Directed by: Tim Sullivan
Starring: Robert Englund and Lin Shaye
Review by Carson Labish
There’s a reason you’ve never heard of this movie. If slasher movie tropes, lighthearted southern racism, or 5 minute sex montages are your thing, I would still not recommend this movie. The only reason I watched it in the first place, was because Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) is in it. This wasn’t enough to save anything about it. The whole thing is really a mish-mash of nods to original and better horror films, except done poorly and for no other reason than to try and fool the watcher into thinking “it’s like that good movie, so I guess this is good too”.
The whole movie is basically broken down to a bunch of college students on their way to X spring break destination, turned down the wrong road and ended up where they don’t belong. That’s literally the entire thing. The thing with slasher movies, of course, is that you never really root for the victims, you root for the villain. There’s nobody to root for here. The characters are all bland and hard to tell apart, and every single one of the female characters talks almost exclusively in sexual innuendos and puns…..about sex. Really, all you are watching for are creative kills and gruesome deaths. I can’t really say there is much of either with this movie. Each of the characters killed is almost done in a formula. They are led off by one of the townsfolk, and end up in some kind of complex trap that kills them. That sounds kind of cool, but it isn’t.
Did you say you wanted awkward racism spread throughout the 86 drudging minutes of the movie? You got it! There are several shoehorned scenes of Robert Englund rambling on about how the south would rise again, and how they would “teach them Yankees.” I lost count of confederate flags flapping around the entire time. I guess they really wanted you to know this town was full of civil war buffs.
If you want to recreate the experience without watching the movie, watch Nightmare On Elm Street 2 and listen to Larry The Cable Guy stand up at the same time.
Fun Facts about 2001 Maniacs:
- There were only like 40 people that played the 2001 townsfolk, and the other 1961 were chroma-keyed in occasionally.
- Eli Roth has a cameo as a hitchhiker with his dog, Doctor Mombo, so technically this movie is a semi prequel to Cabin Fever.
- Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhees) is in a single scene playing one of the townsfolk during the climax of the movie. His character’s name is “Jason”.