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Two Thousand Maniacs! (Special Edition)

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Two Thousand Maniacs! (Special Edition) + Blood Feast (Special Edition) + The Wizard of Gore (Special Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An entire town bathed in pulsing human blood from madmen crazed for carnage! The 2000 Maniacs of a small Southern town celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Civil War by forcing a handful of Northerners to serve as "guests" for a variety of macabre, blood-crazed fun and games. The festivities include a screaming man placed in a rolling barrel lined with nails, a hit-the-bull's-eye carnival game with a pretty gal and a boulder, and a blonde sexpot whose arm is hacked off and barbecued! But before they can slaughter the only smart Yank (Thomas Wood), he and the lovely Terry Adams (Connie Mason, "Playboy's Favorite Playmate") try to escape.

Flush from the breakthrough success of Blood Feast in 1963, producer David F. Friedman and pioneering goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis followed up a year later with Two Thousand Maniacs!. The drive-in movie would never be the same. Filmed in 14 days in St. Cloud, Florida, on a luxurious budget of $62,000, this instant cult classic revels in the grisly fate of three unwitting Yankee couples who've been falsely detoured to the Southern hick town of Pleasant Valley (population 2000--get it?). These unlucky lovers are the guests of honor at a Confederate centennial celebration. What they don't know is that the twisted citizens of Pleasant Valley are vengeful ghosts of the Civil War, determined to dispatch their "guests" in deviously unpleasant ways. Simply put, Two Thousand Maniacs! (with Blood Feast) is the original "splatter" film.

On the murder menu: death by amputation, dismemberment by horses (one per limb), crushing by boulder, and, the most unsettling (or creative?), death by barrel rolling... with flesh-ripping nails in the sides. Tame by later standards yet still absurdly shocking, Two Thousand Maniacs! is the pure, funny-freaky essence of exploitation cinema, complete with the obligatory Playboy Playmate (Connie Mason) in the cast. Lewis (a former literature professor, no less) frequently cited this as his proudest achievement, and who's going to argue? With its crude direction, atrocious acting, and delirious redneck flavor, the movie genuinely deserves its place in cinema history, its dubious entertainment value proving surprisingly durable through the decades. A milestone of movie bloodletting, it was followed, appropriately enough, by Color Me Blood Red in 1965. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • WARNING!: This program contains graphic violence.
  • Rare Outtakes
  • Stills and Gallery of Exploitation Art

Product Details

  • Actors: Connie Mason, William Kerwin, Jeffrey Allen, Shelby Livingston, Ben Moore
  • Directors: Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Something Weird Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2000
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004KDES
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,534 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Two Thousand Maniacs! (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on September 2, 2003
Format: DVD
I am starting to achieve a grudging admiration for the cinematic wonders produced by Herschell Gordon Lewis. Lovingly referred to by horror fans as the Godfather of Gore, Lewis, along with producer David Friedman, created a series of ultra low budget schlockfests throughout the 1960s that ushered in the age of the gore flick. Starting off with his 1963 classic "Blood Feast" and moving on from there, Lewis never expressed qualms about bad acting, cheesy special effects, plodding pacing, and gutter level production values. Lewis's films went on to great success at drive-in theaters across the country, but with the advent of DVD all of his classics have received the royal treatment so that new generations of brave explorers can enjoy his masterpieces. You need a pretty strong stomach to survive an H.G. Lewis film: it's not the unrealistic gore that makes you sick, but the sheer shock that anyone would conceive such atrocious acts and present them as entertainment. Even more shocking is that his films ARE entertaining, which makes you wonder about your own state of mind.
Having just told you about the gore in his films, "Two Thousand Maniacs" is not the goriest H.G. Lewis film; in fact, it isn't even close. For the ultimate in Lewis gore you need to watch "The Wizard of Gore" or his latest film, "Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat." Those films are truly revolting in their grim depictions of onscreen carnage. No, "Two Thousand Maniacs" is a subtler Lewis at work. There are still numerous scenes of bloody violence throughout the film, most noticeably some nasty hatchet work, a drawing and quartering, a rock crushing, and a barrel rolling "contest" that looks amazingly, painfully realistic (a degree of realism being a first for Lewis).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By stu on August 14, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Two Thousand Maniacs is camp perfection. It was H.G Lewis' second movie and it remains the Schlockmeister's best to date.

The plot is sort of a Twilight Zone affair, involving an isolated southern town that refuses to acknowledge the outcome of the Civil War. Instead, they celebrate their centennial by luring some unsuspecting Yankees to town and proceeding to find creative ways to ritualistically and creatively torture, dismember, and murder them.

If you have seen other Lewis films, you already know certain things about his style. Yes, it is crude and exploitative, silly and stupid. The actors are always amateur and awful, on par with the thespians in Ed Wood's films. But the good ones, like Two Thousand Maniacs, are also funny, hugely entertaining, and strangely fascinating.

This film is simultaneously repellent and amusing, even endearing. The premise is so zaney, the villians so filled with sadistic glee, the mutilations so glorified, it starts to work on levels that I'm not sure H.G. intended. This is the kind of sleaze art that influenced much of John Waters' earliest and best work.

This is definitely the best Herschell Gordon Lewis film. It is the best executed and most effective and, by far, the most enjoyable. Kick back and enjoy the freakshow. The south shall rise again!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 27, 2005
Format: DVD
2K MANIACS is a blessedly twisted ghost story with enough goofy gore and bad acting to satisfy any / all fans of cinematic idiocy. Herschel Gordon Lewis' opus of hicktown vengeance is a marvel considering it's 1964 release date! Without the bloodletting, TWO THOUSAND MANIACS would be fairly dull. With the scenes of communal sadism however, it's like watching a bizarre cross between THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, HEE HAW, and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE! Never before (or since) have so many hillbillies gathered together in order to mutilate and kill unwary visitors from north of the Mason / Dixon line! Lewis has created a ghoulish feast of horror, a cautionary tale for any who would dare travel to the southern hinterlands! Beware! Rufe and Lester just might be waiting, putting up their fake detour sign, and hoping a car full of damn yankees will happen by! Stay away from Pleasant Valley! Drive right on past and avoid it's hellish centennial celebration! Don't end up like the poor saps who were cut, chopped, hacked, drawn and quartered, crushed, poked, and otherwise eviscerated! You have been warned...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "subwayslim" on January 9, 2001
Format: DVD
2000 Maniacs! is perhaps the greatest movie ever made. Watching this jaw dropping lunacy one can only imagine what Lewis could do with a George Lucas sized budget (although I have a hunch Lewis would shoot the flick for 30 grand and pocket the 150 million). For years I've been debating what makes this lil exploitation film so disturbing. Is it the quality of the 16 mm film (the dvd is surprisingly colorful and clear, but still has that early 16 mm look), is it the hammy overacting (the killers seem to be having a little too much fun!) Is it the obviously fake yet sickening mannequin arm that gets hacked off by these crazed hillbillies? There is absolutely not a trace of socially redeeming value in this film. Watching this, one doesn't know whether to laugh or be sick. Great hillbilly musical numbers, a classic stiff performance by former playmate Connie Mason, and bizzare murders makes this a must. Easily Lewis' finest film. This DVD includes a great audio commentary by Lewis and Friedman, a great gallery, etc. I can't praise this film enough. Critics that name Lewis as one of the worst directors of all time are clueless, they just don't get it.
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