November 9th, 2013: Two Thousand Maniacs (1965)

two_thousand_maniacs

What It’s About:  Terry Adams (Playboy Playmate Connie Mason) picks up Tom White (William Kerwin), a teacher stranded on a deserted stretch of Southern highway by a break down.  Couples Bea (Shelby Livingston) and John Miller (Jerome Eden) and Beverly and David Wells who are driving down that same stretch of highway while on vacation.  Both cars are diverted into Pleasant Valley a small Southern town which wants them to be their guests for the town’s Centennial.  The town will cover all expenses, the guests are given the best rooms at the local hotel, and town folk will provide escort to the Centennial events.  The  children in town swing around tiny nooses and everyone lets loose a big stage laugh every time they mention that the “Guests of Honor” are invited to the town’s big BBQ…..

Why Watch it Today?: Sherman issued his infamous Special Field Order 120 on this date in 1864 (you can read the text of it here), the order which authorized appropriation of property and the destruction of property of those resisting the Union army and directly lead to his infamous “March to the Sea”.  Even reading the summary above you might be able to guess exactly what event the townsfolk in Pleasant Valley are “celebrating” and exactly what those celebrations will mean for their “guests”.  Two Thousand Maniacs is a famously influential piece of Drive-In trash from exploitation mavericks H.G. Lewis and David Friedman.  Read the full review here.

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