The South is still alive in this campy horror comedy. Kids on spring break detour to Pleasant Valley and are welcomed by Mayor Buckman (Robert Englund) and the residents to this years “Guts and Glory” jubilee. In fact, our would-be spring breakers and two other small groups of travelers that join them are named as the guests of honor. You can probably see where this is going already.
The group are gradually separated and killed in gory and tawdry fashion by a bevy of southern belles, forcing a final showdown between the last survivors and the whole town at the jubilee.
Englund finds another role that he makes his own and excels in this film. The rest of the townspeople (and even most of the victims) are cardboard cutouts, but that’s exactly what this film is going for. While it may or may not be a “spoof”, it certainly doesn’t take itself seriously and revels in its debauchery and juvenile jokes as much as it does in its gore. The biggest testament to this film is that its able to be so crude and crass without crossing that line in the sand where it just becomes dumb…for the most part, anyway.
There have been more thoughtful cannibal films, but that isn’t what “2001 Maniacs” was going for anyway. There have even been better ones. But few have been as devilishly fun. A twist at the end puts a nice little bow on the whole thing and really does challenge you in a way to take it just a bit more seriously. Somehow it made what was a fun and “okay” movie better because all of a sudden it had a splash of depth that was unexpected.