Maniac [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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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.Read more ›
Co-written by Joe spinell who was also Executive producer and lead Actor of the film
Great performance by Joe spinell who plays serial killer Frank zito
who was sexual or physically abused as a child and get's traumatic memories that causes him to go on
a killing spree in New york city killing innocent women
the extremley Graphic murder scenes special Blood & Gore effects are done by Tom savini of course
and brilliantly Directed by William Lustig
the storyline is hugely inspired by serial killers from the 60's & 70's that had been sexually abused or
Psychically abused as a child
BLUE UNDERGROUND who first released this on blu-ray back in 2010 as 30th Anniversary edition
with all the special features carried over from the 2 Disc dvd set years before
has now reissued this blu-ray again back in 2012
but has no 30th Anniversary print on the cover art & also does not include the Joe spinell Documentary
but all the usual special features & the 7.1 master audio mix from the 2010 release
are still on this new 2012 re-issue
the HD picture quality in 1:85:1 widescreen is amazing, very clean & sharp
so if you're a big fan of Joe spinell or big fan of MANIAC
your better off getting the 2010 30th anniversary edition which has all the special features from the 2 Disc dvd
plus the Joe spinell story Documentary aswell
both blu-ray versions are ALL REGIONS
3 stars for this 2012 re-issue cause of lack of extras
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!
Director: William Lustig
Cast: Joe Spinell as Frank Zito, Caroline Munro as Anna D'Antoni, Gail Lawrence as Rita, Tom Savini as
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...
THE PROS & CONS
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Waited 10 weeks for this to arrive from America. The picture quality is awful. I've only given it 2 stars because of the great FX work by The master Tom SaviniPublished 6 months ago by DF
This one bursts out the gates with two pretty graphic murders, and is evenly punctuated with some full-on eye-opening, jaw-dropping gore throughout. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Paul_ABZ
There's not much that needs to be said about Maniac, one of the most notoriously visceral and downright brutal films of the video nasty generation. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Deckard
This gets 5 stars due to the exceptional performance by Jo Spinel. Very dark and twisted and one of the great horror films from the early 80's. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mr R P Smith
A great job by anchor bay with this release , it has tons of extra material to check out and it's an awesome cult horror for any true horror fan.Published 12 months ago by Geraint Edwards
Arrived next day in excellent condition, delivery very quick, excellent film, really good extras, although a very violent graphic horror film, it has a good story, great acting and... Read morePublished 12 months ago by BRIAN DUFFY