Sunday, December 28, 2008


I was at my local video store a while back desperate for something to watch. I came across "2001 Maniacs"(2004). It is a remake of the hillbilly cannibal classic "2000 Maniacs"(1965) directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
I have heard about the remake before, but I had my doubts. I am no fan of remakes. Why would someone want to remake this film anyway? Wasn't it good enough already? Well, I gave it a chance, and it blew me away! I was not disappointed.
Let me start by saying it is neither better nor worse than the original. It is a modern version of the story, which means more gore, better production, more risque subject matter, and other things they couldn't show back in 1965, such as sex and nudity galore. "2001 Maniacs" is a pure, fun, hillbilly cannibal movie.
The story, in short, is some college students on spring break head down to Florida and take a false detour. They wind up in Pleasant Valley, a town of population 2001, whose residents were all civilians who were slaughtered by the north in the Civil War. Every year, they come back to life, lure in some Yankees, torture them, and cook them up for some barbecue.
The movie has the same sense of dread as the original. It is just as tortuous to watch. The murder scenes are highly creative and do not simply recreate the ones from "2000 Maniacs". It even has a twist on the ending, which I prefer over the original. Robert Englund does a great job as portraying the Confederate mayor of the town. You can tell that the director and cast were having a great time paying tribute to this classic of gore cinema. The production is simply breathtaking compared to its predecessor. The acting is well above average. "2001 Maniacs" is a movie made for the modern horror fan, and hopefully it will revive interest in the works of the gore classics of yore made by Herschell Gordon Lewis, The Godfather of Gore.

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