The sequel to 2001 Maniacs, which was in turn a campy remake of the cult film Two Thousand Maniacs, follows along the same basic story of a town full of wrongly-slaughtered people during the Civil War seeking bloody vengeance on any Yankee they can get their hands on.
The twist this time is that all the cannibal ghosts left their quaint little town and took their bloody jamboree on the road. As luck would have it, they cross paths with an obnoxious traveling reality show starring two ditsy blondes, and the expected chaos ensues.
Like its predecessor, 2001 Maniacs - Field of Screams doesn't even try to take itself seriously. Also like its predecessor, they seem to be missing about 1,989 people to help out in the slaughter. However, the town characters that attend the jamboree are certainly easy to distinguish from one another.
There were a few character changes from the last 2001 Maniacs film. Most noticeable is that Bill Moseley stepped into Robert Englund's big boots to play Mayor Buckman. It's not a bad casting choice, but it's just not quite the same Bucky either.
The other big character makeover was Harper (Nivek Ogre). Somehow the charming southern gentleman turned into a goth veterinarian. I'm not saying that this was altogether a bad thing, for every traveling show needs its one tall, dark, and creepy character, but it seemed to be unbalanced to have attractive lures for the male victims and not for the ladies.
Granny Boone (Lin Shay) is still with us and feisty as ever. Actually, maybe she's just a bit too feisty this time around (as demonstrated in the trailer.) Her boys are still roaming around too, although Hucklebilly is now all grown up.
The story moves fast, but it's just not as creative as the earlier film. It borrows its first kill technique from the original 2000 Maniacs and then starts out promising with its early victims... but then it falls flat. There are a lot of off-color humor and even contemporary references to try to make things funny, but it doesn't quite work.
The big ending... muh.
On the plus side, we do get a bit more information about the wartime slaughter that ticked all these ghosts off in the first place. Some of the maniacs are not portrayed as being just homicidal dumb-bells regardless of their stereotyped characters.
However, the film does slide across that line of silliness that made it difficult for me to really enjoy. I like witty horror comedy, but not splat-stick. To be fair, that's just my personal taste.
Film information: 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams
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