Thursday, September 16, 2010

2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams

After 2001 Maniacs proved to be a direct-to-video success, the creator of the movie spent several years coming up with funding for the sequel, released in 2010 and called 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams. It would probably have been better if they hadn’t bothered.

It is an indeterminate time after the first movie, and the ghostly inhabitants of the haunted town in Georgia have a problem. They have lost the cooperation of the local police (why did they have it, anyway?) and can no longer detour unsuspecting Yankees to their little hamlet. Well, if their victims won’t come to them, they’ll go to their victims. They get a bus, and set off for the North, to put on a traveling show. We won’t even bother considering why they would need a bus since they are ghosts, or why, in their best Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland style, they obsess so much about putting on a good show. They stop in Iowa (there are plenty of Yankees between Georgia and Iowa, but I guess they are picky) and set up shop. They attract the attention of the cast, crew and producers of a reality show that seems based on the horrendous thing starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, a joke that might have been slightly funny five years ago. Amidst lame musical numbers and magic acts, they once again up their kill count.

Only a few minor members of the cast return, a shame, since the replacements are mostly inferior. Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects) replaces Robert Englund and does a good job, although they either forget which eye he had the patch on in the first movie or thought it would be funny to switch. It isn’t. The maniacs now prominently include a black man and a Chinese woman, neither of which makes much sense. The Chinese character’s main purpose is to speak in broken English, which I suppose someone thought was funny, too.

The first movie was low budget, and this one was even lower. Most of the cast changes, with the exception of Moseley, are for the worse, and the jokes and gore this time around seem lame. The bad taste remains, but the gags just don't work. I was looking forward to this sequel, but I would recommend you give it a pass.

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