50 years ago the future master of gut-munching gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis saw what is widely considered his crowning achievement, Two Thousand Maniacs! arrive in theaters. It’s a film that’s always earned mixed reviews (hey, that’s better than a lot of his other flicks!), but it’s also a picture that’s managed to inspire many. In fact, it proved inspirational enough to inspire a sequel/remake/reboot (whatever the hell you want to call it), 2001 Maniacs, which starred genre fan favorite, Robert Englund, and surprised in its ability to thoroughly entertain.
While not a wildly profitable picture, Two Thousand Maniacs! did help continue establishing HGL as the godfather of gore. And the picture did indeed showcase a marked improvement over his most notorious of pics, Blood Feast. At the end of the day it was a career defining moment for Herschell Gordon Lewis, who still to this day occasionally directs another outrageous film.
Respect to you, Mr. Lewis. I hope you’re taking it easy somewhere right now, celebrating this extremely important day, doodling graphic depictions of dismemberment and mutilation.