2001 Maniacs (2005)

This sequel to the 1964 cult classic Two Thousand Maniacs is more like a remake — or a “reimagining,” if you will — with a more overt racial connotation, thanks to the inclusion of “Negro” Malcolm (Mushond Lee) and his “Chinaman” girlfriend Leah (Bianca Smith), as Mayor Buckman (Robert Englund) so eloquently labels them. The story is pretty much the same as the original: a Southern town trapped in time lures unsuspecting Northerners with its Southern hospitality as part of a plan to take revenge for the War of Northern Aggression.

It’s all gleefully over-the-top — from the comedy to the gore — and rife with playful Southern traditions: incest, sodomy, bestiality and, of course, slavery. It’s campy, yes, but not just campy for camp’s sake; there’s actually some genuinely funny stuff here, like when a grinning stereotyped coon greets Malcolm with a slice of watermelon. “I don’t think so, Amos,” he replies. Or when creepy minstrels torment Malcolm by following him everywhere he goes, singing lyrics about his girlfriend: “There once was a lassie / Slant-eyed, kind of sassy / Airs and conceit / ‘Til Granny she did meet.” He finally snaps: “Fuck this. I don’t even like crackers in my soup.” Racism = comedy gold!

Malcolm and Leah aren’t the heroes of the story, of course, so they die like the other supporting cast — spectacularly. The gore is wonderful and well-done, no doubt benefiting from the quality control (and money) of producer Eli Roth of Cabin Fever and Hostel fame. If only The Fog remake were so lucky.

By Season 8, Hee Haw had taken a disturbing turn.
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[Insert vagina joke here.]
The Wayne Brady Show went out with a bang.

What do you think?