When I first heard that 2000 Maniacs was being remade, I wasn’t upset or anything. I thought that it could possibly be a cool thing. But I did say to myself, “They better not mess up the music”.

Any real fan should agree that the music of 2000 Maniacs is one of the film’s most striking features. Herschell used a good bluegrass band and the music sounds genuinely authentic. Even HGL’s talking/singing on the title theme, The South’s Gonna Rise Again, fits the movie and the setting perfectly. As with any Herschell Gordon Lewis movie, there are lots of things to be desired in 2000 Maniacs, but few could argue that the music is one of them. More than the photography, the sets or the performances ever could, the music puts the viewer smack dab into Pleasant Valley for the celebration.

I know of Tim Sullivan’s reputation and I thought he was a good choice for this remake, He’s a real fan and he loves the original. So I was cautiously excited about 2001 Maniacs.

Guess what? They fucked up the music. The songs sound generic and weak. Not convincing at all. I realize that Sullivan was going for a much campier tone than Lewis did, but I still feel that a hell of a lot more focus should have gone into the soundtrack. The strongest feature of the original became the weakest of the remake. Shit, I could have found a group of musicians capable of doing a much more credible job than was done in 2001 Maniacs.

Now for the good points. 2001 Maniacs offers up a tidy feast of downhome fun, with stupid college students meeting up with ridiculous stereotypical small town hicks. The humor is plentiful and some of it even works. Other times the same-old same-old jokes kind of grow old by the film’s finale. The gore is juicy and abundant, as are the sexual situations and bare breasted nudity.

And Robert Englund is very good as the vociferous mayor of Pleasant Valley.

Yes, we had a pretty good time watching 2001 Maniacs, at least when we were able to ignore the lame soundtrack. Fans of Herschell Gordon Lewis’s original 2000 Maniacs should definitely check this out to see it and make their own minds up. Those that haven’t seen it, but enjoy campy/gory/cheesy horror comedies, will probably have a good time with it. Especially if they have a few drops of moonshine to wash it down with.

Oh yeah, producer Eli Roth has a cameo that is similar to the role he has in Cabin Fever. He plays an oddball hitchhiker with a bloody armadillo pet.

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