6.5/10
13,635
201 user 167 critic

Maniac (1980)

Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
A psychotic man, 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:

William Lustig

Writers:

C.A. Rosenberg (screenplay), Joe Spinell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
5,000 ( 131)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Spinell ... Frank Zito
Caroline Munro ... Anna D'Antoni
Abigail Clayton Abigail Clayton ... Rita (as Gail Lawrence)
Kelly Piper ... Nurse
Rita Montone ... Hooker
Tom Savini ... Disco Boy
Hyla Marrow Hyla Marrow ... Disco Girl
James L. Brewster ... Beach Boy (as James Brewster)
Linda Lee Walter Linda Lee Walter ... Beach Girl
Tracie Evans Tracie Evans ... Street Hooker
Sharon Mitchell ... Second Nurse
Carol Henry Carol Henry ... Deadbeat
Nelia Bacmeister Nelia Bacmeister ... Carmen Zito
Louis Jawitz Louis Jawitz ... Art Director
Denise Spagnuolo Denise Spagnuolo ... Denise
Learn more

More Like This 

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
Maniac Cop (1988)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A killer dressed in a police uniform begins murdering innocent people on the streets of New York City.

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon
Brain Damage (1988)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

One morning, a young man wakes to find that a small, disgusting creature has attached itself to the base of his brain stem. The creature gives him a euphoric state of happiness but demands human victims in return.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry
Pieces (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The co-eds of a Boston college campus are targeted by a mysterious killer who is creating a human jigsaw puzzle from their body parts.

Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Stars: Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña
The Burning (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
The Prowler (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An unknown killer, clad in 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 6.3/10 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
Chopping Mall (1986)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A group of young shopping mall employees stay behind for a late night party in one of the stores. When the mall goes on lock-down before they can get out, the robot security system malfunctions, and goes on a killing spree.

Director: Jim Wynorski
Stars: Kelli Maroney, Tony O'Dell, Russell Todd
Tourist Trap (1979)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A group of young friends stranded at a secluded roadside museum are stalked by a masked assailant who uses his telekenetic powers to control the attraction's mannequins.

Director: David Schmoeller
Stars: Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness
Zombie (1979)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately seeks the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Sardu, master of the Theatre of the Macabre, and his assistant Ralphus run a show in which, under the guise of 'magic', they torture and murder people in front of their audience. But what the spectators see as a trick is actually real.

Director: Joel M. Reed
Stars: Seamus O'Brien, Viju Krem, Niles McMaster
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 evening.

Director: Amy Holden Jones
Stars: Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella
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:

Run from this man! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes in Frank Zito's tiny apartment were inspired by the Swedish thriller Man on the Roof (1976) with the claustrophobic setting and the quiet and suttle tone with the sounds of a dripping faucet, a ticking clock, and occasional sound of traffic from outside. The color and crude decor of the apartment and other sets were inspired from the color-theme sets of Italian horror thrillers such as Deep Red (1975), Suspiria (1977), Blood and Black Lace (1964) and several others. See more »

Goofs

The photo that Anna is developing - of Frank accidentally running into a little girl on a bike - is not the same as the distance she was from, when she first took it. See more »

Quotes

Frank Zito: How come all your models are women?
Anna D'Antoni: Well, it's just something I'm interested in, as a woman. In fact, this is my fourth series. It's called "Women Form". Not very original is it?
Frank Zito: Well, it's not the title that matters that much.
Anna D'Antoni: No, I guess not.
Frank Zito: Do you get to keep them all?
Anna D'Antoni: I'm hoping to sell them.
Frank Zito: I wouldn't. I'd keep them forever.
Anna D'Antoni: But why? Part of my profession is to sell photographs. It's not all for art's sake you know.
Frank Zito: I know, but why do you take pictures of women this way?
Anna D'Antoni: I like to make them look ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Finnish and Swedish VHS versions is cut with 3 minutes, it's missing the throat slit in the beginning, several scenes where Joe Spinell cuts the dead womens' forehead, Disco Boy's (Tom Savini) head exploding when Spinell shoots it with a shotgun (along with blood spreading to Disco Boy's date), a knife through the body in the ladies room, and of course the final massacre where the wax dolls butcher Spinell (rips his hands, guts, and finally his head off). The cuts have been made in a substitution technique, that when the "shock" scenes start, the frame stops to a freeze-frame, and we can hear the soundtrack going on (this is that the soundtrack wouldn't have to be cut). See more »

Connections

References While the City Sleeps (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Non gettarmi la sabbia negli occhi
Written by Leo Chiosso/Gigi Cichellero
Performed by Gino Bramieri
See more »

User Reviews

 
A vicious little gem
15 February 2013 | by jackthehackSee all my reviews

Maniac is a hard movie to like. It's ugly, brutal, grimy, slow paced and has scenes which make you feel really dirty. But it has the "B-movie" feel which helps a lot. The gritty realism given by director William Lustig(Maniac Cop) is effective. Tom Savini's gore is perfect and as realistic as it could get. But the star of the movie is Joe Spinell(RIP) who wrote this movie and played the "hero", Frank.

Frank is an amazingly damaged individual. He is a vicious, remorseless killer but apparently has the emotional maturity of a child. Joe Spinell must have gone into some really dark and disturbing area for researching this role because it's a fantastic performance. I daresay, it's Oscar worthy. But because of the low-budget nature of the film and the fact that there was too much gore, Spinell didn't even get a Golden Globe Nod.

It's so uncomfortable to watch Frank's horrible apartment and his pathetic living that it's a welcome sight to see beautiful, sweet Caroline Munro. The film has a remarkable scene(apart from the exploding head scene) where a nurse is stalked in a subway station. It's a masterpiece of escalating suspense and tension. The conclusion is foregone but the way the conclusion is reached is fantastic.

Ultimately, the movie is not perfect with some dull, repetitive scenes and unnecessary scenes which are obvious padding. But there is one perfect thing about this movie and it is Joe Spinell. Do watch it if you like Grindhouse-style movies and like your horror "in-your-face".


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 201 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maniac See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed