2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams

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The continuing tale of the fine folks of Pleasant Valley has the undead cannibals taking their show on the road in order to acquire new victims to satiate their unending hunger and voracious appetites.

I always liked Southerners myself, never really had a bad experience at all with them (I’ve heard a lot about them not liking certain skin tones but they seem to be okay with green). I’ve been to several southern states, and I’ve always been treated well, so I’m not sure why they get such a bad rap. Yeah, some of them smell a little funky, and a few married couples might be a little more related than they should be, but nowhere are you going to find that well named southern hospitality we’ve all heard so much about and some truly amazing food to boot. It’s that last part that really excites me too, because with that tasty diet of theirs I get a much more savory meal myself when I consume them.

Our pathetic sequel begins with a series of comic book like panels telling the story of poor Pleasant Valley and the citizens who were slaughtered there by Union soldiers during the Civil War. What should have been a peaceful slumber was cut short when all of the town`s residents were brought back to life and refused a more permanent death until all 2001 murders had been avenged. The people of Pleasant Valley have done very well trapping innocent travelers since then, feasting on their flesh in the town’s never ending quest for vengeance, but as time has gone on, fewer and fewer people have been visiting Pleasant Valley. In order for our Southern ghouls to keep up the body count they’re going to have to take their vengeance on a road trip if they expect to avenge all 2001 deaths. Luckily for them, their very first trip abroad finds them settling down next to where an altogether different kind of traveling show is camping, and they happen to be only one small field away (a Field of Screams maybe, get it). The show is a cross between the waste of life that was known as Paris and Nicole and the incredible stupidity of Jersey Shore (two shows I can happily report as never having wasted my time watching for fear of losing brain cells). The people running the show (from here on out referred to as Paris Shore) are overjoyed to have come across the perfect group of “hicks” that they can show as being stupid, inbred morons. The good people of Pleasant Valley are more than willing to accept the insults as long as it gets them a few fresh new victims. Unfortunately for the idiots of Paris Shore, the people they think of as stupid rednecks are a lot smarter than they seem, and the cast mates will learn this soon enough as they begin to fall victim one by one to the evil machinations of the 2001 maniacs, or 15 maniacs if you actually count them.

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{No quite as welcoming a group as the last go around}

Now, sequels are always a tossup. You can never really know if you’re going to see something worthy of its predecessor, at least a good addition to the series, or an absolute piece of donkey blowing horseshit. Sadly, for us the viewer, this movie falls into that last category. Other than a few good death scenes there is almost nothing done right in Field of Screams.

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{I’m glad they’re still hungry because I lost my appetite watching this movie}

I almost don’t even know where to begin describing how bad this movie is considering how much is completely broken. I guess I should start with the really bad acting. This subpar acting kind of caught me off guard from a few because I honestly expected better. Take Bill Mosley for instance, the man stepping in for Robert Englund as Mayor Bucky. He does an excellent job in pretty much everything he’s in, but happens to be less than stellar here. I’ve come to expect so much more from the guy that it shocked me to see his skills sink so low. He’s not terrible but comes nowhere even close to Robert Englund’s portrayal of the psychotic mayor, coming across as way too comedic (which is a problem we’ll go into a little later, the film’s god awful comedy). Another one would be Ogre from Skinny Puppy, stepping in as Harper this time around. To be honest I’ve only ever seen him in Repo: The Genetic Opera so it’s hard to say what kind of actor he is, but, judging by his performance here, I think he should stick to music because his acting talent seems to extend to one character (Pavi Laro from Repo: The Genetic Opera). If you’ve seen Repo than you’ve seen his character for Field of Screams, it’s pretty much exactly the same. In Repo he was perfect; that part was written just for him, but the same character doesn’t work here. I’m not sure it’s really his fault considering he’s a musician and not an actor (though if he wanted to become an actor, a few lessons probably wouldn’t have hurt him), but maybe someone should have thought about that before they decided to hire him. In the first film he was suave and psychopathic but in this one he’s just psychopathic and like everything else in this film, overly comedic. Even Lin Shaye reprising her role as Granny Boone does a half ass job, and she’s probably the film’s best actor. Everyone else isn’t even worth mentioning, they don’t deserve to be called actors in the first place and are only annoying, lame, and not worth the effort of calling them all out individually. It was almost like everyone just wanted to get this movie done as quickly as possible and get home.

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{These two trying to pretend to have some odd relationship in the film is portrayed just awfully}

The next thing to hit up would be what passes for a story here. Whoever wrote this either didn’t care what he was writing, or he’s someone who’s been hit in the head way too many times. The random encounter between the two groups is bad enough, but that can be forgiven as a sometimes necessary plot device needed to make a horror movie work; how completely and utterly stupid the Paris Shore people are on the other hand is ridiculous. I mean these people are really stupid, slightly more than Peter Griffin stupid. In fact, every single character in Field of Screams is just poorly written. Oh, just wait, I have more, like how there are only 15 people from Pleasant Valley in this movie and that is somehow supposed to represent all 2001 Maniacs. At least in the first one it was implied well, and you got to see a few hundred at a time so you could easily imagine that there really were 2001 people there, but here you only every see 15 or so. Another thing, and this one is just plain lazy, why is Mayor Bucky’s eye patch on the wrong eye? How hard was it for you to actually watch the original movie and make sure at least that was right? You lazy, god (%*^^(* sucking **$%*$ huffing idiots (damn, even Microsoft Word decided to censor me there). You didn’t even try this time did you? You just hoped enough people remembered how good the first one was and jumped at the opportunity to have people pay to see something they thought was going to be great while giving them something more akin to what would fall off of a sick monkey’s ball sack. You lazy fucks could have cared less about the actual quality of this movie. I am pretty sure there is a special spot in hell for that…at least I’m crossing my fingers anyway.

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{Yep, couldn’t even get that right}

Let’s go on to the most annoying thing about this movie…the humor. The humor is just bad, I mean really bad, bad enough to make you want to cut your eardrums out of your head and place them firmly on the BBQ grill so as comedy that bad can never assault you again. The dialogue for Field of Screams is bad enough, but when humor is added to this terrible flick it only gets worse. When the jokes have you wanting to punch someone in the face rather than laugh, you know you have a problem. I have seldom heard humor this bad, and when I have it’s usually from a drunk that can barely speak. I mean the humor is just bad, bad beyond bad, bad beyond bad beyond bad. It doesn’t get much worse. The humor is nowhere near funny, nowhere near chuckle worthy, and nowhere near what could reasonably be called humor.

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{What I wish had been done to my ear drums}

If there is one this that saves Field of Screams from causing the end of the world (yes it’s that bad) it would be the deaths. As in the first one, the deaths are pretty imaginative and for the most part well done. The effects are nowhere near as good as the first one but they aren’t as bad as they could have been either. I will give them that one thing, that the deaths (while more CGI and less original than the first one) aren’t too bad, but it’s kind of like throwing a phone book on a bonfire, it adds a little extra to the mix, but it still doesn’t do enough to pull you away from the awfulness of the movie you’re watching.

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{See, not too shabby}

This is one sequel that is sequel in name alone. It comes nowhere near the greatness that was the first one and only manages to sully what is otherwise a great series. I almost wish I could cut out the piece of my brain that remembers watching it just so that the memories would no longer haunt me. Seriously, just go watch the first movie and pretend that Field of Screams was never made. It will save you a lifetime of regret that you wasted an hour and half watching this piece of garbage.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Tim Sullivan (Driftwood, 2000 Maniacs)

Starring: Bill Mosley (The Devil’s Rejects, Repo! The Genetic Opera), Nivek Ogre (Repo! The Genetic Opera and Skinny Puppy front man), Christa Campbell (Day of the Dead {2008}, The Tomb), and Lin Shaye (Insidious, Killer by Nature)

Released By: Tax Credit Finance and Bloodworks

Release Year: 2010

Release Type: Straight to Video

MPAA Opinion: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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