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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.
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. 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. Now experience MANIAC like you've never seen or heard it before!Extras:
Audio Commentary #1 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig and Co-Producer Andrew W. Garroni
Audio Commentary #2 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini, Editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Joe Spinell's Assistant Luke Walter
Anna and the Killer - Interview with Star Caroline Munro
The Death Dealer - Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini
Dark Notes - Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway
Maniac Men - Interview with Songwriters Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky
Mr. Robbie: Maniac 2 Promo Reel
'One Of The Darkest Films Of All Time... Required Viewing For Any Horror Fan!' --HorrorDVDs.com
'An Undiluted Expression Of Urban Horror... A Formidable New York Grunge Flick Through And Through!' --Cinepassion
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
some stickers on the cover but other than that it's in great shape!Published 1 day ago by wet brain
There are so many great slashers of the 1980's and Maniac is definitely one of several. This movie isn't just another awesome showcase of the great Tom "Sex Machine"... Read morePublished 1 month ago by TechnoMachinima1996
Such a dark and shocking look into the mind of a madman. Some of the best practical effects I've ever seen. Tom Savini shows why he is and always will be the master of gore. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Luke
I can not Believe Joe Spinell lived so close to me sad thing he passed away a truly excellent actor who like me just wanted to be happy and loved now about the movie I can not... Read morePublished 4 months ago by knightsurfer
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