Two Thousand Maniacs (1964) - Herschell Gordon Lewis

This movie feels like Twilight Zone completely let loose. It has gore. It has horrible acting. But more importantly, it actually has a decent story line. Albeit a bit thin. It was the movie that ushered in the Splatter genre of horror films and it cements itself in the grind house archive forever. This was a fun ride from start to finish. I can even forgive the incredibly annoying and horribly long banjo introduction.

The film is about a town in the deepest south of America. A town that celebrates tradition in the most gruesome of ways. On the town's centennial they held a large event to lure in travelers from the north (Yankees). Their goal is to capture some unsuspecting travelers and murder them in honor of The South. The Yankees were wined and dined. They were given a place to stay and treated like kings. That is until their deaths. Some of the group gets wise but most meet their demise. 

The ending was really smart and it carried the movie. It kind of surprised me while I was watching it. It definitely elevated my liking of the movie. Not that this is a great movie. By no stretch of the imagination is this a masterpiece. However, it serves as a fine film for what it is. Aside from the twist ending, the story was the other successful element. For being so low budget it actually got the story across really well. The acting was the main downfall. It is terrible. That and the horrible over dubbing. Oh, I almost forgot. That damn banjo.

This movie is a gritty and messy splatter film. A film that features an obscene amount of blood. Nearly tame by today's standards. It has mutilation and cannibalism. Torture and even a guy getting ripped apart by horses. It doesn't disappoint there. I recommend this movie to anyone that wants a good movie playing in the background of their party. Just mute it and you have perfect kitchy, artistic, horror. 


Herschell Gordon Lewis




Grindhouse Splatter Horror

Did ya know...

Many of the buildings from this movie, including the Hunter Arms Hotel where a large portion of it was filmed, still exist in downtown St. Cloud, Florida.
This movie was shot on a location now owned by Walt Disney World.
The town of St. Cloud helped in the production.