2001 Maniacs: A Film Review

I was excited to find this DVD for sale on the Blockbuster used DVD rack at the 4 for $20 rate. Typically the allure of Blockbuster’s (fill in the amount) for $20 deals always “get me.” Indeed, and that usually means I only find 1 or 2 films that actually interest me while I am stuck searching endlessly for 2 more films to meet the Blockbuster quota. Yesterday, however, proved something different. Among these films were two that I want to briefly impress upon you: 2001 Maniacs and Dance of the Dead (which I hope to write about tomorrow).

I stumbled upon the trailer for 2001 Maniacs sometime ago and have meant to see this one for some time now. And I was not disappointed. Anonymous summarizes the film quite succinctly on IMDB.com: Three college slackers, Anderson Lee, Cory Jones and Nelson Elliot, plan a good time away from their college by heading out to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. But along they way, they get detoured into the small, off-the-map, town of Pleasant Valley, South Carolina, where they, along with three drifters, Joey, Kat and Ricky, and biker Malcolm and his girlfriend Leah, are welcomed as guests of honor by the cheerful but sinister-looking Mayor Buckman for the annual Pleasant Valley Guts and Glory Festival. Unknown to the eight unsuspecting Northerners, Mayor Buckman and the residents have more in store where they plan to use the festival as a blood ritual by separating the guests and killing them off one-by-one in ultra-gory fashion.” Did I mention Mayer Buckman is played by Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger fame)–enough reason to watch this cheese fest by itself.

I found this film highly entertaining with a certain flow of dialogue that, while simple, kept the film moving. Never a dull moment, this film began killing off characters almost immediately upon their arrival in this odd town. The ways in which the characters were killed were relatively unique and you get to see male pubic hair (GASP!). Some noteworthy scenes: the token gay guy is skewered through the anal cavity (the symbolism cannot be overlooked and it made me giggle); “She’s playing hard to get;” and “We got ourselves a Negro and a Chinaman” “That’s China woman!”

This film is riddled with social commentary and is carried out in obvious al beit, not so obvious, ways. The catalysts for the social commentary are (of course) the token characters–the black man (not the first to die for once, in and of itself a commentary), the Chinese woman (more mixed race, less Chinese looking), the gay guy (typical white gay male–except for the anal sex, you’d think he was hetero-flexible at the very least), and the Southern folk (while they are the murderin’ type, they offer a critique on Southern construction and a rebuttal to stereotypes that typecast Southerners as slow or stupid folk). The remaining characters are stock horror film types–pretty girls with blazin boobies and jock-type straight guys who are killed because of their preoccupation with getting their rocks off rather than staying alive. All in all, 2001 Maniacs was an enjoyable horror flick. Absolutely an enjoyable sit back and enjoy type film. The jump scenes are minute and it much less horror as it is a B horror full of great one-liners and decent gore. I am partial to grannies right hand boy–he makes me giggle.

I do recommend this film but don’t expect a mainstream version of horror here. This is a typical B horror film–culticism written all over it though. Love it! See the trailer for the film: here!


About Benny

My name is Benny LeMaster. I am an academic, activist, and artist. I research questions of identity, culture, and representation. I am interested in exploring ways to relate to one another in critically affirming ways. In terms of identity, I identify as queer, trans, mixed-race Asian/white, fat, and, frankly, fabulous. Let's talk!
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