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Jul 10, 2002

Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Starring: Connie Mason, and 2000 Crazed Hillbillies

If you haven't seen this film, you're missing out on a rare treat. Imagine if the cast of ANDY GRIFFITH got rabies and deided to kill everyone who came through, you'd have a good sense of this incredible movie. Some Yankee kids from up north drive through the beautiful Southern Florida town of Pleasant Valley, right in the middle of their Centennial Celebration. Little do they realize, the whole town was killed off 100 years before in the Civil War and their ghosts have returned to get some good ol' Southern style revenge.

Tricked into thinking they are the guests of honor, these hapless goofs get killed off in some of the most creative screen deaths ever seen.

This poor lady not only gets her arm chopped off (which is so obviously a mannequin arm that it's charming), but they eat it at a barbecue later that night.

After getting this fella all liquored up, they tie each of his limbs to a different horse, and rip him to pieces.

In a strange variation of the classic carnival dunk tank, this victim has to lie down under a giant boulder while people throw rocks at the target until it falls on top of her. Though they made the boulder out of paper mache, it still weighed over 300 pounds, and Lewis actually laid down under it as it fell, rolling away at the last possible moment, to get the cool camera angle.

Here you see a picture featuring the horrible aftermath of a deadly barrel roll. This guy had to lay in a big yellow barrel (with a confederate flag on it, of course) and get rolled down a hill. Sounds safe enough, but since the townsfolks hammered a ton of spikes and nails in it before they sent him on his way, he had a rough trip.

Though the barrel has a goofy looking dummy in it as it careens down the hillside, Herschell actually got inside of a barrell with his camera and was rolled down to come up with yet another winning shot.

The film was actually going to be called FIVE THOUSAND MANIACS, but the lack of plentiful extras in St. Cloud Florida (which no longer exists and is now a part of Disneyworld), forced Lewis to reduce the account.

TWO THOUSAND MANIACS has a fun charm to it, as the mostly unknown extras seem to really be having a lot of great fun doing their job. And the banjo hillbilly music throughout adds a nice touch. In fact, the theme song "The South's Gonna Rise Again", was sung by Herschell Gordon Lewis Himself. Of course, it's not that he has a great singing voice, but it kept him from having to pay royalties for someone else's performance.

Go find it on NETFLIX!


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