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Maniac (1980)

 -  Crime | Drama | Horror  -  6 March 1981 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 8,227 users  
Reviews: 167 user | 121 critic

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in NYC, kills young women and takes their scalps as trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in photographer Anna, and end his killing spree?

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Spinell ...
...
Abigail Clayton ...
Rita (as Gail Lawrence)
Kelly Piper ...
Nurse
Rita Montone ...
Hooker
...
Disco Boy
Hyla Marrow ...
Disco Girl
...
Beach Boy (as James Brewster)
Linda Lee Walter ...
Beach Girl
Tracie Evans ...
Street Hooker
...
Second Nurse
Carol Henry ...
Nelia Bacmeister ...
Louis Jawitz ...
Art Director
Denise Spagnuolo ...
Denise
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Storyline

Frank misses his mother, who was killed in a car accident years before. She was abusive to him, and made money selling her body, but Frank still misses her. He tries to keep her from leaving him, and reform her evil ways, by killing young women and putting their scalps on mannequins which he displays around his apartment. Photographer Anna takes a picture of him in the park, and he pursues and befriends her. Is she the one he's been looking for or just another mommy wanna be? Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I warned you not to go out tonight See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maníaco  »

Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Lustig and Joe Spinell, say they didn't always have the necessary permits to film on location in New York City. Certain scenes (including the infamous shotgun through the windshield scene) had to have been filmed quickly and afterwards the crew had to run away before the cops arrived. See more »

Goofs

The nurse is supposedly alone in the subway station, but during one shot (from inside the subway train as it pulls away) we can see several people walking about on the platform. See more »

Quotes

Frank Zito: How come all your models are women?
Anna D'Antoni: Well, it's just something I'm interested in, as a woman. In fact, this is my fourth series. It's called "Women Form". Not very original is it?
Frank Zito: Well, it's not the title that matters that much.
Anna D'Antoni: No, I guess not.
Frank Zito: Do you get to keep them all?
Anna D'Antoni: I'm hoping to sell them.
Frank Zito: I wouldn't. I'd keep them forever.
Anna D'Antoni: But why? Part of my profession is to sell photographs. It's not all for art's sake you know.
Frank Zito: I know, but why do you take pictures of women this way?
Anna D'Antoni: I like to make ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Non gettarmi la sabbia negli occhi
Written by Matteo Chiosso (as Chiosso)/Gigi Cichellero (as Cichellero)
Performed by Gino Bramieri
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent make-up FX and claustrophobic atmosphere.
10 July 2002 | by (Ohio, USA) – See all my reviews

I'd like to applaud Tom Savini for his work here--MANIAC contains some of the most realistic and unrestrained gore FX I've seen. Anyone who says that horror film make-up men (and women) don't deserve to be called artists is an idiot. Here you get explicitly bloody multiple scalping, stabbings and strangulations, plus an excellent head-being-blown-off-with-shotgun murder and a man being ripped apart nightmare and it all looks pretty damn convincing to me.

Aside from the FX, director William Lustig does an OK job with color schemes (especially considering the budget), the seedy New York locales are well used and the film, I thought, was scary, disturbing, intense and suspenseful in parts (the subway sequence was especially well handled). Reliable character actor Joe Spinell (from TAXI DRIVER, THE GODFATHER, etc.) also offers an effective performance as the sweaty, overweight, emotionally-scarred killer.

On the down side, a plot would have been nice and it's unforgivable to waste talented British actress Caroline Munro on such a poorly scripted nothing role. Her beauty, charm and smile light up the screen and could have been better harnessed to counteract the ugliness on hand. Anyway, the film at least provokes some kind of reaction from it's audience. Seeing a few of my squeamish female friends appalled and horrified by the film made it well worth the watch to me!


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