Two Thousand Maniacs!
For all of you who’ve ever said to yourself: “It’s too bad Brigadoon isn’t a gore film”--well, this move's for you. In brief, a group of Yankee tourists head down to the South, but get tricked into the out of the way town of Pleasantville. There they find themselves the guests of honor at the centennial commemoration of the town’s destruction by Union troops. “Guests of honor” in this case meaning victims of torture in the hayseed townsfolk’s sadistic picnic games. Two of the tourists manage to escape and return with the local sheriff, only to find the town has disappeared. It was destroyed 100 years ago! The townsfolk, meanwhile, wait elsewhere and look forward to their next celebration in 2065.
Beyond the obvious horror usage, towns that appear on schedule can be used in any sort of setting. Fantasy surely, but science fiction could work as well with a suitable technobabble explanation. The inhabitants could be pleasant--but really, what would be the point in that? Orcs, vampires, zombies, Confederate zombies--all good candidates.
Of course, there’s another fun group that returns “when the stars are right.” There’s no reason why New England should get all the Lovecraftian fun. Adding a touch of Cthulhu gives extra meaning to “the South shall rise again!”
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