FEARNET Movie Review - 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams


Look, shock value can be a powerful tool in the hands of a filmmaker with the proper focus and approach, but director Tim Sullivan wields it like a fire hose, spraying broad and intentionally hatefully caricatures of gays, Jews, blacks, hayseeds, WASPs, pretty much whatever struck the crew’s fancy that morning in 2001 Maniacs: Filed of Screams. The plot, of sorts, sees a bunch of Southern-friend cannibals heading (slightly) north to snack on a collection of Yankees. That’s about it.

And then once the frankly amateurish parade of “oh so offensive” black / Jew / chick / gay jokes land with a series of loud thuds, we’re treated to an equally low-rent collection of gross-out gore scenes that’d have a lot more impact if they had a point, delivered some thrills, or were intellectually provocative in even the slightest of ways. (The murders here make the late-series SAW kills look absolutely Rube Goldbergian in their subtle genius.)

Writer/director Tim Sullivan, who has worked on indie horror projects both fine and … less fine, is not lacking in enthusiasm or audacity, which could serve the guy well in future projects, but he lacks the restraint required to mount a successful parody, and he’s clearly not interested in presenting his 2001 Maniacs sequel as a straight horror film. As it stands, Field of Screams looks like it’d be a real treat for anyone who happened to work on the flick; for the rest of us, it’s rather a merciless chore to get through.