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2001 Maniacs
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2001 Maniacs (2005)

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Plot Summary:
"Spring Break will never be the same for a group of travelers who unwittingly take a detour to terror! Enroute to Florida, three college buddies side step into the bizarre little town of Pleasant Valley, Georgia where they find themselves the "Guests of Honor" for the town's Anniversary Celebration! It all sounds strange, but hey, the beer is free and the babes are plentiful! The southern hospitality quickly turns lethal when the three boys and five other bewildered guests become victims of a series of gleefully gruesome murders orchestrated by Mayor Buford and his town of bloodthirsty crazies. For as local legend has it, the folks of Pleasant Valley were all massacred years ago by marauding Yankees during the Civil War. Now, once a year, their spirits rise from the dead to recreate the past and seek blood vengeance on unsuspecting Northerners! (As well as throw one helluva BBQ!)."


Review by
Ryan McDonald
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@horrorasylum
Review Date: 10 January 2007 My Rating: out of 5

 

An update and semi-sequel to the grindhouse classic, this film concerns a bunch of college twits who are heading to Florida for Spring Break, but they end up in redneck country, a small Georgia town called Pleasant Valley. Here in this quaint, slightly bent little town, a Civil War celebration is taking place, with Mayor Buckman (the inimitable Robert Englund) as host. But there’s something waaaayyy off about the townsfolk of Pleasant Valley, as heads start to role and the body count starts to rise. Giuseppe Andrews from “Cabin Fever” (wherein he was the only good thing, in my view) turns up as one of the strangest of the locals, with a shrill Lin Shaye the weirdest of all. “Deliverance” actor Bill McKinney, Peter Stormare Johnny Legend, and Travis Tritt also have small parts.

I’m being deliberately vague here so as not to spoil the story, but suffice to say Pleasant Valley harbors dark secrets, there’s lots of whoopin’ and a-hollerin’, and really over-the-top acting, not all of it very good, either. The Southern stereotypes are fun at first but get annoying real fast, and less funny real fast. It’s like a Troma film with a higher budget, and better photographed. Actually, it has the same gruesome comic spirit as “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”.

Of the performances, veterans Shaye and Englund are the only notables (McKinney, Stormare et al have mere cameos). Shaye goes all out and then some, and Englund has one of his best non-Freddy parts, with his eye-patch with a confederate flag a nice touch. The rest are either amateurish and irritating, or amateurish and somnambulant. The protagonists are especially boring. Unless they are especially well-written characters, I suggest writers stop putting twenty-something characters as their leads in horror films. They’re all so generic.

Thank God for the gore and the hot chicks! Early on the opening titles having bloody Civil War images, and there’s a wonderfully disgusting (and very funny, in a cruel way) bit with an armadillo. But the film really picks up with quite possibly the greatest dismemberment I’ve seen in a decade (it’s a bravura moment), and a truly brutal scene that can only be described as a human shish kebab. Wow! That was nasty. The women are hot (especially the one who sadly gets dismembered), and hey, a couple of ‘em make out with each other, and that’s always nice. The film has a great ending, too.

OVERALL SUMMARY
An OK film for gore-hounds (remember gore, people?) and Englund fans, but with a better script and better acting, this might have been more than OK.



Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 31 May 2006 My Rating: out of 5

It seems like it's taken Tim Sullivan's directorial debut forever to make it to DVD, but its here and its one hell of a ride.

The premise sees a group of hot young college kids and assorted travellers take a detour into Pleasant Valley in time to celebrate the town's Guts and Glory Jubilee. The kids are tempted to stick around for the free food, beer, buns and boobies and soon find out that they're the main course.

The film looks great and has a wacky sense of humour about it that made it a hoot to watch. The cast, which includes Robert Englund, Lin Shaye and Giuseppe Andrews are hilarious to watch, as is Eli Roth in a funny cameo.

The deaths are suitably gory and over the top and Nathan Barr even riffs on his own Cabin Fever score for the inspired soundtrack.

The film moves at a quick pace and keeps you entertained the entire time, thanks to its insistence to pay tribute to horror movies of the past.

Tim Sullivan is a clever and creative guy who knows what hardcore horror fans want and he isn't afraid to give it to them. We get many gory and original death sequences, but above all else the non PC humour was very reminiscent of 80's horror.

Modern horror fans may not know how to take the film, which is most likely why it has gone straight to DVD, but older fans of the genre are sure to get a kick out of this.

OVERALL SUMMARY
2001 Maniacs has excessive nudity, gore and violence and refuses to conform to the PG 13 criteria, so do yourselves a favour....stop bitching about the studios remaking classic movies for 13 year old girls, and get yourselves a copy of this on DVD.




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