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TWO THOUSAND MANIACS
DVD region 2. Odeon Entertainment.

Former nudie film kingpins Herschell Gordon Lewis and David Friedman struck gold with their 1963 high camp gore epic Blood Feast, which introduced graphic violence to audiences for the first time. This 1964 follow-up is a considerable improvement on its predecessor (though, ironically it's less entertaining as a result).

Blood Feast stars Thomas Wood and "Playboy's Favourite Playmate" Connie Mason (pictured) return as a couple of tourists who are waylaid into visiting a southern ghost town which is celebrating the anniversary of the civil war in its own unique way - by slaughtering damn yankees!

The deaths are gruesome and inventive (Ol' Teeterin' Rock is especially fiendish), and Lewis' screenplay is laced with black humour. The production values are actually pretty good in this movie, and even Mason - who's performance in Blood Feast gave new meaning to the term 'wooden' - seems to be making the effort this time. With a catchy redneck country soundtrack and some neat twist along the way, Two Thousand Maniacs still stands up as a first rate drive-in shocker.

Odeon's release - part of their tie-in with Something Weird - looks amazing and is thankfully uncut. Sadly, the disc is missing some of the extras from the US version, most notably Lewis and Friedman's commentary track. It does have the trailer and outtakes, along with a Miss Weird clip. This is a Salvation Films-style retro bondage short which lasts less than a minute and is terribly shot and edited. The idea is sound - I'm all in favour of cheesy, teasy lingerie and fetish movies - but it needs to be longer, slicker and sexier to work. As it is, the clip seems a pointless exercise.

Other than that, Two Thousand Maniacs is highly recommended.

DAVID FLINT

BUY IT NOW (UK)

BUY IT NOW (USA)

 

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