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  Two Thousand Maniacs! Roll Out the Barrel
Year: 1964
Director: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Stars: Connie Mason, William Kerwin, Jeffrey Allen, Ben Moore, Gary Bakeman
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: A group of tourists from the North of the USA get sidetracked in the Deep South by a town full of murderous folks who are looking for some revenge after what happened in the Civil War.

Possibly Herschell Gordon Lewis' best film, this low budget horror was his second gore movie, innovatively based on Brigadoon (!). It's a sunny, colourful, grotesquely cheerful film, accompanied by jolly bluegrass music and the whoops and laughter of the villagers, who react to the murders as if they're watching a cross between a lynching and a gameshow. Most of the acting is passable, headed by the singularly talentless Connie Mason, but Jeffrey Allen really shines as the Mayor.

However, it's the setpiece killings that are the main attraction, which are mostly very inventive: pulled apart by wild horses, rolled in a spiked barrel or crushed by a giant boulder (how did they get the rock up on that platform?). Oddly, the most horrible moment is the simplest: when the first victim matter-of-factly has her thumb cut off. Not as terrible as you might think, although it does trail off towards the end. Y'all come back now, y'heah?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Herschell Gordon Lewis  (1926 - 2016)

American writer-director-producer of low budget exploitation movies who helmed everything from nudist flicks to children's stories, but with the release of Blood Feast his reputation as the Godfather of Gore was made. He followed this with Two Thousand Maniacs!, Color Me Blood Red and The Gore Gore Girls, among others, then left the business to pursue a career in marketing; he returned thirty years later with Blood Feast 2. Lewis' generally poor production values, amateur actors and shaky plotting are all forgiven by his fans.

 
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