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Maniac (1980)

 -  Crime | Drama | Horror  -  6 March 1981 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 8,750 users  
Reviews: 171 user | 124 critic

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?

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Maniac (1980)

Maniac (1980) on IMDb 6.5/10

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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 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:

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

The film served as an inspiration for the hit song "Maniac", written by Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky. The original lyrics described a maniacal serial killer who would "kill you cat and nail him to the door". The lyrics were ultimately changed to tell the story of a small town girl dancing like she's never danced before, and the song was used in Flashdance (1983). See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 Lady Stay Dead (1981) 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

 
Excellent Exploit/Slasher...
27 September 2003 | by (St. John's Abortion Clinic) – See all my reviews

Gave this one a watch after not having seen it in a few years - and it still remains probably my favorite psycho/slasher-style film. There's a good balance of "atmosphere" with the brutal violence that makes MANIAC a twisted "classic"...

Frank is a messed-up guy that has a big mommy-fetish. He goes around stabbing and scalping local New York girls to provide "wigs" for the mannequins that he lays around his apartment and talks to. He handles himself pretty well socially when he's not stabbing people and even goes on a few dates with one broad, that is...until he tries to choke her. Finally, Frank's delusions get the better of him...

MANIAC is a rare film amongst the typical 80's slasher trash, as you actually get a look into his (warped) mind. Some of the scenes of him talking to his mannequins are straight-up creepy, and the way that he is shown to sometimes be a very pleasant guy is in strong conflict with his twisted tendencies, which is a refreshing way to write his character. There's a good bit of the red stuff for the gore-heads out there, including: several stabbings, a couple of scalpings, a gory dream sequence where Franks arm is chopped off and his head is pulled off, and of course, the "infamous" shotgun-head-blast. The level of violence plus a little nudity (including a bit of brief full-frontal) makes MANIAC an excellent choice for sleaze, gore, and exploit fans. Definitely Recommended - 9/10


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