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Maniac (1980)

 -  Crime | Drama | Horror  -  6 March 1981 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 8,278 users  
Reviews: 167 user | 122 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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Title: Maniac (1980)

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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:

Run from this man! 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

Body count: 7.(not counting Frank Zito) See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[looks down at his latest victim]
Frank Zito: Now you tell me what I should do. I heard about it, I always do. I can't go out for a minute. It's impossible. Fancy girls, in their fancy dresses and lipstick, laughing and dancing. Should you stop them? I can't stop them. But you do, don't you? And they can't laugh and they can't dance anymore. You've got to stop, or they'll take you away from me. I will never, ever, let them take you away from me. You're mine now forever. And, I'm so happy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Giallo a Venezia (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Winter Love
Written by Don Armando
Performed by Don Armando's 2nd Avenue Rhumba Band
Courtesy of ZE Records
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!


19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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