The South Is Gonna Rise Again”!