Anchor Bay, not long ago, released a wonderful widescreen DVD of NEON MANIACS. But you can also enjoy this on tape, because VHS copies are still floating around at used video stores. And perhaps an old VHS tape might be better for generating that 80's feeling...
This is the infamous low-budget horror flick from 1985 that boasts a gaggle of weird, oozing monsters--each with a different look and method of killing--who come out at night, ready for action. The movie takes place in San Francisco--and the monsters actually make their home under the Golden Gate Bridge (!). Sure, why not? It could happen.
The title monsters are NEVER referred to as "Neon Maniacs" by any of the characters. A narrator has a brief speech early on in the film and says something like "The children's path shall be darkened...by the SHADOWS of the...NEON MANIACS." (Yeah. Whatever.) But that's the only time you hear the term, and as a justification for the title, it's flimsy at best. AND, as noted by many, the monsters are NEVER explained in any way. At all!
Near the end of the film there is a climactic scene at a high school costume dance featuring an astounding "Battle of the 80's Bands" (one a Rick Springfield knockoff, the other a lame heavy metal group) that will have you squirming and your face contorting into various peculiar grimaces and scowls. Yow!
This is a time capsule film. You watch it to see what things looked like, what was going on twenty-odd (very odd) years ago. But please take care: What you see, you may find upsetting.
80's horror had its own very unique and pointless stamp, and this is one of the best examples of an endearingly BAD 80's horror film--just as THE BREAKFAST CLUB is one of the best examples of an endearingly good 80's teen film. That is to say, NEON MANIACS, despite how awful it is, is memorable. It gives you a strange warm happy feeling inside when you watch it. And when it's over, you think about it--chortle to yourself over it. You might even recommend it to your friends. And you know perfectly well that it's not a good movie at all! That it's one of the worst movies you've ever seen!! See it tonight! Yes, it's crap. Yes, it's fun.