my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Two Thousand Maniacs
Director:   Herschell Gordon Lewis
Year:   1964
Genre:   Hicksploitation
Times Seen:   2
Last Seen:   05.26.07

Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Blood Feast

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
05.26.07Alamo Downtown Herschell Gordon Lewis at the Alamo was not a slam dunk decision for me by any means, but by the end of the night I was pretty happy that I decided to go down and catch it (despite having to park at the capital and navigate the drunk people still out at 3:45a afterward). On Stage he appeared very vital for however old he is (90? 110?) and I heard that he absolutely tore into the BBQ he ate earlier that night. Since the road to the ghost town where they were going to show the even got washed out in recent flash floods, they started the show at midnight so HGL took the stage at the beginning, did his thing, then left fairly quickly, leaving us to watch deep into the night.

The 30-40 minutes of HGL at the beginning made the night for me. He started off with telling a few stories (very well, you can really see how he could be a good businessman and marketting guru), then stood up and sang the whole 2000 Maniacs song (like all 5 versus it was crazy), getting the crowd to help with the YEEEEEEEHAW!s each chorus, then took questions that, no matter how stale or brief they might've been, he answered with lengthy interesting/entertaining anecdotes. I've never really felt like clapping after each answer before but did here. And after that, the movies.

Even though I've seen this before, watching it at the Alamo just makes it better. The movies are kinda slow so I know when I rented the DVDs I ended up half-watching by the end but in the theater you're forced to pay attention and end up picking a lot more out of the details and nuances. Plus you have the crowd laughing to keep up the vibe. I think maybe a lot of people who hadn't seen this before came in only knowing its reputation for gore and therefore walked away with a sense of "is that it?" but for me this movie is more unsettling because the whole town's crazy... even the little cat-hanging kids and old grannie ladies looking on and nodding yes. And what gore that does appear is pretty realistic (especially for its time). I think the gore in Blood Feast is much more tableau, shock-of-seeing-it oriented like "look at all the blood on that girl! let's slowly pan" or "look at the guts on the table! let's slowly zoom" whereas the gore here is more in service to the ideas (which are what really get you anyway). No one really cringed after the guy gets to the bottom of the hill in the barrell, but when the first nail gets hammered into that barrell, I heard a few people gasp and groan (which is cool).

And I also like how the deaths are kind of similar to carnival rides that everyone's excited about. it's like they were all like "yay! now it's time for the log flume! (cheers)" but instead of a fun amusement it's horrible dismemberment... perhaps the biggest (of many) problem that 2001 Maniacs had... that's a prime opportunity to think of messed up ways to kill people... it's kind of a shame that there were only 4 or 5 mentioned in this movie.

so yeah, fun time.
02.13.06Netflix more sweaty Florida goodness, this is an amusing movie with a pretty cool idea but done with the midnight movie methods that made HGL the godfather of gore. For the most part, this is very much a Weird Wednesday type movie, but the idea behind it is pretty cool, like something out of Nightmares & Dreamscapes-era Stephen King. There's also a scene with quicksand... I remember the time in my childhood when I first heard about quicksand and became completely obsessed with it... like how could you drown in sand... it's earth... so like you're drowning in dirt. wild. I think it was used in a few Spy vs. Spy strips too which probably fueled my interest... it seems like for a while there it was a staple in all the horror or adventure movies... there had to somehow be quicksand which people had to save people from with a big branch or something. I've still never actually encountered quicksand in real life though...

Oh, good music too.
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