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37 Reviews
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effective shocker. But is it entertainment?
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...
Published on 7 Nov 2005 by Cartimand

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great DVD, 58 seconds cut
Amazon's Internet Movie Database (IMDb) statement for "Maniac" (1980), section "alternate versions": "The version released by Anchor Bay runs 88 minutes and is the complete, uncut version". This is valid for the US edition only. The UK version of "Maniac", rated "18", is cut by the BBFC by 58 seconds (look at the BBFC homepage). The head exploding scene is cut completely...
Published on 5 Nov 2003


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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and haunting, 5 Jan 2012
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This review is from: MANIAC..Uncut 2 disc Special Edition.. (DVD)
Maniac is often overlooked, but as a horror fan of the last thirty years I have no qualms in putting this movie in my all time top ten list.

Joe Spinell was one of the great character actors of the late seventies early eighties and he shines through in this grisly tale about a serial killer in New York City.

Seemingly abused as a child and hatred towards his dead mother Spinell goes after females and scalps their heads as prize trophies to drape over his mannequins at his sleazy one bedroom apartment. The movie reeks with atmosphere.

Though the kills can be gruesome they are expertly directed by William Lustig in a manner in which one feels utter sympathy for a character that we hardly know.

Spinell gives a brilliant performance switching mid way through the film as a manic serial killer to a likeble and charming seducer. Any horror fan who does not have this in their collection, be ashamed of your selves and get this quick. Make sure you get the uncut version.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maniac Review ,By Nick Sagher, Long time Horror movie Fan, 5 Oct 2002
By 
Nick Sagher (Bracknell, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Maniac [DVD] (DVD)
This is quite possibly the best film depicting a serial killer, the story is about a serial killer who goes out onto the streets of New York city each and every night looking for his next victim, first stalking them and when the time is right "making his move".the killer (played by Joe Spinell) is very disturbed and unlike most horror films of the times it gose into the background of why he is the way he is, showing the reasons why people turn into such monsters.
the character has deep hatred for women and most of his victims are indeed women,(except in the scene where a couple are making out in a car and one of the most sickest and brilliantly done killings occurs)the story also follows him during the day when he is not killing anyone, this lets you see just how insane he is, by the way he is so normal around people and even gets a girlfriend but when he is alone just how sick his mind gets.
there is alot of scenes that would make even the veterend horror fans stomac churn. banned in the UK ever since it was made (way back in 1980)i had to purchase my copy from the states (some 6 years ago)and am very glad to finaly see it released in England, as it was the last film to star the great Joe Spinell (who died shortly after its release)and he was very proud of it.
it is very well made with a great team behind it, the combination of the brilliant performance given by Joe Spinell and the masterful make-up effects created by the one and only Tom Savini give for a deep and horrific movie. but the touch of disturbing suspence given to the film by its director William Lustig is the icing on the cake. I stongly Recommend purchasing this movie as it is a very unique and possibly the most disturbing piece of film Made.
I will leave you with the words of the late Joe Spinell "I dont even think of Maniac as a Horror Movie, the horrible thing is that people like this really exist"
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BBFC!, 14 Mar 2009
This review is from: Maniac [DVD] (DVD)
Buy the Region 1 or better yet the European Another World 2 disc version. That merits a three star rating. This Uk version is useless. The fickle BBFC have hacked it about and quite why I have no idea. The SAW movies are FAR more graphic than this as are a lot of the recent Broken / Frontiers / Hostel torture films. Yet, for the average UK Region 2 buyer this 1980's film remains cut? Pointless.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 24 July 2014
This review is from: MANIAC..Uncut 2 disc Special Edition.. (DVD)
fast delivery and came in good quality condition. good movie experience
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars rude both visually and script wise, 22 July 2013
By 
Elleppi (Rome, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Maniac [Blu-ray] [1980] (Blu-ray)
What's the concept behind that? That a big man who was traumatized as a child since his mother was was a slut, automatically becomes a twisted maniac killer? So bloody american. So not for me taste (and my brain)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 21 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Maniac [Blu-ray] [1980] (Blu-ray)
Just what I wanted
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very gory horror from the eighties, 30 May 2004
This review is from: Maniac [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Great movie following the life of a twisted serial killer. He was abused as a child and therefore kill's women now because he thinks they are his mom :-)
The movie is very gory (special effects by Tom Savini) and has a great ending.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Maniac crap!, 2 Jan 2014
This review is from: MANIAC..Uncut 2 disc Special Edition.. (DVD)
Revolting horror movie,gory sadistic murders, bad acting,laughable plot,many people think this a classic.Dont waste your money.TOTAL HORSE. _ _ _ _ !
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good, 7 Jan 2009
By 
marky77 (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Maniac [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
Maniac is a stange slasher movie as it is all from the view-point of the killer. I found this a bit dissapointing at first as the killer isnt exactly likeable and we just seem to see scenes of him killing women (mostly women) and nothing else. But part way through, he befriends a women who becoms another protagonist and I found the movie more interesting from here.

There is quite a decent body-count in Maniac and the deaths that there are are quite bloody and a couple were very suspecful (especially the girl in the subway). The excellent gore effects were done by Tom Savini who also did the gore effects for the origional Dawn of the Dead and another slasher movie called Rosemary's Killer (AKA The Prowler).

The DVD claims to be "uncut" but is infact cut by 54 seconds, so I would reccommend buying the American Region 1 DVD if you want the movie fully uncut. As far as I know, the majority of this cut is made up in the infamous "scalping scene" near the start of the movie.

Above average slasher which is generally creepy in parts and has a genuinly disturbing ending.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special really., 27 Mar 2008
By 
I. R. Kerr (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Maniac [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
A movie that has long had a reputation for being among the definitive slasher movies as well as for Caroline Munro appearing.
In reality there is very little in this movie that you will not have seen done better before, ignoring the special effects. The story owes a lot to Psycho and even Carrie near the end but William Lustig throws the kitchen sink and all in when it comes to using special effects with the killings. The killings themselves are disturbing but although it is often gross it is not as grossly overdone as the Italian cannibal movies and recent movies like Hostel are. The fact it was banned in many countries rests largely on the fact the vast majority of the violence is against women.
However, when all said and done whereas in future when you recall this movie you may remember some of the murders you will struggle with the plot itself which is pretty mediocre. You could not say that about Psycho or Carrie where the plots are still memorable decades later.
Special effects, by and large, do not make a movie even when done by FX wizard Tom Savini who also acts in this movie.
It's not that it is an unredeemably bad movie at all, it's just nowhere near being the great one many think it is.
There are no extras at all so a price tag of under 4 is about right for a movie that many of us will watch once then file away.
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