The big new release of the week is Tim Sullivan's follow-up to his 2001 film, 2001 Maniacs. The sequel, dubbed 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, hits DVD this week in both R-rated and Unrated editions. Releasing an R-rated version makes a certain amount of sense; mostly it's done so that Blockbuster will carry your title, as they have a policy not to carry unrated films. But with Redbox and Netflix dominating the rental market, and Hollywood and Blockbuster brick-and-mortar stores closing left and right, it seems like the R-rated version of a direct-to-video horror film will soon become a thing of the past.
For those who are unaware, H.G. Lewis, often referred to as "the godfather of gore," released 2000 Maniacs, his violent twist on southern hospitality, way back in 1964. The story was a pretty simple one. Three couples from the North are enjoying a pleasant ride through the Southern countryside when they are deviously detoured to the small town of Pleasant Valley where the residents are putting on a grand celebration for the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. It turns out that the main attractions involve murdering and torturing the unsuspecting Yankees. Lewis' original film is highly entertaining if not exactly good, with some amazingly inventive kills, especially for the time.