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237 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Frank Zito (a career performance by co-writer/co-executive producer Joe Spinell of ROCKY and THE GODFATHER fame) is a deeply disturbed man, haunted by the traumas of unspeakable childhood abuse. And when these horrific memories begin to scream inside his mind, Frank prowls the seedy streets of New York City to stalk and slaughter innocent young women. Now Frank has begun a relationship with a beautiful photographer (Caroline Munro of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME), yet his vile compulsions remain. These are the atrocities of a human monster. This is the story of a MANIAC.

Experience MANIAC like you've never seen or heard it before. Directed by William Lustig (MANIAC COP, VIGILANTE) and featuring landmark gore effects by Tom Savini (DAWN OF THE DEAD, FRIDAY THE 13th), this notorious classic was censored all over the world for its graphic violence and remains banned in England and Germany to this day. But MANIAC is more than just one of the most relentlessly depraved films of our time; it is quite possibly one of the most disturbing horror movies ever made.


"One Of The Darkest Films Of All Time... Required Viewing For Any Horror Fan!" --

"One Of The Darkest Films Of All Time...Required Viewing For Any Horror Fan!" --

"Some Of The Most Unprecedented, Graphically Detailed Depictions Of Violence Ever Put Before A Viewing Audience!" -- Rue Morgue

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini, Editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Joe Spinell's Assistant Luke Walter
  • Radio Interview with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig and Stars Joe Spinell & Caroline Munro
  • The Joe Spinell Story
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • Gallery Of Outrage
  • Talent Bios

Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Gail Lawrence, Tom Savini, Kelly Piper
  • Directors: William Lustig
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (Dolby Digital 6.1 EX), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: January 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JU7JIW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,056 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Maniac" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 2001
Format: DVD
There are a number of people who find this film to be nothing more than a pointless and unnecessarily gruesome study in pathological and psychotic behaviour. I cannot agree with this opinion.
Although a very tough experience, the viewing of this film reveals in some depth the tortured mind of a pathetic Vietnam veteran (also a victim of child abuse) who is driven by his inner demons to slaughter various women in NYC in a psychotic attempt to revive the spirit of his dead mother.
It is a profoundly disturbing film.
Joe Spinell gives a remarkable performance as the demented killer. His verbal ramblings are profoundly unnerving. (Not to mention the hideous murders.) He manages to demonstrate the de-personalized actions of an insane "maniac" all too convincingly.
The direction is very good as well. Some very fine camera work.
It is interesting to note the incorporation of some themes of Mario Bava's "giallo" thrillers in this film. For example, consider the "dollhouse" effect of the main protaganist's grotesque apartment and compare this to the secret "bridal room" in Bava's HATCHET FOR A HONEYMOON. (Lustig and Spinell apparently enjoyed watching "banned" foreign horror movies in the old "grindhouse" cinemas on 42nd.)
The print offered by the new ANCHOR BAY DVD is an improvement over that of the old ELITE version. The colours are sharper and the night exterior scenes (notably that concerning the gruesome murder of the Tom Savani character and his "date") are not as murky.
Some good extras as well.
As a horror film, MANIAC comes close to being a masterpiece.
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58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Amy Lynn VINE VOICE on October 17, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Im not easily shocked or impressed with most horror films. Very few come to mind where it disturbs me or has a realistic feeling to it. This is definetly a film that will leave you thinking/- The main reason being the main character Frank Zito aka Joe Spinell plays the most realistic psycho/deranged person ive ever seen on film. The whole time i was thinking is this guy really insane? Either this guy is a genius actor or hes really nuts. Thats how real he is in this role. His presance will creep you out. Hes the biggest weirdo Ive ever seen on film. Hes worse than any monster, supernatural being, horror villain because hes so real and gritty. You dont want to think about it but you know that somewhere out there- people like this exist...

The story focuses on frank the serial killer and his killings and insanity. He calmly stalks his pray through the streets of NYC. I dont know how he manages to fool some of the people in this film but he does. They treat him like a normal guy until he trys to kill them when they least expect it.

Some of the scenes are grusome, but they will keep you on the edge of your seat. You will be able to put yourself in both franks shoes and feel the victims terror as she is stalked and hides from Frank... Especially the subway bathroom scene. Thats an intense scene. Frank keeps on killing till the end when his own demons finally come back to haunt him.

Any horror fan should have this in their collection. I can see why it was banned in germany and england. They were probably scared of it, considering how realistic it was.

As for this film shocking me- it did somewhat- for the realism. and the acting did impress me.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
If unrelenting scenes of carnage, compliments of a psychotic sexual deviant is your cup of tea, then this movie is for you. The late Joe Spinell does an excellent job as our deeply disturbed title character, and the special FX are convincing even by today's standards. The shotgun scene left me speechless and is a MUST for all lovers of blood & gore. The ending was kind of strange, But unlike Jason or Freddie, there are actually people like this out there. This movie ranks in the top 5 most gorriest films I've seen. And as with all movies I recommend, Make sure you have the widescreen, unedited director's cut or you will miss some scenes.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TheHillsHaveEyes13 on February 27, 2003
Format: DVD
Finally at long last Joe Spinnel's clasic tale of a deranged serial killer has finally been released in a worthy form.
Being that many movies have used this title I must explain that this one is not only the real deal but the most vile of the pack. It is a extremely creepy low budget gore flick with absoloutely no moral perspective, So much so that even its own makeup artist wanted to be removed from its credits. Tom Savini, who would later become famous for his award winning FX as well as acting and directing many later horror films, Brings to the table some of the most realistic FX in his career and is one of the many highlights in this classic horror film.
Like it is in many real life serial killer cases, we have the late Joe Spinnel, who potrays the serial killer Frank Zito, a loner with no social grace or personality. Frank is severely mentally disturbed as a result of the emotional and physical abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his prostitute mother. The murder scenes in this movie are extremely cruel and graphic in nature so I must warn you that this film is defenitely not for everybody.
Most casual horror fans tend to wretch at this film and see it as nothing more than a seedy slasher flick that has a very anti-woman message, but in my opinion it is much more than that. It is a potrayal of one of society's worst monsters, monsters who often walk around our every day world going unnoticed.
So in conclusion, if you are a die-hard horror fan and love gruesome effects, then I highly suggest you purchase this dvd. Out of all the DVD's that Anchor Bay has released, this would have to be the cream of the crop, boasting a plethora of special features, and a heartfelt tribute to the late Joe Spinnel.
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Horror Films
Halloween (1978)
Night of the Living Dead (original)
The Exorcist
Jan 3, 2011 by The Baron |  See all 3 posts
Which horror movie scared you the most?
Batman & Robin. JK. Probably Psycho.
Jul 1, 2013 by constant reader |  See all 2 posts
horror movies
The Excorcist. Sorry for the late reply, Sandra :-)
Nov 11, 2011 by Ahmad |  See all 2 posts
any "Maniac" fans out there??
I love MANIAC! One of the best 80's slasher flicks!
Nov 26, 2008 by J. Simchak |  See all 14 posts
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