Originally Posted by Chomp
Originally Posted by DVD-fanatic-9
And the critics hated the fucking thing.
No matter how hard this remake tries, it is IMPOSSIBLE for it to retain the level of depravity, sleaziness and moral decay the original portrays so well. Why?…because New York’s underbelly no longer exists. 42nd Street’s theatres now play “respectable” films and the porno shops and peep shows have been replaced by outside restaurants and coffee houses.
That particular time in New York was essential to the story telling of the original Maniac. IT'S THE MAIN REASON WHY MANIAC'S ATMOSPHERE IS GRITTY!
Boy am I getting tired of hearing people kiss this stupid fucking movie's ass. Like it's ugliness and stupidity actually make it high art somehow. You know, for all the claims that it's so "depraved, sleazy," and "decayed," shouldn't it be hard to watch as in: gut-wrenching and profoundly disturbing? In a way that gets through to the viewer? I actually watched the thing and I didn't budge an inch. You can't actually disturb smart viewers without intelligence and this movie didn't bother to try. They just got a slobby, "creepy" looking fat guy (all of these are much too easy to press buttons and play on / into superficial prejudices) and had him be as pathetic as possible. Then, to try to shake things up, they threw in some mind-numbingly pretentious dialogue about photography and played on some ridiculous fantasy he had about dating a hot babe and being some part of a classier crowd of people. Like I've always said: you can't just plop an idea down in rough form and have people who like it say it's well thought-out and executed. It was not. Lustig just shot stuff and said "look at it." The only craft here is with the gore effects. And you know what? Even they weren't that impressive.
However, Jay Chattaway's score was amazing.
Yes, this movie pissed me off. But that's because it's so backward and manipulative, it's not funny. Nobody would even be making an argument that it's such a significant artistic achievement if the character didn't have a fantasy life. "See, he has depth." But the movie only pulls this out when they don't have a gruesome enough image of a death, mutilation, etc(.) or they're trying to conserve one for later. The fantasy and the grostesque imagery don't mix until the end where you think the victims are enacting their revenge (this I was down for) and the movie not only tells us that was in his head but they pulled a "there'll be a sequel" bullshit by having him open his eyes. Gee, I'm glad all those women being spinelessly slaughtered was in service to a cheap gag rather than any kind of point. Does this movie do ANYTHING right? They start building up incredible tension with the nurse's chase scene and then they tell you exactly how it's going to end the second you see that mirror. Even in 1980, everyone knew the killer will always be seen in a mirror standing behind whoever's in front of it.
And then, another moment of tension with the blonde alone in her apartment. Ending with him on top of her in bed and... this scene might actually be the single worst thing in the film. We actually get a window into her terror, we are right there every second with her, we're following her attempt to bargain (I don't remember the exact dialogue but I do think she said something to the extent of "I'll do anything if you let me go") or reason with him. The movie's barely paying attention to a single thing he's saying or doing. The captivating element is her. Then she becomes quieter and he's making little noises. Then he kills her at the most random point in his retarded little blubber-dance over her (I'm actually referring as much to his mouth as I am his fat). Now, I know what you're going to try to say: "he's fucking crazy. What do you expect?" Well, if we know that and she doesn't, why the fucking hell is the movie now opening her up as a character? Even then, let me take a step back. My problem isn't with what they did with her. I think I can understand that. It's that, even then with her being so human, we have to sit through his pathetic flapping. Or, should I say, fapping since it really does feel like he's masturbating. He's not making a connection with her, relating to her. He's just quivering and whimpering. This guy hasn't been an interesting character so far- why the fuck do I want to see him metaphorically or symbolically jerking off? I DON'T!!
I feel like this movie is a big joke and Lustig wants to go: "HA! I fooled you. You people really will go for anything you can spin into looking like art just because it's dirty." That was happening a lot in the 70's / early 80's, any random movie that's dark, skanky, or takes place on the streets turning into a cult or cinematic-snob darling (Cruising, The Prowler, Death Wish- oh forget it, the list is endless and everyone knows it). And, like I've always said, you put Deranged and Eyes of Laura Mars together and you get this. However, why not just watch these far superior films instead?