2001 Maniacs – One Step Away From Porn

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC 2001 Maniacs - One Step Away From Porn

By nil.

A remake of legendary gore-meister Hershell Gordon-Lewis’ 2000 Maniacs2001 Maniacs goes for the ‘so bad its good’ style of horror but slightly misses the mark.

Three college slackers, Anderson, Corey and Nelson are on their way to Spring Break in Florida when an unexpected detour takes them into the small, off the map town of Pleasant Valley, South Carolina. They are joined by 3 drifters; Joey, Kat and Ricky, and biker couple Malcolm and Leah, who have all also arrived in the small town as a result of the road detour. They are all welcomed as guests of honour for the town’s annual ‘Guts and Glory Festival’, led by the sinister Mayor Buckman (Robert ‘Freddy’ Englund). Unknown to the 8 unsuspecting Northerners however, they are the main course of the festival BBQ, and they are killed off one by one in ultra gory fashion by the various residents of the town. The teens went for a taste of the old south, but the old south really gets a taste of them.



2001 Maniacs certainly lives up to its predecessor as far as blood and gore is concerned, but, for me, the characters are so lame and unconvincing that they are hardly worth caring about.
The film is riddled with the type of unconvincing and below par acting that one usually associates with a low-budget horror flick, you would see better at your local matinee on a Saturday afternoon or your son Timmy’s high school play. The actors prance around in an acting style just a step away from porn, so much so that at times you more than half expect some soft-core music to start up and the actors to strip off.

Robert Englund has been in some bad movies but this takes the cake. The Nightmare On Elm Street star must have really needed to pay the mortgage with his choice in taking on the role of the unfunny, camp Mayor Buckman in this film.

One thing I will say though is that director Tim Sullivan (who started out as a Production Assistant on such films as Cocktail3 Men And A Baby and The Godfather Part III) generates some good shots throughout the film. There are nice images of the surrounding countryside, the skyline and lighting throughout the film is really effective. Unfortunately, he co-wrote the script so he is hardly clear from blame.

The bottom line is that I have seen better acting in an episode of Coronation Street, and boy, is that saying a lot. Director Sullivan goes for a distinct tongue in cheek vibe, but unfortunately for him and his accountants the film’s lack of both good quality laughs and genuine scares vastly prevents it from becoming a worthy horror franchise or the type of horror comedy that the writers have gone for.

The sequel is currently in pre-production and title 2001 Maniacs: The Beverley Hellbillies. I for one wont be counting the days until that one hits our screens.

1 and a half skulls


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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