Friday, January 21, 2011

DTV Sequels: 2001 Maniacs- Field of Screams

Why do I keep punishing myself?!?  2001 Maniacs (the remake) was not a good movie.  I know that some people like the kitschy humor and gore, but I was just 'rubbed the wrong way' by the whole thing.  I didn't like the characters- good or bad- and I didn't care about what was happening.  Ultimately, I liked the original better, in spite of it's lack of gore.  Yes, an H.G. Lewis movie that has almost no gore- I'm shocked too!  Five years later, a sequel was made.  Why?  Some changes occured here as Robert Englund is no longer playing The Mayor, having been replaced with Bill Mosely.  I have to wonder why this is.  Did Englund not care for the script?  Did he not want to play the same horror villain twice?  Okay- I know it's not that.  Was Englund just too busy?  Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, Tim Sullivan is still on board as both a Writer (not the sole one) and a Director.  If you really wanted a sign of what kind of quality to expect here, the film also includes Jar Jar Binks...'s actor, Ahmed Best.  As history has shown, it is not a good sign when you bring him into a series!  The plot here involves a new group of 'Yankees' ending up with the people of Pleasant Valley.  This time, it's a very-dated referent joke- even when the film was made last year.  Let's just hope that Natalie Merchant isn't around when we visit the...
The film begins with a bit of exposition about why Pleasant Valley is full of cannibal ghost/zombie things.  Actually, they don't explain why they're cannibals- they just kind of are.  The killing I get, but not that part.  Especially when you consider that cannibalism was not a key aspect to the original.  After the comic panel fun- drawn to reflect the recasting-, we see the Sheriff dragged in to Pleasant Valley by the Mayor's two sons.  He took down their 'Detore'- Ha ha ha...poor literacy- sign since he is tired of all the missing people that keep popping up.  No, he's actually doing it because the Feds are investigating it.  As revenge, the town does the barrel full of nails trick from the original film, but ends it with a ramp that somehow causes the guy to stick to a bullseye.  Physics is fun to ignore, isn't it?  Still far short of the 2001 sacrifices to end their limbo-like existence, the town needs a new plan to get Yankees.  The solution: road trip!  Hey, remember the whole thing about this being based on Brigadoon and how the town is trapped there?  Yeah- screw that!  They can just leave and, as a bonus, there is no time constraint either.  I love it in when the entire plot of a movie just changes to suit your needs, Tim!  After that, we meet the heroes/victims of the movie- a blatant rip-off of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.  Yes, we're going with a Simple Life parody, despite the fact that what they're parodying aired in 2004!  It would have been dated when they made the first film!
You know what's going to happen, right?  The group hang around the Pleasant Valley Travelling Fair and wait around to get killed.  A blond assistant gets knocked out, dragged to the 'Doctor's' Tent and cut in half with a giant saw.  By the way, how do to the people who have been ghosts for the last 100-odd years have the technology to do that?  Of course, that's not the most anachronistic part you'll see in the movie, but this is the first real kill of the film.  Next, Not Paris' Boyfriend goes looking for the girl and gets surrounded by a bunch of ladies.  Speaking of which- here's a real kicker: Pleasant Valley has an Asian woman in it!  How?!?  Anyways, they play around with him until they dress him up like Yankee Soldier and kill him via an electric chair.  Okay, I have to question that implement too- especially since the device was invented in 1887!  I should also mention that there are almost no likable characters in the good group.  The best one is a black lady who does nothing other than make-out with the Hispanic guy.  It's time for the big show...
Still not questioning the missing presence of their comrades, the group sit down to watch a show by the Confederates.  This includes Linn Shaye dancing the lady from Flashdance!?!  No, really.  They do a magic trick where they dress the Jewish Producers up like Lincoln and shoot a cigar...which turns into a stick of dynamite and blows his head up!  I really hate this movie.  The Pleasant Valley gang tie up the people and give them a sporting chance to flee.  Translation: the group splits up and gets killed.  The lady Producer gets accidentally shot by Not Paris and Not Nicole, only to be left behind and killed by a woman with a Saw-like bear-trap coming out of her chastity belt.  Bullshit!  How do they have that and how can nobody see it?  If you're not going to try, why should I?!?  The black girl is faked out when she survives a hanging- thanks to the rope being too long- only for Moseley's son to pull the rope with his tiny wagon.  Aargh!  The Hispanic guy is seemingly-killed when he falls onto a pitchfork, but actually lives!  There's a fight between the Hispanic guy and the Mayor, but that doesn't resolve anything.  He helps the girls start up the bus, only for the trunk to be slammed on him and causing the motor to grind him up.  Um, how?   The girls drive away until the bus breaks down, but they bicker until The Mayor's son runs them over.  The town decides to take their traveling show on the road.  The End.
The South will suck again!  The plot of this movie is a joke.  It would work as a good parody if the material was fresh or ripe.  Instead, it's a parody of a show that ran from 2003 to 2004!  On top of that, parodying Paris Hilton is the easiest and most over-done parody of the last several years.  Case in point: every movie by the people behind Date Movie and Epic Movie.  Even if the subjects were interesting, the jokes are awful!  What kind of jokes do we get?  The old lady being horny, one of the sons humping a stuffed lamb and the Doctor making faces all the time.  Yeah, this is such crap.  There are good ideas that could have been mined, but they were more content to have people cut in half or the fake Simple Life stars flashing their boobs.  We also get black jokes, Hispanic jokes and lots of gay jokes.  Wow, I'm so underwhelmed.  The gore is silly and fake-looking.  If you were trying to make me laugh, you failed.  If you were trying to scare me, you failed.  If you were trying to gross me out, you failed.  What good are you again? 
Next up, Blockbuster Trash joins in the DTV fun.  I cover the DTV Sequel to Mirrors, which is actually a remake of the Korean film...which Mirrors was not.  Stay tuned...


  1. AGAIN? I love 2001 Maniacs, but this made me barf a little. Ok, a lot. Ok, all over myself. Shit sequel. Real shit.

  2. Yeah, I didn't like either.

    This did nothing to change my mind about the series. Of course, that means that it will get 4 more sequels...