2000 Maniacs is one of Herschell Gordon Lewis earlier works, coming in right after 1963s effort BLOOD FEAST. While this isn’t anything too extreme by todays standards, HG Lewis was one of the first directors to use explicit gore in his films. Infact HG Lewis (along with Lucio Fulci) had been dubbed the ‘Godfather of Gore’.
The film centres in on the population of a small town “Pleasant Valley” who are holding centenary celebrations in confederate America. They lure in tourists to stay in the town and celebrate with them. Why you ask? To be the guests of honour of course! Well, not really. They are to be killed an eaten by the towns folk.
The film plays up on the cannibal myths that seem to plague small redneck towns in middle America. All the Hick stereotypes are used to great effect in this movie. The movie itself is nothing spectacular I have to say. The acting is average and the plot is fairly simplisitic, but its still a fun watch! More importantly it stands as a document of gore making its way into movies, spearheaded by director Lewis.
Overall, 2000 Maniacs is a fun film. The gore levels I hear were considered a little over the top at the time. I have to say the gore FX now look a little cheesy. Especially compared with what horror movies are doing these days. Hammy gore aside, this is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. There’s some pretty inventive killings too, I have to say! It does come across as a little dated, but that’s part of its charm.
Be sure to check out Blood Feast another movie by HG Lewis!
For more great horror movies be sure to check out https://www.gorenography.com on a regular basis!