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In Hong Kong, Aunt Mei is a cook famous for her home-made rejuvenation dumplings, based on a millenarian recipe prepared with a mysterious ingredient that she brings directly from China. ... See full summary »
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 the prostitute is describing her services to Frank, she says "For 75, I'll take you around the world." But her mouth don't match what she's saying. See more »
I told you not to go out tonight didn't I? Every time you go out this kind of thing happens.
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Co-written by, and starring Joe Spinell, 'Maniac' is a grim, bloody and horrific journey into the world of a psychotic murderer. Spinell gives a bravura performance as Frank, a deeply disturbed individual haunted by childhood memories of his mistreatment at the hands of his mother.
As a result of his lousy upbringing, Frank is now a first-class loony tune; he slaughters women (although the occasional man gets in his way and ends up dead too) and removes their scalps, taking them home to place upon the mannequins that he keeps in his apartment.
When Frank has his picture taken in a park by photographer Anna (played by the gorgeous Caroline Munro), he tracks her down and almost manages to pass for normal for a while, wining and dining the sexy snapper and being quite charming. But it's not long before the real Frank emerges, and has a go at adding Anna to his long line of victims.
The direction by William Lustig, whilst not exceptional, does the job it was supposed to do; the film never drags and there are one or two edge-of-your-seat moments and a couple of nifty scares.
'Maniac's gory death sequences, by legendary horror make-up legend Tom Savini, are real showstoppers, and include ultra-realistic scalpings, amazing exploding heads and vicious bloody stabbings. The majority of Savini's work on the film is stunning, with only the final decapitation being less than perfect.
'Maniac' is a great example of low-budget 80s splatter and will appeal to all those who enjoy their horror down and dirty with buckets of gore.
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