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Maniac (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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Maniac -- Frank Zito is a deeply disturbed man, haunted by the traumas of unspeakable childhood abuse. And when these horrific memories begin to scream inside his mind, Frank prowls the seedy streets of New York City to stalk and slaughter innocent young women.
Maniac -- A schizoid, serial killer randomly stalks and kills various young women in New York which he sees as revenge for the mistreatment he got while being raised by his own abusive mother.


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6.5/10   9,585 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
C.A. Rosenberg (screenplay) and
Joe Spinell (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Maniac on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 March 1981 (USA) See more »
Run from this man! See more »
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? Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
An interesting Flick See more (175 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Joe Spinell ... Frank Zito

Caroline Munro ... Anna D'Antoni
Abigail Clayton ... Rita (as Gail Lawrence)
Kelly Piper ... Nurse
Rita Montone ... Hooker

Tom Savini ... Disco Boy
Hyla Marrow ... Disco Girl

James L. Brewster ... Beach Boy (as James Brewster)
Linda Lee Walter ... Beach Girl
Tracie Evans ... Street Hooker

Sharon Mitchell ... Second Nurse
Carol Henry ... Deadbeat
Nelia Bacmeister ... Carmen Zito
Louis Jawitz ... Art Director
Denise Spagnuolo ... Denise
Billy Spagnuolo ... Billy

Frank Pesce ... T.V. Reporter (voice)
Candace Clements ... First Park Mother
Diane Spagnuolo ... Second Park Mother
Kim Hudson ... Lobby Hooker
Terry Gagnon ... Woman in Alley
Joan Baldwin ... First Model
Jeni Paz ... Second Model
Janelle Winston ... Waitress
Randy Jurgensen ... First Cop
Jimmy Aurichio ... Second Cop
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrew W. Garroni ... Jerry (uncredited)
William Lustig ... Al - Hotel Manager (uncredited)

Directed by
William Lustig 
Writing credits
C.A. Rosenberg (screenplay) and
Joe Spinell (screenplay)

Joe Spinell (story)

Produced by
Andrew W. Garroni .... producer (as Andrew Garroni)
Judd Hamilton .... executive producer
William Lustig .... producer
John Packard .... associate producer
Joe Spinell .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jay Chattaway 
Cinematography by
Robert Lindsay (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Larry Marinelli  (as Lorenzo Marinelli)
Makeup Department
Candace Clements .... makeup artist
Tom Savini .... special makeup and effects
Rob Bottin .... makeup effects (uncredited)
Production Management
Andrew W. Garroni .... unit production manager (as Andrew Garroni)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Adams III .... second assistant director
Stephen Andrew .... first assistant director
Nelia Bacmeister .... second assistant director
Art Department
Richard Behrens .... carpenter
Thomas Costabile .... carpenter (as Tom Costabile)
Gary Martin .... property master
Marla Schweppe .... scenic artist
Nick Ward .... property master
Sound Department
Rick Dior .... re-recording mixer: Trans Audio
Clinton C. Elliot .... assistant sound editor (as Clint Elliott)
Sanford Rackow .... sound effects (as Sandy Rackow)
Gary Rich .... sound mixer
George Schowerer .... dolby consultant
Erno Sephy .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Canatta .... assistant camera (as James Cannata)
Robert K. Feldmann .... key grip (as Robert Feldman)
Bob Halloran .... best boy
Steven Hirsch .... still photographer (as Steve Hirsch)
Kevin Jones .... gaffer
Robert Lindsay .... camera operator
Luke Walter .... second assistant camera
Bobbi Leigh Zito .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Candace Clements .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
James Proser .... assistant editor
Irving Rathner .... negative cutter
Music Department
Ron Bacchiocchi .... music engineer
Pete Levin .... electronic music realizations (as Peter Levin)
Transportation Department
Ted Moskowitz .... transportation
Other crew
Arthur Blum .... production assistant
Jim Harte .... production assistant
Janie Heath .... production assistant
Randy Jurgensen .... production liaison
Deborah Ledendecker .... script supervisor
Laura Little .... production office coordinator
Jason Lustig .... production assistant
Edward Perchaluk .... unit publicist
Janine Stover .... script supervisor
Jerry Sykes .... production assistant
Cecilia Verardi .... production office coordinator (as Cindie Verardi)
Luke Walter .... assistant: Mr. Spinell
Debi Zimmerman .... production coordinator (as Debra Zimmerman)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:X (original rating) | Argentina:18 (re-rating) | Australia:(Banned) (original rating) | Australia:R (uncut) (2004) | Australia:R (cut) (1982-2004) | Canada:16+ (Quebec) | Canada:18+ (Quebec) (Original rating) | Canada:18A (Alberta) (re-rating) (2013) | Chile:18 (re-rating) | Chile:(Banned) (original rating) (1981-2002) | Finland:(Banned) | Finland:K-18 (DVD rating) (uncut) | Finland:K-16 (heavily cut) (1989) | France:16 | France:18 | Germany:(Banned) | Italy:VM18 | Italy:VM14 (video rating) | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:18 | Portugal:M/18 | Sweden:15 | UK:(Banned) (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) (cut) | USA:R | West Germany:(Banned) | West Germany:18 (cut)

Did You Know?

The opening scene on the beach was inspired by the opening scene from Jaws (1975) from the point-of-view of the stalking shark.See more »
Continuity: The nurse is supposedly alone in the subway station, but during one shot (from inside the subway train as it pulls away) we can see several people walking about on the platform; they all disappear in the next shot.See more »
[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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Freak Out (2003)See more »
Non gettarmi la sabbia negli occhiSee more »


What are the differences between the Director's Cut and the Uncensored Version?
See more »
29 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
An interesting Flick, 16 August 2006
Author: CMRKeyboadist from Sleesburg, VA.

Maniac is one of those hard to define flicks. Although, it would seem easy to lump this into one category because of the subject matter, this is actually a hard movie to categorize. It is not really a horror film and not really a slasher. Sure, it has its typical slasher suspense scenes with the random girl running and hiding from the killer and the gory moments are all there, but, there is something about this movie that separates itself from most of the others of its genre. This, in my opinion, is typical of Tom Savini special effects flicks from the early 80's. The grittiness, disturbing nature of most of those films will never be duplicated. And I am not talking about flicks like "Creepshow" or "Day of the Dead" (although, that one is disturbing), I am talking about films like "Friday the 13th", "The Prowler", "The Burning", and "Nightmare in a Damaged Brain" (even though Savini said he never worked on that flick it certainly looks like his style).

Maniac is simply about a man named Frank (played very well by actor Joe Spinell) who was tormented by his mother when he was very young. As a result of this, he grew up to be a sick person who murders woman, scalps them, and uses their hair to nail on to a collection of mannequins. He ends up falling in love with a woman named Anna (Caroline Munro), and when he sees her he seems to be a normal fellow. This all leads up to an interesting climax.

Now, the storyline is rather simple but the movie is suspenseful enough to hold your interest. I will admit, the first 40 minutes were a bit slow, but once when the story starts going more into Franks behavior when he is by himself and then when he acts towards Anna, things start picking up.

Of course, Savini's gore scenes are excellent just like the rest of his stuff. We get to see Savini in the movie himself in a rather famous scene where he gets his brains splattered all over the inside of a car. Though, as a gore fan myself, this is definitely not the goriest flick I have seen. But after listening to the cast and director talk about the movie, I don't think it was meant to be. Joe Spinell himself said that the flick wasn't as violent as a Hershell Gordan Lewis film but was meant to be more realistic and shocking. So, when watching this movie it is important to know this instead of going into the movie expecting a real gore-fest.

I enjoyed this movie, but that is just me. Many people don't like this movie, but if you haven't seen it yet this is for you to decide. I just hope this review helps out. 7/10

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