Sunday, May 1, 2011

2001 Maniacs (2005)

"Frankly, Miss Pussy, I Don't Give a Damn"

During the beginning of 2000 it seemed that Hollywood had run out of ideas. Starting with The Ring in 2002, a new flood of horror remakes were on our hands. Only 4 years prior they had tried remaking a classic horror movie with the remake of Psycho but that fell flat on it’s face and it seemed that Hollywood wouldn’t try remaking classic horror movies or classic films at all ever again. But, we were wrong. They started with Japanese movies, making them American films like The Ring or The Grudge. Well, those films did very well at the box office, regardless of the fact that they were not very good. Well, if remaking Japanese films would successful what could stop them from remaking anything. All they had to do was pick a safe time of horror movies, that may have a fan following but are technically “classic” films, like Psycho was. What better of a decade to pick than the 1970s and 1980s. In 2003 we saw the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a classic horror film, considered by many to be a classic. But, apparently Hollywood didn’t consider it a classic. From 2003 on, they just remade everything (Michael Bay is to blame for this, by the way), they didn’t care what it was. Every year we see at least 4 or 5 remakes of films considered to be horror classics.

In 2005, Tim Sullivan decided to remake the 1964 Herschell Gordon Lewis film Two Thousand Maniacs!, a film that has a cult following, but not really a classic by any means. Usually I have a problem with people remaking movies, especially horror movies, but this one I had no problem with. For one simple reason, Robert Englund. I’ve been a fan of his for quite a long time, and I love to see him play characters outside of Freddy Krueger. So, when I saw him as the star of the movie, I was excited. Also, I’ve seen Two Thousand Maniacs! (you can read my review later on), and there was nothing “classic” about the film that could or would be ruined by a new telling of a story over 40 years old.

2001 Maniacs is a telling of a group of people who get (deliberately) sidetracked into this small town run by a bunch of civil war era residents. The entire town is caught in some time warp where they still believe it’s the civil war time, even spouting out racial slurs when they see a black man and an Asian woman. But, the fun part is they brought these people to their town because they plan to kill them, and later eat them. This follows the original story very well, except in this remake they delve a little bit more into character development with the townspeople, something the Lewis version was lacking.

A good reason to remake a movie like this, is to give it a more modern day twist. There are certain movies that is not a good idea for. Like remaking anything from the 1980s. It’s too soon to be remaking those types of movies. Simply saying they have better technology now to make the films better is not a good enough reason. There is no good reason to remake anything from the past 30 years. In fact, there really isn’t a good reason to remake anything at all. Would you remake Gone with the Wind? No, and they haven’t in almost 70 years. So leave classic films alone. This film is enjoyable for the simple reason of the killings. They have some interesting killings going on in this town, starting off with the best death in the movie, the girl being torn apart by horses. After that you are hooked into this movie. I’ve come to the conclusion that anything that Robert Englund does (acting wise, his directorial films have been pretty bad) is pure gold. This is a movie that you should watch with some friends, just for a good time.