Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964) is a low budget splatter horror film written and directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis. It is the second part of the informal "Blood Trilogy", following Blood Feast and followed by Color Me Blood Red. It is known for its scenes of full-color gore and torture, which together with its B-Movie quality direction and acting earned the film a cult following.
Six Yankee tourists are lured into the quaint southern town of Pleasant Valley, invited to be the guests of honor in a centennial celebration of the day Union troops destroyed the town. They soon discover, however, that the festivities are nothing like they expected, as they are forced to take part in a series of extremely violent and gory games.
Two Thousand Maniacs! was remade in 2005 as 2001 Maniacs, starring Robert Englund. A direct-to-video sequel, entitled 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams (which replaces Robert Englund with Bill Moseley), was released in 2010. It had the town going on a road trip due to the fact that there weren't enough fresh Yankees coming into town for them to kill, and coincidentally running into the cast of a reality show centered around wealthy socialites Rome and Tina Sheraton.
This film and its remake contain examples of:
- Antagonist Title: Tom is the protagonist.
- Ax-Crazy: The entire town seems to be completely and dangerously out of their minds.
- B-Movie: Filmed with a budget of $65,000
- Behind the Black: In the remake, the remaining protagonists sit down in a saloon to discuss their options once they begin to realize something's up. No sooner do they formulate a plan than they notice everyone in the bar and then some has managed to silently crowd around in front of their table.
- Big Bad: Mayor Joseph Buckman leads the festivities.
- Bond One-Liner: In both the remake and its sequel, Huck says this after killing the last two survivors:"Damn Yankees."
- Bury Your Gays:
- In the remake, the gay character dies in a cruel and sadistic manner, but not without a hint of dark irony. He's bent over a table and has a giant skewer shoved up his rear until it comes out of his mouth. The old woman tasting the blood is bad enough, but if you look closely you can see bits of corn on the tip of the skewer. He had just been having a picnic minutes ago.
- In the remake's sequel, a gay guy has his back broken. The lesbian producer has her face shoved into another woman's "pootch box" which proceeds to rip her face off.
- Deep South: The film is set in a southern town and the townspeople exhibit many of the stereotypes
- Excited Show Title!: Just look at that exclamation point!
- Exploitation Film: The film is largely an excuse to introduce tons of guts and gore
- Eye Scream: In the remake, it's explained that Mayor Buckman lost an eye in the massacre of the town. He now wears an Eyepatch of Power.
- A Fête Worse Than Death: The protagonists are ostensibly the guests of honor for a holiday celebrating the Union troops taking the town.
- Final Girl: Joey in the remake. Rome & Tina in Field of Screams. Not that anyone survives.
- Freudian Excuse: In Field of Screams, after Val says that her mother was a prison guard (when explaining how she knows how to handle a gun), Black Cherry says that that explains a lot.
- Gorn: People getting drawn and quartered, getting sliced in half, getting their faces ripped off, getting a skewer up the ass... yessir, there is gore here and then some!
- Kill Em All: In all three films, none of the protagonists survive.
- Lipstick Lesbian: TV producer Val Turner in Field of Screams. She indulges in filming scenes of Rome and Tina wrestling in bikinis, and her death involves her getting seduced by one of the town's women.
- Politically Incorrect Villains: Considering the antagonists are not only white American Southerners, but Civil War-era white American Southerners, this trope is milked for all it's worth.
- Road Sign Reversal: The diversion sign with which it all starts.
- The Savage South: It's hard to call these proud southerners "civilized"
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The original's main theme is a sprightly bluegrass number.
- Team Title
- Too Dumb to Live: Rome and Tina in Field of Screams. Strangely, they're the Final Girls. Or not — they get splattered by Huck's truck at the end.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Pleasant Valley slaughters Yankees every year for their festival.
- Transparent Closet: Falcon from Field of Screams.
- Vanishing Village: Pleasant Valley.
- War Reenactors: The framework for setting up the deaths is that the protagonists are supposedly participating in a war re-enactment.