A decades old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day, turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.
A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
Trapped in an isolated gas station by a voracious Splinter parasite that transforms its still living victims into deadly hosts, a young couple and an escaped convict must find a way to work together to survive this primal terror.
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 <email@example.com>
Joe Spinell was working in between the filming of Maniac (1980) with other movie projects, one of them being Nighthawks (1981) which began filming before production on Maniac ended, in which Spinell cut his hair short and shaved off his mustache to play a clean-cut, high-ranking New York police official for Nighthawks. In a few scenes (most of them being where Frank Zito is driving his car), Spinell is wearing a fake mustache with a long-haired wig under his cap. See more »
When Frank slits the woman's throat on the beach, the knife makes no contact with the throat, even though blood spurts forth from the wound. See more »
How come all your models are women?
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?
Well, it's not the title that matters that much.
No, I guess not.
Do you get to keep them all?
I'm hoping to sell them.
I wouldn't. I'd keep them forever.
But why? Part of my profession is to sell photographs. It's not all for art's sake you know.
I know, but why do you take pictures of women this way?
I like to make ...
[...] See more »
Maniac takes a path that few films dare, by allowing us to sympathize with the killer, and presenting him as the protagonist of the film. Indeed, for the first half hour, the film creates a shockingly claustrophobic scenario, in which Frank is the only real character in the film, and the others are all introduced to serve merely as his victims. This structure makes for some powerful viewing, because Frank's worldview is so claustrophobic and stifling that we almost literally feel his isolation weighing down upon us.
The film loses its power when it creates a semi-traditonal love interest for Frank. Inevitably, this opens up the film, by allowing us to assume a perspective other than Frank's at various times throughout the remainder of the film. Though this does come as a sort of emotional relief for the viewer, it also diminishes most of the tension that the stellar first half hour so completely creates.
Were it not for this cop-out, Maniac would be one of those rare films that, while being nearly unwatchably upsetting, is also a brilliantly moving film. Indeed, many of the camera angles used, as well as Spinell's terrific performance lend this film more credibility than it deserves.
In summary, the film starts out as emotionally raw and brutal as "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer", or "Peeping Tom", but about half way through the film it relents and becomes more generic slasher fare. All serious analysis aside, however, Savii's work on this film has to be seen to be believed. Gorehounds can't afford to miss it.
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