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Michael_Elliott16 October 2010
100 Years of Horror: Maniacs (1996)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Another very good entry in the series. This time out we visit the various maniacs throughout film history and this includes films such as HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, HALLOWEEN, PEEPING TOM, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, DEMENTIA 13, MANIAC (both Esper and Lustig), Friday THE 13TH and 2000 MANIACS. The documentary covers even more films but the main thing is that we're dealing with messed up nuts and these have been very popular in the genre and especially in more recent years.

Once again if you're familiar with the genre then it's doubtful you're going to learn too much here. There's certainly nothing wrong with that since we're greeted with many great interviews including John Carpenter, Roger Corman, Hazel Court, Hugh Hefner, Donald Glut, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Fred Olen Ray, Jimmy Sangster and Caroline Munro. All of the interviews are nice but I do wonder why Munro was somewhat hard on MANIAC considering in other interviews she's very positive of it. Fans of the genre will certainly enjoy seeing the interviews but don't expect a full blown documentary on the subject as we're given just 22-minutes.
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Leofwine_draca11 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
100 YEARS OF HORROR is a 26-episode TV series made in 1996 and featuring the delightful Christopher Lee as host, his sonorous narration exploring the history of horror cinema in the 20th century. Each themed episode contains plentiful clips from the films mentioned along with brief interview footage seemingly culled from other documentaries as well as TV shows and the like.

MANIACS is a stand-out episode of the show as it covers psycho-killers in depth whereas most of the episode concentrate on classic and monster horror. There's a real wealth of clips used here to discuss all kinds of films, with gruesome footage illustrating the 1930s MANIAC and, even more surprisingly, the 1980 banned version with Joe Spinell. Along the way we get discussion of PEEPING TOM and LES DIABOLIQUES, although Hitchcock's PSYCHO is too expensive to get the rights for footage, thus it isn't discussed much. I particularly enjoyed Jimmy Sangster's thoughts on his career writing psycho-thrillers for Hammer.
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