3. TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! (1964)
We told you that Herschell Gordon Lewis’ track record runs machete-slash deep. Seven years before he made The Wizard Of Gore, the “Godfather of Gore” focused his attention on homicidal rednecks in Two Thousands Maniacs!, an exploitation classic that serves no other purpose aside from showing a handful of elaborate murder scenes with the least amount of subtlety possible.
A group of doomed northerners end up in a southern town where the toothless and shower-ready locals band together to brutalize outsiders. And they don’t just cut throats or empty bullets; in Two Thousand Maniacs!, Lewis shows some real imagination, if you can call it that. A girl is hacked up with an axe and then roasted like a pig; a guy is stuffed into a barrel lined with nails and rolled downhill; and another man’s body is yanked in half like a wishbone.
Once Lewis is done lavishly killing his zero-dimensional characters, the movie ends. Who needs character development or an emotional payoff when you’ve got a chick’s limbs being crushed inside a makeshift dunk tank? Certainly not our dude HGL.