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Two thousand Maniacs!

When "Cahiers du cinema" wrote that "Blood Feast" and "Two Thousand Maniacs!" were among the most beautiful horror films of all time and that Herschell Gordon Lewis was a "subject for further study," the director replied that "This is what they say about cancer." This splendid joke of black humour explains much more than a thousand words that was, the funny, Herschell Gordon Lewis.
We met him again in 1964 with his friend Friedman, with a great desire to do things bigger, at least, according to them, with a more complex history than the mythical "Blood Feast". A budget three times larger ("Blood Feast" estimated budget was $ 24,500) and three weeks of production versus five days. And above all, a plot inspired by "Brigadoon", in a story that arrives into splatter areas.
Despite the commitment (...) "Two Thousand Maniacs!" did not repeat the success of "Blood Feast", because of a central theme that still creates discussions in the United States. The audience was there but there were fewer cinemas who wanted to show the film, especially in the ex-confederate states.
The reason is that "Two Thousand Maniacs!" it is set in the fictitious town of "Pleasant Valley" (actually St. Cloud in Florida), where the residents are about to celebrate the centenary of an event that happened in 1865. This celebration has six people as special guests bring to the city by the inhabitants with a trick. These six are actually the meat of the celebration which is actually revenge against the Union army that had massacred the population a hundred years earlier. So a woman is torn to pieces and used as a barbecue main dish. A man is tied to four horses that run in the opposite direction. A woman is crushed by a stone and a man thrown down a hill in a barrel full of nails (a scene in which the director's son Bob made his contribution at eight years!). Two of these six, however, understand the danger and manage to escape.
With his usual slowness and little art behind the camera, Herschell Gordon Lewis creates a film that to see it today (aside from the Confederate theme) looks more like a black comedy than a splatter movie. The blood that circulates is very little and is not very impressive. Just the scene of the woman torn to pieces shows a little more red.
However, this is an excellent b movie with a surprise ending that overturns the story.
The cast is made up of genre film actors of the time, some of whom have already been seen in the director's films. Above all, the ex-playmate Connie Mason already present in "Blood Feast" and William Kervin.