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Old 11-07-2011, 11:21 PM   #16
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American cinema is so dead.
It really is.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:49 PM   #17
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Was never a fan of the original. People praise it to high heaven, but aside from Savini's effects work, I didn't think it was that great. I'm all for a remake, especially if Aja is involved.

Elijah Wood is an interesting choice. I know people see him as Frodo or the quirky guy, but he's done a lot more than that, and I think he might end up surprising everybody who doubts he can pull off a role like this.

Oh yeah, and saying American cinema is dead is kind of snobbish, don't you think? Makes it sound like the rest of the world is only putting out golden nuggets of celluloid, which is definitely not the case.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:52 PM   #18
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American cinema is so dead.
..and buried.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:45 AM   #19
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I like Elijah Wood, I don't see him as a Spinel, but he is a good actor and probably will deliver the goods if the script is good. Maniac makes me feel dirty when I watch it, I don't think they can accomplish that with Hollywood film-making which is what it seems this remake might be.

Of all the potential movies to remake, never thought Maniac would make it, nobody wanted anything to do with that movie back then, even Savini, and though nowadays it has cult status, still is not a movie most people would be proud to love.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:47 AM   #20
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I’m not really upset by the fact Maniac is being remade… I knew it was happening, and if anyone was going to be behind it, let it be Alexandre Aja…he can bring the sleaze this movie needs probably better than any other writer currently out there.

But how the hell one equates the likes of Joe Spinell with Elijah Wood is downright comical and almost insulting to Spinell’s performance as Frank Zito. Joe Spinell was a very intimidating man (albeit with a heart of gold). He was large, overweight and to put it mildly, one ugly motherfucker. His physical attributes played a big part in his performance as Frank Zito. His skills as an actor then cemented the believability that this guy was a serious sociopathic killer. It’s a chilling role/performance to say the least. Joe Spinell is Frank Zito, much like Robert Englund is Freddy.

Elijah Wood is the exact opposite of Joe Spinell and is about as intimidating and terrifying as a newborn kitten. There is just no believability that this guy is going around killing girls when most of the chicks he’s going after probably have a good 20lb and 3 inches on the guy.

And for the people calling out Maniac stating “it’s not that good of a movie”…you’re absolutely right, it isn’t. But that’s not necessarily why fans such as myself enjoy the movie. What makes Maniac so great is the grittiness and the pure lack of morals that went into making this film. William Lustig’s only other directorial credits at this point were porno movies. The movie feels like a late 70’s roughie (minus the penetration) that could have been double billed on 42nd Street with the likes of WaterPower or Climax of Blue Power. It is just a dirty-dirty flick. You feel like taking a shower the second the credits roll… it’s just a straight up sleazy grit-fest to the max. That accompanied with Joe Spinell’s perfect portrayal as the deranged Frank Zito, Jay Chattaway's brilliant score and you have one of the greatest slasher movies ever made. Savini’s effects are just the icing on the sleaze-cake if you ask me.

Last edited by Chomp; 11-08-2011 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:01 AM   #21
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this actually intrigues me... if they want to go 'all the way' => is the gloss that accompanies most big budget movies going to ruin the sleazy and grim atmosphere?
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:05 AM   #22
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I don't see why it is even being called Maniac. The plot of Maniac is, overall, incredibly generic and it doesn't really stand out amongst other slasher flicks of its time. What did make it stand out, however, was Lustig's direction, Spinell's incredibly sleazy and creepy performance, and Tom Savini's effects. Without any of those things, they might as well just call it something else and give themselves full freedom to do whatever the fuck they want with the concept.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:00 AM   #23
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i'll give it the benefit of the doubt. i'll take remakes that at least try to do something different, over ones that just try to carbon copy the original. this casting makes me think they might be heading in that direction with this one...
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:05 AM   #24
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But how the hell one equates the likes of Joe Spinell with Elijah Wood is downright comical and almost insulting to Spinell’s performance as Frank Zito. Joe Spinell was a very intimidating man (albeit with a heart of gold). He was large, overweight and to put it mildly, one ugly motherfucker. His physical attributes played a big part in his performance as Frank Zito. His skills as an actor then cemented the believability that this guy was a serious sociopathic killer. It’s a chilling role/performance to say the least. Joe Spinell is Frank Zito, much like Robert Englund is Freddy.

Elijah Wood is the exact opposite of Joe Spinell and is about as intimidating and terrifying as a newborn kitten. There is just no believability that this guy is going around killing girls when most of the chicks he’s going after probably have a good 20lb and 3 inches on the guy.
My thoughts exactly. Wood is about the least intimidating person I can think of, and they choose him?!

A midget serial killer....What a fucking joke.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:43 AM   #25
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A midget? Wood is far from a midget. He also managed to be pretty damn sneaky and cunning in Sin City. For all the talk about how killers shouldn't be hulking maniacs (no pun intended), I think it's pretty funny that people are taking such issue with his height.

And as far as the original being a film that gets by on its bad charm, I don't see it that way. I've enjoyed sleazy films in the past, but those films always had something to keep me watching. I didn't have that with Maniac. The plot is also so simple that it could easily be improved upon. There's a framework there for a good story, and perhaps this film will make it work. There's no guarantee of that, of course, but I'm hopeful.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:31 AM   #26
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A midget? Wood is far from a midget. He also managed to be pretty damn sneaky and cunning in Sin City. For all the talk about how killers shouldn't be hulking maniacs (no pun intended), I think it's pretty funny that people are taking such issue with his height.

And as far as the original being a film that gets by on its bad charm, I don't see it that way. I've enjoyed sleazy films in the past, but those films always had something to keep me watching. I didn't have that with Maniac. The plot is also so simple that it could easily be improved upon. There's a framework there for a good story, and perhaps this film will make it work. There's no guarantee of that, of course, but I'm hopeful.
It’s not just Wood’s height….it’s his meek body frame. He looks fragile. There’s just no intimidation factor. And I don’t see the relevance of bringing up Wood’s performance as Kevin in Sin City seeing as its derivative of the source material (as it should be). There is no source material for the character of Frank Zito aside from Joe Spinell in the original. Wood is either going to blatantly rip it off or try something different…either way I don’t see it working. I just don’t see his “boy next door” demeanor working as a insane serial killer.

The original doesn’t “get by on its bad charm”. The movie isn’t charming in any sense of the word. It’s the exact opposite. It isn’t “so bad its good”…it is just a visceral and nasty picture. The plot isn’t suppose to be complex or thought provoking. It’s not Taxi Driver. Like I said before Lustig’s only other directorial credits were that of porn films, why on Earth would anyone be expecting a plot? It is just suppose to disgust. Plain and simple. It’s clearly evident by the infamous headshot everyone is so caught up on. Maniac is a porn flick in a sense, but instead of using man gravy, Lustig used Savini’s mind blowing effects as the money shot. Maniac was the very beginning of what everyone likes to call the “torture porn” genre that is so prevalent today. As much as everyone likes to belittle Maniac for having a simple and unoriginal plot, it still was a innovator in every sense of the word.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:21 AM   #27
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It’s not just Wood’s height….it’s his meek body frame. He looks fragile. There’s just no intimidation factor. And I don’t see the relevance of bringing up Wood’s performance as Kevin in Sin City seeing as its derivative of the source material (as it should be). There is no source material for the character of Frank Zito aside from Joe Spinell in the original. Wood is either going to blatantly rip it off or try something different…either way I don’t see it working. I just don’t see his “boy next door” demeanor working as a insane serial killer.
So because he doesn't have a book to base his performance on, he can't make it work? I don't buy that. In fact, I think that may make him even better in the role, since there are a few directions he could go with the character.

And not all serial killers are like Frank Zito. Many have been charming, unassuming types, and I'm willing to bet the people behind this film are aware of that (hence this casting decision). Frank Zito is the cliche, so I think it would be pretty refreshing to see someone like Wood playing a killer for once.

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The original doesn’t “get by on its bad charm”. The movie isn’t charming in any sense of the word.
I wasn't referring to literal charm. I was referring to the fact that the film being aware of its sleaziness doesn't make it any better.

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It isn’t “so bad its good”…it is just a visceral and nasty picture. The plot isn’t suppose to be complex or thought provoking.
Nobody was saying that it needed to be. I just don't think the fact that the film has such low standards makes it good.

Quote:
It’s not Taxi Driver. Like I said before Lustig’s only other directorial credits were that of porn films, why on Earth would anyone be expecting a plot? It is just suppose to disgust. Plain and simple. It’s clearly evident by the infamous headshot everyone is so caught up on. Maniac is a porn flick in a sense, but instead of using man gravy, Lustig used Savini’s mind blowing effects as the money shot. Maniac was the very beginning of what everyone likes to call the “torture porn” genre that is so prevalent today. As much as everyone likes to belittle Maniac for having a simple and unoriginal plot, it still was a innovator in every sense of the word.
If its sole purpose is to disgust, then why the outrage over remaking it? Any filmmaker can disgust an audience. I can understand being outraged over a remake of a film that had a point to it, but remaking a film that exists to merely disgust an audience? I don't see anything wrong with that, especially if you're going to try and elevate it beyond its own limited standards.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:42 AM   #28
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Yeah the original could easily be altered, add some inserts and way we go into Porno Land.

A close example of that porn sleaze it had would be Forced Entry with Harry Reems.

In many ways both covered the same territory. Actually, now i think about it, they are really really similar including wierd psycho finales.....and Lustig did indeed make/ was involved with porn back then too i assume in NYC.


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Old 11-08-2011, 02:09 PM   #29
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Forced Entry was one messed up film.
Completely financed by the NYC mob if I recall correctly.
I was a fan of the original Maniac if only because it deviated from the standard formula by offering the killer's perspective.
I predict this remake will suck harder than a Kardashian in a room full of African Americans.

Last edited by Anthropophagus; 11-08-2011 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:50 PM   #30
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Forget not "looking like a killer," Wood doesn't even look Italian. I'm predicting the character won't even be named "Frank Zito." They're going a completely different route with this, and I'm fine with that. A remake shouldn't be an imitation; remember Psycho?
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