June 21, 2006
Tim Sullivan and Chris Kobin
Robert Englund as Mayor Buckman
Lin Shaye as Granny Boone
Giuseppe Andrews as Harper Alexander
Jay Gillespie as Anderson Lee
Marla Leigh Malcom as Joey
2001 Maniacs is… well, aptly titled indeed as you may be able to imagine and is quite the screwy little horror flick. I have read quite a few different mixed reviews on this one, but I have to say that I personally enjoyed it thoroughly and found it to be pretty damn exciting. Now of course, this being low budget 2000’s direct to dvd horror, you normally wouldn’t expect too much. However, add in horror master Robert Englund as a manic Confederate – sympathizing one – eyed town mayor, veteran actress (and a Farrely brother’s best friend) Lin Shaye as Englund’s “goodly” wife, everyone’s favorite Johnson chopping Nihilist Peter Stormare, and even Eli Roth (reprising his weird Cabin Fever role), as well as a damn intriguing plot and a cool twist, and you’ve got a very entertaining way to kill an hour and a half.
The plot of 2001 Maniacs involves a group of three slackers from College who take a slight detour on their way down to their spring break destination and end up in the twisted town of Pleasant Valley, Georgia. Of course, there can’t be much of a slasher flick with just three kids, so of course five more have to find their way to Pleasant Valley as well. Immediately they are all surrounded by the seemingly kindly backwoods townsfolk (who all dress in 1800s style clothing), led by Englund, and invited to stay for a few days of Southern hospitality complete with a good old fashioned hell raisin’ Southern shindig. Free lodging, booze, smokin’ hot and willing southern maidens, and BBQ… who could turn that down?
Obviously, all is not well, as soon enough the retro townsfolk start to kill off the college kids one by one to make their delicious BBQ. There are actually some pretty cool death scenes in this film, several being very gory and well done, but all are portrayed so comically that you can’t help but laugh. Watch for the drawing and quartering scene and the acid chugging scene – or better yet listen to the sound effects in the eye popping scene… you will see exactly what I mean.
Basically what you get here is a gory, comical, cannibal-slasher flick that you cannot take your eyes off of for a minute. However, you start to notice little odd things happening more frequently throughout, which leads up to a nice little twist ending that even surprised me! And I’m not easily surprised.
If you are in the mood for a straight up entertaining little b-movie with a great cast and interesting circumstances, give 2001 Maniacs a watch… just be wary of the BBQ.