Thursday, September 16, 2010
I don’t consider myself a terrible demanding consumer of mass culture. Not everything I read or watch has to change my life or reveal some hidden facet of the human condition. I’m satisfied if the product is merely entertaining, which few seem to be these days, and as long as it holds my interest, I’m perfectly content. This preface, by the way, is my way of apologizing in advance for liking the 2005 gorefest 2001 Maniacs.
A remake/re-imagining of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ 60s schlocker 2000 Maniacs, 2001 Maniacs is a tasteless horror comedy. But more of the jokes work than not, even if they are the type to make you wince after you laugh.
A group of losers from a Northern college are heading South for Spring Break when they are detoured to a small town in Georgia, a town celebrating its annual jubilee. The kids, along with some other travelers, decide to stay and enjoy the Southern hospitality, but there is a high price to pay. It seems the 2001 residents of the town are the ghosts of the people who lived there during the Civil War, people who were massacred by Northern troops during Sherman’s march through Georgia. Each year, they rise from the dead to massacre and cannibalize Yankees, unable to rest until they have killed 2001 Northerners to balance the scale.
The victims are killed in imaginative and gory ways, and the humor works more often than not. A good deal of it is inspired by there being a black guy and an Asian lady among the group of victims, and there is almost a gay or bisexual victim, so if you are easily offended, you might want to miss this.
The cast is led by Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise), who plays the mayor of the town, and does a great job, but the rest of the mostly unknown cast is good, too. You have to be in the right mood for it, and you can’t be overly sensitive, but I thought this was a fun movie.