SET REPORT & PIC FROM 2001 MANIACS
Fango correspondent Philip Nutman has reported in with the first of his many Fango reports on the eagerly awaited 2001 MANIACS:
Robert Englund has just slipped on a banana peel?literally?and director Tim Sullivan punches a fist in the cold night air, a big, good-natured grin on his face. Not only has Englund just enacted an involuntary pratfall of sorts, he also has managed to kick a blood-soaked severed head off the sloping tabletop on which he is ranting and raving in a Southern accent.
As crew members rush to Englund?s aid, fearing he has hurt his leg during his energetic fall, Eli (CABIN FEVER) Roth, too, grins like a Cheshire cat, and says to Sullivan, ?Be careful what you wish for.? Sullivan, it turns out, had quipped in sarcastic, creative frustration moments before the take, ?Why don?t we just have Robert jump over the fire and slip on a banana peel??
Welcome to the location set of 2001 MANIACS, co-writer (with Chris Kobin) and first-time director Sullivan?s ?reimagining? of the Herschell Gordon Lewis ?60s splatter classic, where noses have been broken, ankles sprained and?later that night, as dawn approaches?an actress will collapse with exhaustion. Some of the crew suggest that these, and other accidents which have punctuated the intense shoot on the rural Georgia-lensed darkly comedic guts ?n? gore fest with a social conscience, are due to The Curse Which Cannot (and will not) Be Named. But right now, Sullivan is loving every minute of a chilly night shoot which involves a lot of pyro work and Englund doing what he does best: putting heart and soul into his character.
Like Lewis? original, the story tells of the terrible consequences that befall a young bunch of Yankees lured into the mysterious town of Pleasant Valley. 2001 MANIACS is the first feature to be produced by the recently formed Raw Nerve, a company founded by the terrible triumvirate of writer/directors Roth, Scott (EVIL DEAD II) Spiegel and Boaz (REMEMBER THE TITANS) Yakin, in conjunction with Tuffin Entertainment and Velvet Steamroller Productions.
?At Raw Nerve, we would have no problem with an NC-17 rating,? says Roth of the film, budgeted at (well) under $10 million. ?But this will be an R-rated flick for theatrical release.?
Sullivan proudly states that 2001 MANIACS is probably the most politically incorrect movie you?ll see this decade. ?I wanted to go beyond the original?way beyond,? he says with a satanic smile and a mischievous glint in his eye. He then has to excuse himself to return to his monitor to watch Englund leap over a flaming fire bar for the third time in an hour.
In addition to Englund, MANIACS co-stars fellow NIGHMARE ON ELM STREET alumnus Lin Shaye, newcomer Jay Gillespie and Giuseppe Andrews (CABIN FEVER?s Deputy Winston), plus a small but significant role by the Troubadour of Trash, Johnny Legend (supported in singalongs by fellow Minstrel of Menace Spiegel). John Landis (as Professor Ackerman!), too, puts in a cameo, as do country star Travis Tritt and original 2000 MANIACS producer David Friedman. Currently being courted by several distributors, 2001 MANIACS will tear audiences apart sometime in 2004. Look for plenty more coverage in the pages of Fango in the coming months, and join Roth as he previews the film at the Weekend of Horrors convention in January.
Courtesy of Fangoria