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  • Maniac [DVD] [1980] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Maniac [DVD] [1980] [US Import] [NTSC]

45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305106991
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,439 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cartimand TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Nov. 2005
Format: DVD
Bill Lustig coaxed a lifetime-great performance from Joe Spinell in the compelling, but thoroughly unpleasant gore-fest that is Maniac.
Whilst the blood 'n guts in a Romero or Fulcio horror is so OTT as to provide comedy value as well as shocks, the gore in Maniac feels so real (courtesy of Tom Savini in expert form) as to make the viewer feel uncomfortably like a guilty voyeur at the scene of something exceedingly nasty.

As an insight into a profoundly troubled mind and the shocking consequences of horrific childhood abuse (more hinted at than explained), Maniac also works pretty well. It cleverly treds the fine line between the viewer understanding what has made Frank Zito (Spinell) into the monster he became, whilst never sympathising with the appalling acts he commits.
Somewhat surprisingly for a low-budget movie in the gore-fest/video nasty category, Maniac is rather well acted. Spinell himself is scarily believable. The actress (sorry not sure of her name) in the extended toilet scene gives one of the most convincing depictions of utter terror ever seen. Whilst it is perhaps a little far fetched that anyone could fall for the dubious charms of Frank Zito, Caroline Munro plays a blinder as the beautiful, talented (if somewhat naive) photographer.
So, in my humble opinion, it is the sheer realism and honesty of Maniac that makes it work. On the occasions when it descends into more a supernatural horror style (including one scene in the cemetary ripped unashamedly from Carrie, and the final scene with the mannequins) its potency becomes diluted.
Enough quibling though. Fans of the genre will surely acknowledge Maniac as a very effective and truly disturbing horror movie.
The DVD is reasonably well-equipped.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.M. "The Phantom" on 25 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD
I think almost all reading this will be familiar with the story here so i won't dwell too much on it. For me this is one of the best slashers and is made all the more convincing and effective by the disturbing performance of star Joe Spinell. He is simply excellent as the disturbed Frank Zito who after years of childhood abuse has grown up into a depraved maniac who despises women. The sleazy New York locations and the overall grittiness is dark and grim and it's extremely claustrophobic throughout too. There's almost a documentary feel to proceedings as we follow Frank during his stalking and killing as well as his mad rants to himself and his mannequins in his dank apartment. Of course all will know of this being a previous banned horror and of the gory killings. With the FX by the master Tom Savini they are brutal and gory with plenty of blood flowing. Maybe too nasty and cold blooded for some viewers and also the sexual violence will get under the skin of some. Along with "Nightmares in a Damaged Brain" and "The New York Ripper" (both classics) this is probably one of the most notorious of the early 80's sleaze nasties and is a must own!
I have the limited addition Tin release which included the Jay Chatterway soundtrack of the film too. The excellent extras on all US releases include documentary and commentary.
This is a must have film to buy for hardcore horror fans. Make sure you get the US release as the UK one is still cut.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caligula II. on 30 Oct. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
REVIEWED VERSION: 2010 Blue Underground 30th Anniversary Edition US Blu-Ray (2 disc Edition)

Director: William Lustig

Cast: Joe Spinell as Frank Zito, Caroline Munro as Anna D'Antoni, Gail Lawrence as Rita, Tom Savini as
Disco Boy


Frank Zito's mother died recently in a car crash. He misses her, although she abused him as a child. Deeply disturbed, he tries to keep her from leaving him by murdering young women and scalping them. He dresses up his mannequins with their scalps and displays them all over his apartment.
He befriends a photographer (Caroline Munro) in the park one day, thinking she will make a perfect mother replica...


MANIAC is probably one of the most banned movies world-wide. Though not listed as a video nasty officially, the controversial 1980 slasher film was banned by the BBFC in 1981 and it became the first movie ever to be banned in Germany, leading to a flood of movie banning in that country. It was recently released in both countries in censored forms (the UK version is cut by roughly 1 min. and the German version is missing about 6 mins.).
Even by today's standards this movie can still be considered ultra violent and gory. The makeup effects created by Tom Savini look incredible and will disgust most people even today. This is not a FRIDAY THE 13TH kiddie slasher, this is an ultra violent adult movie. But for every serious slasher film fan this is a definite must-own (avoid the abysmal remake however!).
Joe Spinell is the title role is superb. You can actually feel sorry for the man at times despite him being a serial killer who literally butchers women, and that takes a lot of acting skill.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "ninja69" on 6 Nov. 2003
Format: DVD
WOW! this is quite a movie. incredibly graphic and violent, this film takes the serial killing genre to the limits, and does it brilliantly. Right from the opening killing you know this film isnt for the light-hearted. The murder scenes are dramatic and very well filmed in order to stir fear in the audience, which they certainly do. 3 of my friends wouldnt carry on watching after the shotgun/car scene!
The tension that is built is also excellent, In my opinion the subway scene is one of if not the best build up to a murder in any film - cliqued but brilliant none-the-less.
The murderer is characterised well. The film follows his perverse mind, confusion and turmoil in a chilling way.
Brilliant film, be warned - thick-skinned adults only.
a fiver says it will scare the living §&$! outta u!
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