While doing some more research (I was reading Joe Bob Briggs amazing book Profoundly Disturbing) I came across a movie called Blood Feast. The film is sort of considered the grandfather of gore flicks (though the Hammer stuff like Curse of Frankenstein was pumping out some of the red stuff a few years earlier.) So I Netfixed it and fell in love with the film. It was directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, and was the first part of a loose "Blood" trilogy. I promptly rented the second installment, Two Thousand Maniacs, and was double smitten.
Two Thousand Maniacs is an amazingly crazy film that stars one of my favorite B-Movie actors, Bill Kerwin (who I was introduced to in Blood Feast and it's awesomely weird "How to Carve Meat" special feature.) Kerwin is like the William H. Macy of his day, though not nearly as prolific. He had a slightly odd look to him, but was just as cool as any other cat and could take down a town full of redneck killers like nobody's business.
The movie is basically a super low budget exploitation flick about a handful of northern motorists going south for various reasons that are tricked into driving through a small town in Georgia and persuaded to believe that they are the official guests of honor at the towns Centennial celebration. They are in fact nothing of the sort as the town's people have much more nefarious things in mind. The movie does a really good job of being disturbing and showing a lot of gore, which for 1964 is way ahead of it's time. The actors, particularly the ones playing the locals do a wonderful job of being over the top and creepy, some downright evil. It's truly one of those films that lives up to its name. Coincidentally, the film was shot on what was to be the future local of Disney World, which makes visiting the theme park that much more fun as an adult.
H.G. Lewis' entry in his trilogy of blood features one of his best known films (besides BLOOD FEAST) Two Thousand Maniacs. Every hundred years or so a town appears out of the thin air to terrorize out of towners. Lewis brings out buckets of red paint and animal entrails for this flick. Like most of his films, the acting is bad, the budget is low and the film is padded, but the fun factor is high. This film isn't nearly as bad as Blood Feast. I guess H.G. Lewis was finding his niche and … more