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October Horrors Day 10 – Maniac (1980)

Maniac, 1980

Directed by William Lustig

Starring Joe Spinnell and Caroline Munro


Frank Zito, a mentally disturbed serial killer, is prowling the streets New York City looking for innocent victims to murder in order to quiet the voices in his head commanding him to kill.

I should begin this particular review by being upfront about this film. If you are easily upset by dark subject matters and graphic violence, then avoid this film at all costs. Maniac is a dark, grisly and nasty film and I would not hold it against anyone if they decided to avoid it.

While I may be seemingly decrying this film before I’ve talked about properly, I should stress that those of you who do decide to check it out will find it to be one of the more intelligent slasher films of the 80s.

While the film was made and marketed as a sleazy exploitation film,
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‘Frightmare aka The Horror Star’ Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

Stars: Ferdy Mayne, Leon Askin, Jeffrey Combs, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot, Leon Askin, Jennifer Starrett, Barbara Pilavin, Alan Stock | Written and Directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane

“There was Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, and Conrad Ragzoff! They were all stars who lived and died. But only one returned…”

Fandom takes on a whole new meaning when a group of film loving college students decide to pay the ultimate respects to their favourite horror icon, the recently deceased Conrad Radzoff (Ferdy Mayne). How do they do this? Hold a memorial? Have a Radzoff horror marathon? Nope, they decide to steal his freshly buried body and give hime the ultimate farewell house party back in their mansion! Like most cases however, this is one of those instances were one of your heroes is actually an arsehole (Cough-Tom Savini-Cough!). You see, Radzoff had an often fatal temper. Not even a
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Thirteen of the Craziest Horror Movie Theme Songs

  • FEARnet
As a composer, I'm quick to acknowledge the role of music in setting the tone for a horror film, and while theme songs with lyrics and vocals can be just as effective as an instrumental score, there are definitely risks involved: along with clothing and hairstyles, songs tend to anchor a film to the year it was made, and as tastes change, a pop tune can be exposed as a quaint and silly relic of its decade. Then again, some of those tracks were pretty goofy to begin with, and nothing could have saved them. With that said, I love every one of these oddball themes to death (even the truly painful ones), so I'd like to share with you the best of the weirdest, straight from one of my more... uh, let's say “eccentric” party playlists. Let's rock! Fat Boys: “Are You Ready for Freddy?” (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master,
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This Week In The Vault: Samm Levine & Amber Benson Brave 'Maniac!'

  • FEARnet
This Week In The Vault: Samm Levine & Amber Benson Brave 'Maniac!'
Are you ready for another unlikely pairing for the latest feature on our Fearnet web series here known as 'The Vault?' Of course you are! This week, we've got actors Samm Levine ('Inglourious Basterds') and Amber Benson ('Buffy The Vampire Slayer') providing commentary for William Lustig's "slasher" cult classic 'Maniac,' starring the late, great Joe Spinell

You may be familiar with the recent remake starring Elijah Wood (currently streaming over on Netflix Instant), but check out the film that not only inspired that film, but that kicked off a slew of "slasher"imitators in the early 80's! This is the first official directing credit for Bill Lustig who would go on to give us the 'Maniac Cop' and 'Relentless' franchises and it stars character actor Joe Spinell ('The Godfather,' 'Rocky') in a genre defining role as the sympatheitc and troubled Frank Zito,
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Female Artist Has Lived with Mannequin Family for 14 Years

  • FEARnet
Female Artist Has Lived with Mannequin Family for 14 Years
If you thought Maniac's Frank Zito was the only one who spends the majority of his time with mannequins, think again...

As we spotted on Oddity Central, artist Suzanne Heintz has spent the last 14 years of her life coming home to a mannequin husband and daughter, and the explanation for the incredibly strange lifestyle is not the chemical imbalance you might be expecting. No, Suzanne isn't crazy, she's just an artist who's expressing herself in a most unique fashion, out to confront societal pressures on women and prove that personal happiness comes from the inside, not from others.

Okay, so the whole thing is totally creepy, but hear her out, before jumping to conclusions.

Heintz says that the inspiration for the strange 'project' came from repeated questions about when she was going to get married and have kids, nagging inquiries that I'm sure every female reading this right now has been asked,
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Dread Central's Best and Worst of 2013

Another year has come to an end, which means it's time for the Dread Central staff to weigh in with their picks of the best and worst of 2013's horror offerings. We're giving you a full dozen lists this time, and per usual they come in a variety of formats, each reflecting the unique styles of our writers.

We've also compiled them to come up with the year's overall winners and losers. We averaged out the top and bottom five vote getters on everyone's lists, and here are the results:

Best: Maniac

Runners-up: The Conjuring, Evil Dead

Worst: Texas Chainsaw 3D

Runners-up: The Purge, The Last Exorcism Part II

Check out the Dread Central staff's Best of and Worst of lists for 2013 by following the links below!

[Andrew Kasch]

[Anthony Arrigo]

[Brad McHargue]

[Buz "Danger" Wallick]

[Debi "The Woman in Black" Moore]

[The Foywonder]

[Gareth "Pestilence" Jones]



[Scott "Doctor Gash" Hallam]

[Staci Layne Wilson]

[Uncle Creepy]

Andrew Kasch's Picks

Stoker: Chan-wook Park delivered some next-level filmmaking and his best film since Oldboy with his U.
See full article at Dread Central »

Icons Of Fright Presents Bj Colangelo’S Top 13 Horror Of 2013!

Normally I reserve my “best of” the year list for my own site, Day of the Woman, but the Icons of Fright family is the reason I was able to see 90% of the films on this list. Here’s the thing – I’m not a cool kid in L.A. or some other cinema megaland like most of the Icons of Fright contributors. I’m an unemployed blogger in Cleveland, Oh slowly dying anytime anyone mentions how much fun they’re having at Fantastic Fest or screenings at The New Beverly. With that in mind, the films on my list were either seen from Screener links, Theatrical/DVD releases, or cranking out the cash for some VOD. Unfortunately, I Still haven’t seen The Sacrament, but it can safely be assumed that it would have been on this list. Le sigh.

13- Grabbers

This one completely flew past my radar.
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Icons Of Fright Presents Jerry Smith’S Top 13 Horror Of 2013!

Editor’s Note: Rob G here, fiends. Since Jerry Smith was such a pivotal and invaluable part of Icons Of Fright this past year, I thought it’d be fitting to invite him back into the fold to share his favorite genre titles of 2013. Jerry also has a new site that goes beyond the genre called The Martyrcycle, so be sure to bookmark it an keep tabs on the Facebook page as well. Without further adieu, here’s Jerry’s Top 13 of the year.

13 – Contracted

I’m a massive fan of the body horror sub-genre, and Eric England’s Contracted is by far the best film working within that to have been released in a good while. A woman is date raped by a mysterious stranger, and begins to fall apart, and decay. It’s well written, well directed and full of good performances by Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, and everyone else involved.
See full article at Icons of Fright »

Maniac Remake Slashes Its Way Onto VHS!

  • FEARnet
Maniac Remake Slashes Its Way Onto VHS!
Though it's been available On Demand for several months now, Frank Khalfoun's fan-favorite remake of William Lustig's Maniac finally hit home video here in the states this past Tuesday, landing on both DVD and Blu-ray.  Hot on the heels of the release, Texas-based art gallery Mondo has just made the surprising and exciting announcement that they will soon be giving the film a very special release of their own - and I hope you've still got a Vcr lying around your house somewhere!

Taking advantage of the current resurgence of interest in the format, Mondo will be releasing the Maniac remake onto VHS - a limited edition offering of a mere 500 tapes.  Housed inside of a clamshell case, the tapes will be selling for $25 each, with a randomly insert purple cassette going to one of the lucky 500 who are able to get their hands on one.

As is typically the case with Mondo,
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10 Planned Horror Movie Sequels We're Still Waiting to See

  • FEARnet
10 Planned Horror Movie Sequels We're Still Waiting to See
The movie-making business is a fickle one, with projects oftentimes appearing one day, then completely disappearing the next. There are so many factors that go into making a movie that it's quite frankly a miracle so many movies actually do end up getting made. But what about the ones that are planned and announced, but never actually materialize? There are a whole lot of them, and today we take a look at a handful of horror movie sequels that found themselves stuck in the dreaded Development Hell.   Before the Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon     One of the most frustrating stories in recent years within the horror genre is the story of the sequel to 2006's utterly brilliant cult classic Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon... a follow-up that, for whatever reason, just can't seem to get off the ground. Described as a "spreemake," meaning a sequel, prequel
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'Maniac': Elijah Wood's slasher film banned in New Zealand

  • Pop2it
Bad news for Elijah Wood: his New Zealand fans won't be able to see his latest project.

Due to its violent nature, the country's Office of Film and Literature Classification has restricted the viewing of "Maniac" to film festivals and film-studies courses only. It will not be released theatrically or on DVD, THR reports.

Ant Timpson, a programmer for the New Zealand International Film Festival (where "Maniac" is due to screen at the end of the month), commented on the ruling in a statement. "It's saying the Pov (point of view) nature of the film mixed with the psychopathic behavior of actor Elijah Wood is more than disturbing; it's potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong person -- that is, a non-festival-goer," Timpson said. 

In the slasher film, Wood plays Frank Zito, a psychopathic killer shaped by his traumatic experiences as a child being raised by a prostitute.
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Elijah Wood Serial Killer Film 'Maniac' Banned in New Zealand

Elijah Wood's most recent turn as a serial killer, this time in the 2012 French-American horror remake "Maniac" (he previously played a psychopath who hungered after prostitutes in "Sin City"), won't make it into New Zealand theaters.

The New Zealand government has banned the movie from both theatrical and DVD release in the country, reports Deadline, meaning it can only be viewed in a film studies course or as part of a film festival -- and in both cases the audience must be over 18.

In the movie, Wood stalks, murders, and scalps women as Frank Zito, a man grappling with some serious mommy issues. The entire film, which is a remake of the 1980 grindhouse flick of the same name, is shot from Frank's point of view.

"It's the most intriguing element of the film," Wood told The Scotsman earlier this year. "It meant I could create this character in a completely different way.
See full article at Moviefone »

Scalps & Gore Galore In Behind-The-Scenes Maniac Video!

Franck Khalfoun & Alexandre Aja’s Maniac remake opens in limited theaters & VOD today (make it your Friday night fright!), and if you’ve been keeping up with our extensive coverage, you know it’s a must-see & prime contender for best horror film of the year.

IFC Midnight has released an extremely candid video that features over 20 mins worth of behind-the-scenes footage, detailing the films’ extensive practical makeup FX! All of the scalping & gore were made possible thanks to effects legends Knb & Mike McCarty, and it’s amazing to see how they pulled of Frank Zito’s gruesome handiwork. This video is quite spoilery, so fair warning for those who have no yet seen the film. So go rent Maniac, enjoy the hell out of it, then come back and watch how they made movie magic!
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Review: 'Maniac' Remake Starring Elijah Wood

Of course Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, the dirtbag auteurs that turned Joe Dante's gleeful "Jaws" send up "Piranha" into "Piranha 3D," a hilarious, excessively violent screed about American over-indulgence, would spearhead a remake of 1980's "Maniac," a notoriously misogynistic Bill Lustig horror movie whose poster, featuring a man holding the bloody scalp of a young woman, still elicits cries of outrage. Most filmmakers would be too scared to approach the material; it practically glows it's so toxic. But when thinking about these two, who also turned Wes Craven's backwoods horror romp "The Hills Have Eyes" into an angry, gore-soaked metaphor for Bush-era American intervention and culpability, well, why the fuck wouldn't they, really? The original "Maniac," released during a fertile period for American serial killers and set in New York City (this was three years after the Son of Sam murders), concerned Frank Zito (played by the film's co-screenwriter,
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Five Remakes That Are Just as Good (If Not Better) Than the Original Versions!!

Most horror fans can agree with the opinion that most remakes that are thrown to the masses on a regular basis these days never quite have the same impact as the original versions. While a couple of decades ago, remakes seem to have had more focus and weren’t such a taboo thing for fans (John Carpenter’s The Thing and Chuck Russell’s The Blob are two example of remakes done brilliantly right). These days good remakes (or “re-imaginings” as the studios like to say) are harder to come by, for every dozen A Nightmare On Elm Street-class remakes (yikes) there is usually only one Let Me In (while not perfect, it was pretty fun).

I thought it’d be fun to choose a few of my favorite remakes and write a bit about each one and why they are either as good as or in rare case,
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Interview with Director Alexandre Aja on Adapting Joe Hill's 'Horns'

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Interview with Director Alexandre Aja on Adapting Joe Hill's 'Horns'
At the time you read this, you probably would have or are about to see Elijah Wood as deranged serial killer Frank Zito in the remake of William Lustig's 1980 cult slasher Maniac, Alexandre Aja's latest service to horror and his third outing as producer. Why didn't he direct, you ask? It seems that Aja has been expanding his horizons to pastures anew with dark supernatural love fable Horns, an adaptation of Joe Hill's acclaimed novel. With surprising casting in Daniel Radcliffe as Ignatius “Ig” Perrish - the vengeful, horn-headed lead and accompanied by fresh up and coming BAFTA winning British talent Juno Temple as his ill fated love interest, this is looking to be Alexandre Aja's most intriguing work yet. We managed to sit down with Alexandre amidst a very hectic schedule for a brief chat to get the skinny on his strange new project. FEARnet: For
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Exploitation Alley: Maniac(1980)!!

Holy moly, this Exploitation Alley article is long overdue, as it’s been a month since the last one (sorry!). In anticipation of Franck Khalfoun’s Maniac remake coming out next month, I thought that I would revisit the original 1980 film and spend some time on it. So hold onto your scalps, and watch out for crazy Frank Zito, because he just might blow your head’s time for Exploitation Alley!

Maniac follows Frank Zito, played brilliantly (and co-written) by the late Joe Spinell (Cruising, Rocky, The Godfather). Frank is an overweight, greasy looking guy who lives alone, and well…murders women (and sometimes men) and cuts the scalps off of said ladies to place on his mannequins, along with their wardrobe as well. Frank completely exudes a sketchy as hell demeanor but never quite takes it over the top, instead turns in a really subtle yet sometime erratic performance.
See full article at Icons of Fright »

Mondo Slices Rob’s Maniac Score Onto Vinyl!

Frank Khalfoun & Alexandre Aja’s modern redux of Frank Lustig’s sleaze capsule Maniac is majorly impressive, and what I believe to be one of the best slashers to emerge in quite some time. It’s enormously creepy thanks to Elijah Wood’s largely off screen-sympathetically schizo turn as Frank Zito, and features some tremendous gore courtesy of Knb!

The major thing to take away from the film is Rob’s moody synth score that really lingers with you, and feels authentically 80s. Before it’s June 21st limited theatrical release, Mondo wants to acquaint you with the score early with a limited edition vinyl of the soundtrack! First dibs will go to Texas Frightmare attendees, and the rest will be for sale over at Mondo’s official site. Jeff Proctor’s illustrated prints will also be on sale for con-goers, and will have a release on the site too.
See full article at Icons of Fright »

Maniac Review

When I saw Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead “remake” earlier this year, I couldn’t believe I was actually watching a horror remake. It was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale movement of churning out newer versions of old classics, with little success in the quality department of course. But I thought “surely this instance is a fluke, we couldn’t possibly have more than one good horror remake in the same year, right?” Then Franck Khalfoun came along, sternly pimp-slapped me across the face, and said “Matt, 2013 is the year of the horror remake,” and after watching his revamped version of Maniac (originally by William Lustig) – I absolutely, wholeheartedly f#cking agree.

Lustig’s original film was grimy, revolting, shock-and-awe horror with a slight voyeuristic twist – and Khalfoun keeps every essence of that description intact. Additionally though, Khalfoun’s film departs from Lustig’s straight-forward B-Movie,
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Our Favorite Practical Gore Effects Created by Tom Savini

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Our Favorite Practical Gore Effects Created by Tom Savini
Tom Savini is a make up effects legend and an original badass. He is responsible for making the demise of hundreds of fornicating teenagers look realistic as well as bringing all sorts of disfigured monsters to life. Tom Savini was in love with horror before it was en vogue to work in genre film. He has pulled off some of the most realistic looking and insanely difficult practical effects ever. In addition to being responsible for some of the most epic impalements, exploding heads, decapitations, and stab wounds, Savini also acts and runs a make up effects school for aspiring FX artists. As a “thank you” to one of the most respected men working in fright films today, we are paying tribute by highlighting ten of our favorite special effects created by the renowned make up artist himself.

Friday the 13th: Decapitation of Mrs. Voorhees

This scene stands out in my mind,
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