Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two Thousand Maniacs!

(1964, USA, 87m)
d/sc/ph Herschell Gordon Lewis p/pd David F. Friedman ed Robert L. Sinise m Herschell Gordon Lewis, Larry Wellington cast William Kerwin, Connie Mason, Jeffrey Allen, Ben Moore, Gary Bakeman, Jerome Eden, Shelby Livingston, The Pleasant Valley Boys

Lewis’s demented take on Brigadoon sees six Yankees lured to the southern town of Pleasant Valley for the centennial celebration of the town’s 1865 massacre at the hands of a renegade band of northern soldiers. His status as trash king and “wizard of gore” is entirely justified (though the gluttons should go for Blood Feast) as the honoured guests are dispatched in ever-more inventive ways. For non-devotees of the form, the obligatorily atrocious acting, bargain-basement sound and one-note tenor of the whole enterprise will do nothing to convert, but in the film’s favour are the sheer lunacy of the premise and execution, a great banjo-led chorus, and the fact that the Florida location is now next door to Disneyworld. Lacking panache, perhaps, but it’s easy to see why John Waters is a fan.

© Time Out Film Guide

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