Maniac (1980) – Review, Rating and Synopsis

Maniac (1980)

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  • Release Date:  1980
  • Genre:  Slasher
  • Director:  William Lustig
  • Screenwriter:  C.A. Rosenberg, Joe Spinell
  • Cast & Crew: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton, Kelly Piper, Rita Montone, Tom Savini, Hyla Marrow, James L. Brewster, Linda Lee Walter, Tracie Evans, Sharon Mitchell, Carol Henry, Nelia Bacmeister, Louis Jawitz, and Denise Spagnuolo.

Maniac (1980) Rating:

  • Dylan = 8 / 10;
  • Eloise = 5 / 10;
  • Raoul = 7 / 10;
  • IMDB = 6.5/10;
  • Rotten Tomatoes = 5.8/10.

Maniac (1980) Synopsis:

A schizophrenic maniac goes around killing women before scalping them to use their hair for his sexual fantasies.

Maniac (1980) Review:

Similar to other classics from the same period such as Beyond the Darkness or AntropophagusManiac is an extremely dark, graphics and disturbing movie. Director William Lustig did not hesitate in showing everything here, most of the time in close-ups, and thanks to great special effects from Tom Savini, the result is incredible.

Whereas the story is weird but not extraordinary, the movie stands out because of how oppressive and atmospheric it is. It is a very sexual movie, but not a sexy one… it is just very dirty and disturbing. In so many ways, it reminded me of Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer.

To compare with the 2012’s remake, I think that the psychological dimension is less developed in the original movie, but the atmosphere is much more disturbing, especially because of the extremely scary performance of Joe Spinell (who co-wrote the movie)  as the main character. He is a reason alone to watch that movie, even for those who’ve already seen the remake.

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