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Sunday, February 21, 2010

They're Back! MANIACS you love to fear!

Last night I watched the first-ever screening of my dear pal Tim Sullivan's 2001 MANIACS: FIELD OF SCREAMS. This widely anticipated follow-up to his 2005 "splatstick" treasure; 2001 MANIACS is not set for US release until later this year, so I won't deliver any spoilers. However, I do have to praise Tim and his accomplishment. I can't help myself. I am over the moon! You'll also be able to read my report on the behind-the-scenes making of MANIACS over at DreadCentral.com, once the movie is formally released.

The screening was an intimate affair held at the Bel Air home of producer Barry Levine (DETROIT ROCK CITY, DRIFTWOOD, MAN AND MONK). Tim has a ritual of showing his inner circle of supporters and family members the first screening of a new film. I'm proud to be among that select group.

Tim has fashioned a movie that is a real treat for his expectant audience and a joyride for the uninitiated. I can’t overemphasize what a delight this will be for Maniacs fans. A sequel that exceeds expectations! On top of that accomplishment, Tim has created a sequel that stands on its own, independent of the previous Maniacs film. In this new incarnation, the political incorrectness is so perfectly over-the-top that there's no mistaking the humor in it. You can cut the irony with a knife. The kills are so bloody that you won’t have to pretend to apologize for reveling in the red. The performances are so quirky, distinctive and creepy, you can’t help but cheer each grimace and scream.

About the performances. Tim's generosity as a director is evident here as every character is totally satisfying to watch. Tim gave everyone a star turn without diminishing the hierarchy of characters or story. That accomplishment alone is not easily contrived. It comes from experience and an expert knowledge of his subject matter AND audience. Lin Shaye as Granny, chews up scenery in some hilarious turns. Milk Maiden; Christa Campbell, leading a bevy of sexy new Maniactresses (you can steal that one Tim, unless you’ve already invented it), commands attention. Ogre, the new Harper Alexander, in his first movie role since REPO: A GENETIC OPERA, is sinister and mesmerizing every second he’s on screen. And Bill Moseley accomplishes the seemingly impossible job of making us forget that anyone other than him ever played Mayor Buckman. The cast is rounded out by Christopher McDaniel (Rufus) and Maniacal alumni Adam Robitel (Lester) two of the most gorgeous super-models to ever make themselves look goony (Adam also brilliantly edited this movie). Finally, bloodthirsty brat Hucklebilly is present to create more mischief and slingshot casualties.

[Note: I've been so Maniac-obsessed I had to check back in to give a big nod to the supporting cast in this film. Newcomers Asa Hope, Jordan Yale Levine, Larayia Gaston and Katie Johnson provide quite a smorgasbord of hot naked flesh to victimize. Not a thankless job as they have lots of funny business too. They give as good as they get. Alex Luria as Jesus is heroic. I wanted him to live! Does he? You'll find out soon. Veteran young hunk of the big and small screen, Trevor Wright is a treat too.]

Lucky European fans will see 2001 MANIACS: FIELD OF SCREAMS next week on a whirlwind theatrical tour of the U.K. starting in Glasgow, Scotland. Then it’ll make its way to us. I am proud to have been Creative Consultant on this film. When it finally hits the U.S. of A. you'll find me cheering the loudest!

1 comment:

  1. I have waited sooo long for this. Of course, my country will probably only pick it up near the end of the year.
    But I will be waiting eagerly.
    Still so honored that Tim actually took time to watch and comment on my first short film a few years back. Its great to see him do so well!!