In the midst of the junk-laden slasher movie craze of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s came one of those rare exceptions: "Maniac." Anchored by the brilliantly creepy performance of Joe Spinell and an atmosphere awash in grungy and claustrophobia-inducing locations, "Maniac" succeeds where the vast majority of its contemporaries failed: it’s genuinely disturbing. Yes, the slasher-movie conventions are all here (except for the standard teenage morons, thankfully), but the execution is superb. I could’ve lived without the dopey final shot, but that’s a minor quibble. Throw your "Friday the 13th" DVDs in the wastebasket and replace them with the real thing.
About Maniac (1980)
Starring: Tom Savini, William Lustig, Caroline Munro, Frank Pesce, Kelly Piper, Randy Jurgensen, Sharon Mitchell, Carol Henry, Nelia Bacmeister, Louis Jawitz, Denise Spagnuolo, Billy Spagnuolo, Candace Clements, Diane Spagnuolo, Kim Hudson, Joe Spinell, Terry Gagnon, Abigail Clayton, Joan Baldwin, Rita Montone, Jeni Paz, Hyla Marrow, Janelle Winston, James L. Brewster, Linda Lee Walter, Jimmy Aurichio, Tracie Evans, Andrew W. Garroni
Director: William Lustig
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