Release Date: 1980
Director: William Lustig
MPAA Rating: R
A man that was deranged by abuse throughout his childhood now enjoys the hobby of killing and scalping beautiful women.
The movie was written by its lead actor Joe Spinell, and also stars Caroline Munro as Anne.
Watching "Maniac," I was blown away by the storyline, Spinell's performance, and the gore effects by the master Tom Savini. The movie captured a realism that was the main ingredient of why it is an extremely terrifying film. The character of Frank Zito is one that is as disturbed as Travis in "Taxi Driver," but we only gradually learn why he is so messed up. He is a character that could absolutely exist in the real world, and just thinking that someone so sadistic could lurk around the streets of Earth is horrifying. What really brings out the depth in his character is the fact that he gets extremely upset after every time he kills. This shows that he is truly a maniac, like the title suggests, because he knows what he is doing is wrong, but he is never going to stop. Back to Savini's effects though. There have been many projects that he has impressed me with, whether it was "Dawn of the Dead," "Creepshow," "The Burning," etc, but this one may have taken the cake for me. The blood and gore looked disgustingly real to me, and there were multiple scenes that had me cringing. There was one scene that almost made my head explode(pun intended). If there's anything that this movie will be remembered for in a hundred years, it will definitely be Savini's contributions. The one other thing that I loved about the movie was the suspense that graced many scenes of the film. Lustig was very smart in the way that he made any scenes of horror very slow and unpredictable, because even though the audience could guess that something bad was about to happen, it was very hard to track down when it was going to happen. This personally kept me on the edge of my seat frequently, which is what I love about horror movies. The main flaw with the film is that there were plot holes that had me wishing for more. For instance, where was Frank getting all of these mannequins? Other than that, this movie was pretty great in my eyes, and is one of the better in the slasher genre.
"Maniac" is a movie that stands the test of time, because it doesn't hold back at all, and gives a realistic look of a seriously disturbed man. I definitely recommend this to any fans of the horror genre, but it is definitely not for anyone with a weak stomach.
B-Movie Grade: 8/10