Eye For Film >> Movies >> 2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams (2010) Film Review
Boys and girls, it’s time for Fun With Film Maths: start with almost any Troma film you care to think of, subtract the cutting satire/brutal comedy/deformed protagonist on an environmental crusade, add hillbilly clichés (ignore if your choice of Troma film is Redneck Zombies), and work out what you have left. Finished? That’s right, what’s left is a badly shot, amoral, pointless mess of a film. And that, kids, is how we summarise 2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams.
To start with, Field Of Screams is the pointless sequel to the remake of Hershel Gordon Lewis’ 1965 Two Thousand Maniacs!, with the director of the remake, Tim Sullivan, returning to the director’s chair. Once again, the story basically follows the premise of the South rising again in vengeance, as yet more unfortunate Northerners are greeted by the somewhat inbred locals of Pleasant Valley, here taking their ‘Guts N’ Glory’ jamboree on tour.
The film peaks early, too, with an American Civil War motion comic. It's a decent enough opening but judging by the production values of the remaining 82 minutes, that prelude must have cost approximately 73 per cent of the budget, with the rest going to Bill Moseley (the one time Devil's Reject hamming it big time and replacing Robert Englund as the Mayor) and Jar-Jar Binks (Ahmed Best in a role only slightly less offensive than the Star Wars pariah).
It’s clear that Tim Sullivan really isn’t Lloyd Kaufman, no matter how much he pretends to be. Where Kaufman makes relevant comments about fast-food culture and man's impact on the environment, behind a guise of heavy-handed satire and comic gore, Sullivan takes a butter knife to the easiest of satirical targets, reality TV. The victims are a reality TV production crew, who are sex-obsessed douches, making The Simple Life by another name, with a Paris Hilton-a-like named Rome - oh, the hilarity!
As a story it falls apart because there is no one to root for, just fodder and clichés, and no dramatic tension essential for the horror to work, substituted with vacuous idiots trapped and killed by hateful idiots, some unfunny comedy, and unrealistic gornography – that said, the bad Eighties practical gore effects are at least, in part, quite amusing, they do look worse than counterpart films 20 years older. As a film it is basically porno standard, with shoddy cinematography, ‘off’ dubbing, godawful sound design and wooden dialogue and acting. And also like a porno, there is a fair amount of nudity.
Reading this review you might find yourself pondering that the film is meant to be a ‘so bad it’s good’ homage to superior Eighties video nasties, and I can’t deny, it is intended to be that and achieves the ‘so bad’ half of the saying, but does just being a product of post-modern irony make it a more entertaining film? No.Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2010
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