A psychopath, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Maniac (2012)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

As he helps a young artist with her upcoming exhibition, the owner of a mannequin shop's deadly, suppressed desires come to the surface.

Director: Franck Khalfoun
Stars: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, America Olivo
The Burning (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam
Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer
Maniac Cop (1988)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Innocent people are being brutally murdered on the streets of New York City by a uniformed police officer. As the death toll rises and City Hall attempts a cover-up, Frank McCrae heads the ... See full summary »

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon
The Prowler (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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.

Director: George Mihalka
Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck
Intruder (1989)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The overnight stock crew of a local supermarket find themselves being stalked and slashed by a mysterious maniac.

Director: Scott Spiegel
Stars: Elizabeth Cox, Renée Estevez, Dan Hicks
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Angela Baker, a traumatized and very shy young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. Shortly after her arrival, anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions gets their comeuppance.

Director: Robert Hiltzik
Stars: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields
The Beyond (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where after a series of supernatural 'accidents', she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A reporter and a psychic race to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from the grave.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A high school student's slumber party turns terrifying as an escaped mental patient with a drill decides to crash the party.

Director: Amy Holden Jones
Stars: Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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 ...
Deadbeat
Nelia Bacmeister ...
Louis Jawitz ...
Art Director
Denise Spagnuolo ...
Denise
Edit

Storyline

Frank Zito 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 D'Antoni takes a picture of him in the park, and he pursues and befriends her. Is she the one he has been looking for or just another mother wannabe? Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can lock your windows and doors...But you can't lock the madman out of your mind. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The dummy used for the exploding head scene had been used extensively by Tom Savini for effects in Dawn of the Dead (1978). After its use in this film, it was so saturated in fake blood and gore that it was decided to retire the dummy (which Tom had named "Boris"). According to Savini, the dummy was locked in the trunk of the car used in the shotgun scene and sunk in the East River. See more »

Goofs

The camera's shadow can be seen several times on some of the mannequins in the final scene. See more »

Quotes

Frank Zito: I told you not to go out tonight, didn't I? Every time you go out, this kind of thing happens.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vicky and Sam (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Compliment Your Leading Lady
Written by Don Armando/Coati Mundi (as Andy Hernandez)
Performed by Don Armando's 2nd Avenue Rhumba Band
Courtesy of ZE Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Classic slice of early 80s gore.
6 July 2006 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

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.


12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Any Movies Similliar to this?? xxmikeymashxx
Violence and Gore dominik_275
Maniac song rytsy
Ed Gein MRTRAMP
What horror film is this? Please help. cadeis-1
Maniac 2 mailcarlton
Discuss Maniac (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?