Reviewed by Scott A. Johnson
Featuring Ahmed Best, Clifford Allen Wagner, Sean Avolio, Shawn Mars, Sweet Cyanide, Spider Mountain, Psycho Charger, Me and My Friends, Zombie Girl, Kyle Justin, Deanna DellaCioppa, The United Snakes, Patrick Copeland
Distributed by BSX Records
When Herschell Gordon Lewis directed 2000 Maniacs, he created a twangy cult classic of blood and gore. Now, more than forty years later, his classic has spawned two sequels, including the latest, 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams starring Bill Moseley and Lin Shaye. But this review isn’t about the movie; rather it’s about the music contained in the movie. Music in movies is a vital tool for setting up the overall feel of a film, and if that’s the case, 2kMFoS is a mish-mash of weird, camp, country, and brutality.
Let’s be perfectly clear here. This movie is a comedy. A really bloody comedy, yes, but a comedy. And the soundtrack certainly plays into that. Included are quite a few songs that are riffs on current popular genres and artists. Take, for example, the ridiculous Paris Hilton slap of “Hottie Hottie,” performed by Me and My Friends. What’s sad is that I can see this song becoming popular, dooming all music lovers to some sort of sonic Hell, and it’s hysterical for it. Also, Sean Avolio’s “All Up In My Candy” is one of those songs that people pull up on YouTube while drunk . Of course, my favorite was the hip-hop bitchslap called “Facebook Superstar” by Kyle Justin.
Which is not to say that every song on the album is for comedic purposes alone. There are several here that just sound good, or would if they were played by a different band. “Killers of the Highway,” performed by Clifford Allen Wagner, is a decent song but needs a higher voice to complement the 80’s metal sound of the instruments. Sweet Syanide’s “S.L.M” brings to mind old Poison. There are several songs by Psycho Charger that sound great in a garage-band kind of way. There’s also the industrial-tech “Go Zombie” by Zombie Girl that should, by all rights, be rocking Halloween parties all over the place this year.
A few of the tracks can only be considered outright fails. For example, the cast “rap” of “Cannibals” is painful to listen to. It doesn’t help that the lead “rapper” is Lin Shaye, but even her backup “singers” can’t manage to find a pitch. The Psycho Charger rendition of the HGL-inspired “The South Will Rise” doesn’t really work without the bluegrass twang. Tracks 39-49, though not outrightly terrible, don’t do a whole lot to tell the story, build mood, or even inspire tension. Mostly, they just sit there.
Some of the best pieces in this soundtrack come from the twisted little bluegrass ditties performed by Ahmed Best and Clifford Allen Wagner. Track Three, “Rot in Hell”, is something I want as a ringtone. Most of them are just little short punctuations and scene transitions, and they work for it. One of the funnier songs, “Lord Let Me Help You Decide,” is a demented song in which Bill Moseley goes on and on about how he could murder a multitude of deserving people, and it’s worth at least a few listens, though most folks might find themselves humming it at inappropriate moments.
The vast majority of this album’s 50 tracks are actually little snippets of dialogue from the movie. Everything from Lin Shaye talking about how a buttered up corn cob can be a great “nighttime buddy” to Bill Moseley telling someone, “Suck my Dixie!” would be great additions to someone’s soundboard, but thrown onto this album they kind of clutter the place up.
The actual physical album is available, though in limited supply, so it’s a good thing that Amazon is offering a track-by-track MP3 download so you can pick the ones you want instead of having to buy the whole album for one or two songs. And, to be fair, there is a lot to love on this CD. Most of the songs won’t find their way onto your iPod, but a few of them might.
3 out of 5
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