Maniac

Shot on location in New York City, MANIAC is the sleazy embodiment of everything that was wrong with the ultraviolent slasher movies of the early 1980s. Spinell is a deeply disturbed loner who vents his rage on beautiful young women. He stalks his victims, murders their male companions (one of whom is played by special-effects man Tom Savini), and then...read more

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Shot on location in New York City, MANIAC is the sleazy embodiment of everything that was wrong with the ultraviolent slasher movies of the early 1980s. Spinell is a deeply disturbed loner who vents his rage on beautiful young women. He stalks his victims, murders their male companions (one

of whom is played by special-effects man Tom Savini), and then scalps the women, nailing their hair on mannequins in his apartment. After the murders Spinell cries himself to sleep surrounded by the mannequins he considers his friends. In a rather incongruous subplot Spinell also romances a

beautiful young fashion photographer, Munro. In the end the mannequins come to life and tear Spinell limb from limb. MANIAC was made by a group of former pornographers and looks like it, with hardcore gore substituted for hardcore sex. Mindless, misogynist, and trashy, MANIAC`s only redeeming

value is the excellent effects work by Savini--who later disavowed the film--though director William Lustig lingers on the nauseating stuff so long that it becomes unforgivably perverse, even to the most enthusiastic gore fans. The film leaves the viewer feeling violated and ashamed. Avoid.

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