Friday, February 27, 2009

Throwback slasher:Maniac(1980)

Something so wrong about this film yet I still watch it numerous times a year. I must have some problems cause this is a disgusting movie. It reeks of realism and it is so gritty so feel like you need to shower after watching this.

The Plot is simple,a crazed and obsessed killer goes on a muderous rampage in New York City.Sounds like your typical slasher movie but its much more than that.

Frank Zito(played by Joe Spinell brillantly) is a deranged man who suffers from childhood problems of abuse from his mom. He resents all woman yet somehow is still obsessed with his own mother and keeps her photo in his pocket and talks to her as if she's still alive. Despite being a killer you somehow ended up feeling for him for being so fucked up. He befriends a beautiful photographer and asks her why she takes pictures only to tell her she should just preserve all of them cause they capture a particular moment.Despite that he actually seems quite normal with her until he snaps completely. Another uncomfortable part of this movie is his apartment. He keeps Mannequins all through his apartment and puts the scalps of his victims on these mannequins to remember AND preserve his victims.At a closer look we see all of these mannequins have dry blood dripped on them also. He has dolls in bird cages or something. His apartment is like a character in this movie also.Spinells performance is gold,he plays this maniac to a tee.He just makes the character feel so real and so gritty and authentic. He's sweaty ,greasy and disgusting.He makes you pray that you never ever come in contact with a person like this in your life and believe me there are some sick people out there just like him. I shiver thinking about that.

The kills in this movie are phenomenal and the way he stalks his one victim through the subway is so filled with tension that you just want to scene to end already.It's genuinely realsitic.The trademark scene in this movie is the Tom Savini head explosion. Yes Tom Savini is in this movie,on a date with a women about to get some in his car when BAM!Frank jumps up on the hood with a shotgun and blows Toms head off.It is done is slow motion and looks absolutely amazing,head blown apart,blood and brains splattered everywhere. I wonder if Tom made this look extra good because he was the one getting killed. The other notable scene is the finale in which Frank has a dream that all the mannequins come to life and rip him apart head to limb. Reminds me very much of dawn of the dead and many zombie films.

Spinell had a huge part in this film,from the production to even the way he prepared. He supposedly would go days without sleep to get more into this Frank Zito character which probably wasn't too far off what he was like in real life,minus the muders,joking.. Truly an amazing performance.

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