For today, we have a bit of retro review that I wrote for Netflix in 2009 before I started the blog. Basically, I’ve covered all my favorite films in more specific questions as part of this meme, so Two Thousand Maniacs will have to do as it is my favorite movie not already mentioned here. Profondo Rosso, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, The Beyond, and The Shining, I still love y’all, but without Two Thousand Maniacs this blog wouldn’t exist.
As you read this, you can have a bit of a laugh at my expense (like you don’t already do that anyway) because when it wrote this I hadn’t quite surrendered myself to the forces of what-the-fuck, a surrender that is required to be a true genre fan. Thrill to my attempts to bring logic into play. Marvel at my confusion when characters in a horror flick display conflicting motivations.
I saw 2001 Maniacs, the remake with Robert Englund, first, and I had seen The Gruesome Twosome by Lewis before. So based on those movies, I was expecting 2000 Maniacs to be overly gory. Instead what I saw was, for its time, an effective horror movie with inventive kills and well-done special effects. This has to be Lewis’s best.
Did anyone else notice the townspeople experiencing a letdown or a sense of shock at what they had done after some of the kills? I listened to the commentary and found that this was intentional. [edited 2011: That’s the best thing about the film. It makes the point that revenge really doesn’t make you feel any better; rather, it brings you down to the level of the ones who wronged you. If even the ghosts of dumb hicks know this in their hearts, what’s everyone else’s excuse?] The only thing that bothered me, and this is just me being a jerk, is how the story didn’t explain why ghosts from 100 years ago in a non-existent town would conjure up telephones and cars, and how they would know about rocket ships.
So there you have it, the short burst of self-importance that gave rise to this juggernaut of expert opinions you’re clicking through right now. I have to tell you that it was very difficult to get through this meme, and I want to go in a somewhat different direction from this point forward. I’m open to suggestions. I had planned to spend some time on Hong Kong horror of the 70s and 80s, get in the posts for the Carnival of Blood and the Queer Film Blogathon, then maybe do some posts for the real hot hot heat of summer which feature horror that takes place at the beach. But I could totally change focus and go to cult cinema that’s not necessarily horror, or shift slightly to cover haunted house films. What do you the readers, all six or seven of you, think?
P.S. As a bonus, the characters played by Connie Mason and William Kerwin weren’t the only ones who fell in love while trying not to die during Two Thousand Maniacs. The actors themselves also fell in love, got married, and stayed married until Mr. Kerwin’s death in 1989. Now that’s a happy ending.