View Full Version : Maniac

06-21-2001, 02:25 AM
This is a very gritty and disturbing film. It is one of my favorites. The infamous head explosion scene is amazing. All the gore is great and Frank comes across as a truly sick individual. This is definitely one of William Lustig's best films. I plan on getting the upcoming Anchor Bay rerelease. What do you all think of this film?

06-21-2001, 03:41 PM
I agree. Maniac is a great film. Tom Savini's FX work in the film is truly outstanding. I am also looking forward to the Anchor Bay re-release myself.

Werner Von Wallenrod
06-21-2001, 04:31 PM
Is the Anchor Bay release going to feature all the stuff from the Elite special edition? 'Cause the audio commentary and "sequel footage" were almost more essential than the actual film.

Mark Relford
06-22-2001, 07:15 AM
I love Maniac! (Spinell's superb performance, Savini's excellent effects, the set design of Frank's apartment, Chattaway's memorable score, etc.)
This film stays with you for a long time.

DVD Connoisseur
06-23-2001, 09:08 PM
The scene in the train station is genuinely frightening....the suspense is painful. This is a well crafted movie and not "just another gore flick." Highly recommended - I own the Elite LD but will be purchasing AB's limited edition as soon as it hits the shelves.

06-23-2001, 10:35 PM
I've seen this movie on shelves forever, but I haven't seen it yet. It looks like a film right up my alley, but I am going to wait for the DVD, as I am sure that beat up VHS at my local video store would be hardly watchable.

What kind of extras do they have planned for the SE DVD?

Mark Relford
06-24-2001, 07:07 AM
According to the folks at DVD Maniacs, AB's Maniac will have Elite's commentary, trailers, TV spots, production notes, a new one hour documentary on Spinell, and poster & stills gallery.
They didn't know if AB would include the deleted date scene or the Maniac 2 promo. (Here's hoping!)

06-24-2001, 07:41 AM
Sounds awesome, can't wait!

06-26-2001, 08:36 AM
Love the Maniac 2 promo.

Maniac is an excellent film. Lustig made a gem here. I like the Elite dvd, but will definitely pick up any disc AB puts out of it.

06-26-2001, 09:35 PM
I haven't seen this one in about ten years, but I do remember it being quite gory and rather disturbing.

Of course I eagerly anticipate seeing it again on DVD!

06-28-2001, 05:28 AM
MANIAC is great--extremely misogynistic, but great. It's hard to believe Savini ever got down on one knee at a Fango convention and apologized for having worked on the film.

06-28-2001, 05:53 AM
Is that true? Can you let me know where you read that? I'm not doubting you, but that's something I'd definitely like to read about!

06-28-2001, 08:27 PM
It's been so long that I don't remember where I read it. I just remember when it happened. It was at a Fango con, I believe. He didn't disown it exactly, but he did get down on one knee and apologize for working on it. You can probably find articles on it on the 'Net.

DVD Connoisseur
06-28-2001, 08:58 PM
Yeah, I remember reading about that in the UK magazine Starburst in the '80s. Savini practically disowned the movie and wanted his name removing from the credits. I was gobsmacked that he actually changed his view of the film and recorded the audio commentary for the LD, etc.

The film features some of his best work and, IMHO, is nothing to be ashamed of. An underrated film and a slasher classic.

06-30-2001, 01:02 AM
According to the Anchor Bay web site the Limited Edition is only 5,000 copies. This looks to have everything the Elite dvd/ld had plus more. Mine's already pre-ordered

07-04-2001, 12:27 AM
Maybe you guys all know that already, but I'm bored and I wanted to share my knowledge of two languages with you ;-) :
William Lustig's last name means "funny". I think that's pretty funny when you watch MANIAC and the director's name is "funny".
Maybe it's also just stupid of me! I was bored, sorry!


07-11-2001, 02:02 PM
Anyone own the CD soundtrack? It was a multimedia deal, and when you played it on the computer you could watch the trailers, the date scene, and other bits of the movie. It was a very cool presentation.

07-24-2001, 08:00 AM
Well I couldn't hold out for the DVD, so I finally rented it, and I agree it is a very well crafted, intruiging and disturbing film. Spinell blew me away (har har) with his hauntingly tormented character. I love how the film focuses on the killer and his insanity, rather than his victims, very original. A perfect character study, it is a shame that Spinell passed before Maniac 2 could be finished. Now I really can't wait for the DVD!

09-04-2001, 02:45 AM
Heh, thought some of you may find this thread interesting. Feel free to chime in...
Go here,

09-05-2001, 05:28 AM
And justice is served. For you lazy types, the thread had a troll going on and on about why Maniac sucks. For each and every post, he had a reply, and never said anything much beyond that Maniac was a bad movie. He has officially now been spanked by the mods. I think we should organize a Horrordvds.com jackboot posse, to meat out punishment to posters on other boards who do not treat our beloved genre with respect. Did I just say that?

Controversial, no? LOL

(Yeah, I'm losin' it.)

09-06-2001, 12:40 AM
I have added to that forum since they killed the earlier thread a testimonial to Maniac. Enjoy:


09-06-2001, 12:46 AM
Haha....organize....HorrorDVDs......haha. Good one Hyde :D.

09-06-2001, 11:58 PM
Reading other threads bashing this great movie, I'd just like to get me two cents in and inform people of some VERY little known behind the scenes information that will help them piece together why Maniac is in my opinion the Citizen Kane of horror movies.

Why is the script so mesmerising? A silent rumor that has long floated through the inner circles of Hollywood is that Steven King actually wrote the screenplay of Maniac. This may shock many of his fans, but the record is he has NEVER denied this fact.

Maniac's productions values are extraordinary, could a first time producers like Joe Spinell actually create such a masterpiece? The answer is no, Joe actually had his close personal friend (and one of his biggest fans) Steven Spielburg produce Maniac. This may shock many of his fans, but the record is he has NEVER denied this fact either.

Maniac was the first film directed by William Lustig, is this just a accident that Lustig created a masterpiece on his first attempt? Clearly Mr. Lustig had assistance. It is a thinly veiled secret in the incestous place we call Hollywood, but William Friedkin is Bill Lustig's uncle by marriage. Throughout Lustig's life his Uncle Will has been his hero. William Friedkin was at Bill Lustig's side for advise and consent during the entire filming of Maniac. When confronted with this information Mr. Friedkin just winked and smiled.

Special Effects in Maniac were at the time some of the finest to ever grace the screen. Tom Savini had already established a reputation from Dawn of the Dead, but was he solely responsible for Maniac? No, working for Tom as a apprentice was a man who would later carve his own niche as a special effects wizard Stan Winston. Privately Stan calls the exploding head shot in Maniac as the turning point in his career and inspired him to carry on and later receive fame in "The Terminator". However in order to not steal the thunder from his mentor Savini, Winston does not iclude Maniac in his credits.

There have been many stories concerning the low budget Maniac was filmed for, some as low as $40,000 but even the IMDB lists the budget as $350,000. Actually the budget was closer to 25 million dollars, still a bargain when you look at the near hundred million this fim did domestically and internationally. The cost of mannequins alone was close to $40,000. Magnum Motion Pictures was Spielburg's first production company and would later become Dreamworks.

Joe Spinell's performance was capivating in Maniac, but was he the first choice for the role. It was confessed by a former girlfriend that Robert De Niro initally auditioned for the role, and for a while thought the part was his. The production team was so impressed in a pre-film reading where Spinell covered for a flu ridden De Niro that Spinell was given the role and De Niro sent packing. This same ex-girlfriend also confided that Robert had not been this disappointed since Spinell beat him out for the part in the first Godfather movie.

I hope this clears up many misconceptions about Maniac, it was not a low budget movie, the production values were done by some of the finest talent in Hollywood. Oscar recognition would have followed except for the fact that the participants did not want the entire truth about the filming to be exposed and possibly short circuit the blossoming careers of Lustig and Savini.

Maniac is a film that Directors such as Wells, Hitchcock or Bergman would have been proud of. Many of the facts I have listed are not local information except to the priveledged few. But more telling is that NONE have ever been publically denied.

09-07-2001, 04:04 PM
I'm with Fredo on this! :D

09-07-2001, 09:39 PM
Upon seeing Maniac for the first time with the recent DVD, I was, as I have mentioned, remarkably surprised by the quality.

So I'm willing to go along with the conspiracy theory on this one, too.


09-10-2001, 02:40 AM
I've regarded Maniac as one of the best American slashers of the seventies since the first time I saw it and never understood why some people who are horror fans are so repulsed by it. Hell, I just got my copy of Chas. Balun's 2001 New Gore Score and was stunned that his review called Maniac
"[a] reprehensible snuff film made by former pornographers; this relentlessly sleazy, misogynistic slasher even alienated the hardcore fans. No suspense or drama, just lots of greaseball "plot" and lingering scenes of torture and murder. Superior effects by Tom Savini, but he hated the completed film. The low point in a long, long season of low points."
I love Balun's reviews and essays and respect the shit out of his opinion, but he was way off on this one, uncharacteristically so.

curry eater
09-16-2001, 10:41 AM
"Anyone own the CD soundtrack? It was a multimedia deal, and when you played it on the computer you could watch the trailers, the date scene, and other bits of the movie. It was a very cool presentation."
If anyone can get hold of this then do it..the tech info is that it was relesaed by SouthEast Records SER289B05 which i believe is a company in Holland.
It contains the full soundtrack inc loads of samples and has an extensive cd rom supplement-hundreds of stills,trailers,weblinks,quick time movies and more .. the icing on the cake is that it is presented in a fold out(gatefold type)cd case with some fantastic pics on!!!..SUPERB!!

10-23-2001, 07:51 PM
I fuckin love this movie. Nothing beats Tom Savini's head exploding. And the fact that he filled it with shrimp (among other things)...pure genius.

10-24-2001, 04:54 PM
Maniac. Yep, when they talk about Cult movies - Maniac should be on that sweet list by golly.

Note to mgfred: please continue to post ... boy I don't remember the last post I read that was so much fun ... great stuff .. super.

If I may build on mgfred's great work, this is something that is only known among a specific inner circle but Stephen King (as a child) was there the night that Robert Kennedy was shot. I have it as a fact that a waiter witnessed King trying to trip Rosie Greer as he went to tackle Sirhan Sirhan. Unfortunately, this troubled fact does not end there. In King's latest book, the man that protects the future (without giving more away) is Sire Hangreer Rosi which is what you get when you combine the letters "Sirhan" with "Rosie Greer." It doesn't end there - King's book title is "Black House" with clear reference to the White House.

So where is the proof? I swear this is true, to this day, Stephen King has never denied tripping Rosie Greer or having done it on purpose.

Thanks for reading,


(with tongue firmly against cheek)

DVD Connoisseur
10-26-2001, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by ctyankee
Note to mgfred: please continue to post ... boy I don't remember the last post I read that was so much fun ... great stuff .. super.

Absolutely. Ten minutes after reading your post, I'm still grinning, mgfred!:D :D :D