2001 Maniacs (2005)

College kids Anderson Lee (Jay Gillespie), Nelson (Dylan Edrington) and Cory (Matthew Carey) are on their way to Daytona Beach to stay in a friend's beach house and have fun.  Along the way they meet another group going the same way at a gas station, and Anderson quickly takes a liking to Joey (Marla Malcolm), while Kat (Gina Marie Heekin) and her bisexual boyfriend Ricky (Brian Gross) seem unimpressed.  Cory invites them to the "beach house... on the beach."

Problem is, Cory can't navigate, and gets lost during the night.  He wakes up to find that there is a detour sign on the road, and follows it off on a dirt road until they come to the little town of Pleasant Valley.  The townspeople surprise them by coming out in droves to meet them, while the Mayor (Robert Englund) informs them that they are guests of honor in the annual jubilee.  Shortly afterward Kat, Ricky and Joey turn up, followed by Malcolm (Mushond Lee) and Leah (Bianca Smith), an interracial Black/Chinese couple that many of the townspeople are not that happy to see.

The different groups end up in a hotel owned by Granny Boone (Lin Shaye), and they quickly get down to what pleasures the town seems to offer - which, of course, is none at all, since "turning off the paved road" and "becoming the guest of honor" in a horror film is never a good thing.

Sound familiar?  Well, this is largely a remake of my favorite Herschel Gordon Lewis film, 2000 Maniacs, and I guess they added one more for good measure.  Englund camps it up the whole time, the whole set is unnerving and the deaths are great, over-the-top and definitely in the style of the original.  It's much more aware of the humorous aspects this time around, but that just adds to the fun.

However, in the end, it is still not as surprisingly good as the original.  I don't think anyone making it intended it to be, since this appears to have been made more as a tribute than as a serious remake.  It's not exactly something to seek out, but at least you'll have spent a fun 90 minutes on it.

2001 Maniacs (2005)
Time: 87 minutes
Starring: Robert Englund, Lin Shaye, Jay Gillespie
Director: Tim Sullivan


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