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Maniac [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder
  • Directors: Franck Khalfoun
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 15, 2013
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DPUB57Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,542 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Frank (Elijah Wood, The Lord of the Rings) leads a deceptively peaceful life: to the outside world, he s a withdrawn and somewhat eccentric owner of a mannequin store. But his quiet façade masks an inner rage that forces him to brutally kill the women who manage to get too close to him. When a young artist named Anna (Nora Arnezeder, Safe House) appears one day at Frank s shop and asks for his help with her new exhibition, Frank develops an obsession with her that threatens to completely destroy his already fragile psyche. Soon the streets become unsafe for any woman after dark as this newly-awakened maniac begins to stalk and kill. A 21st century Jack the Ripper story set in present day Los Angeles, MANIAC is an intimate, visually daring, psychologically complex and profoundly horrific trip into the downward spiraling nightmare of a killer and his victims.


Special Features: Making Of, Poster Gallery, Trailer

Customer Reviews

Just a really dumb movie.
Joel H.
As a huge fan of the Joe Spinell original, I have to say I was more than impressed with this retelling of one of the more unique horror films from the 80's.
milesaugust100
The way it is filmed in his perspective makes it even more intense and terrifying.
E.Most

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 26 people found the following review helpful By milesaugust100 on September 9, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
As a huge fan of the Joe Spinell original, I have to say I was more than impressed with this retelling of one of the more unique horror films from the 80's. I was more than skeptical about the POV style, and of any remakes lately, but Elijah Wood was fantastic as the tortured psychopath. The special effects were great, if you like some good, bloody slasher movie effects, and the overall mood was dark and brooding, the way a slasher film should be. Highly recommended for the old school horror fan.
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Format: Blu-ray
Certain movies speak to a specific time or place and the 1980 horror slasher "Maniac" is one of those films. William Lustig's bleak portrait of a serial killer capitalized on the birth of the home video market to offer an underground movie experience to audiences who didn't typically have access to non-mainstream cult movies. For its time, it became a bona fide sensation. I'd maintain that it isn't a particularly good movie (and I've probably seen it a half dozen times and own it), but it was startlingly effective as a new breed of shocker. The early eighties were a thrilling time for independent films! The VHS explosion opened up a whole new world and made monster hits out of movies that otherwise would not have been so impactful with lesser availability. "The Evil Dead," for example, is one of the era's most sweeping success stories. Part of the appeal of the original "Maniac" is that it is a visceral movie, one that puts the viewer right into the middle of some rather unpleasant events. This remake maintains a chilly aloofness and captures events from a bold "killer's eye" viewpoint, but it simply lacks the horrific novelty of its predecessor. With another 30+ years of movie brutality in the can, the story behind "Maniac" doesn't have the same effect as it once did.

Beyond this observation, though, I will refrain from any other comparisons and simply look at this new iteration of "Maniac" on its own terms. Elijah Wood plays the titular character and he is, indeed, unwell. Fans of Wood might embrace this change-of-pace endeavor, but it should be noted that he isn't actually seen very often despite being in every frame of the movie. The whole experience is done with a creepy Point of View perspective, meaning that we're seeing through Wood's eyes.
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Format: Blu-ray
The thoroughly unique feature of this film is that it's shot entirely from the first-person point of view of its cold-blooded protagonist. While many modern "found footage" horror films ape that perspective by having the viewer looking through a home video camera's lens, this movie uses an actual steadicam with legitimate lighting and media quality. So the shots are not constantly trembling in a faux vérité, but are gracefully executed like an actual film. When the viewer starts witnessing the killer's deranged hallucinations, the film becomes especially gripping. On this gimmick alone, I'm tempted to give the movie 5 stars, seeing as how it enlivens the entire experience to something special and different from almost every other movie ever made.

Otherwise, the movie is a solid "grand guignol" throwback film, which was more popular out of Europe in the '70s and '80s. Sprucing up the gory serial-killer story is a hodgepodge of psycho-sexual ideas. It's not fiendish enough to have just a murderer running around, but the movie also explores the dark motivations of his criminal behavior, including various sequences involving rape, torture and abuse too.

The film is not particularly scary nor deep, but that's not to say it's tame and stupid either. But I would say the film is must-watch for slasher fans as something entirely different from the usual fare.
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By Midway 47 on June 7, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alexandre Aja and his normal team always seem to do a great job with both original horror films and even remakes. This movie is no exception. As a fan of the original, I was worried when I first heard that this movie was being made but as soon as I heard who was making it, I relaxed. There's enough elements from the original to satisfy most fans and enough new elements to make it a good remake and not just a regurgitation of old material. Elijah Wood does a great job in the lead role, despite being a slightly different kind of character than in the original. More normal looking and smart, less obviously crazy and greasy. All the necessary insanity and hang-ups are still there in the character and the POV camera angle does wonders for the suspense of the film and makes you really feel like you are there, or even the man himself. The soundtrack is also marvelous and one of my favorite parts of the film. The filmmakers paid plenty of homage to the original in the score alone. Overall, unless you are an elitist when it comes to the original, you should enjoy this version. It's a great compliment to the original cult classic film. Few remakes of 80s slasher films are this good.
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Format: Blu-ray
This movie is by far one of the best horror films I have ever seen! Elijah Wood's performance is absolutely amazing! The way it is filmed in his perspective makes it even more intense and terrifying. It is definitely worth a watch for any horror fan or someone in need of a very well done film.
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