Thinking of Horror movies there are some titles you can’t ignore and you won’t forget seeing them once. William Lustig’s Maniac is one of them. Telling the story of a psychopath called Frank Zito hunting down women in New York and scalping them. Frank got a gruel obsession: He nails their hair onto the heads of mannequins he is hiding in his apartment. One of the sickest serial killer in history of cinema was born and the bloody effects of Tom Savini did the rest. In the 80ies the movie was banned in Germany and now re-released with some cuts as it is in the UK (banned and re-released with 58s cuts).
I remember some postings on the web very well as the news went in Alexandre Aja is doing the remake of Maniac. Uh … slaughtering the holy cow! And the hysteria of fans hearing the rumor Elijah Wood (Frodo in Lord of the Rings) will take the role as Frank Zito. Joe Spinell (died 1989 because of an accident in his bathtube) gave Frank a special psychopathic note in the original nobody could imagine that Elijay Wood ever will be able to copy it. And it was a good idea he never tried to.
Well, the Remake now was shown uncut in German cinemas and got its release on rental DVD / Blu-ray these days. Next month Maniac will be in German stores in two versions: Cut with a FSK18 rating and an uncut version with a SPIO/JK rating. The rental version is uncut too.
Yesterday I watched it on my 46″ LCD and I just can say … WOW! It is indeed strong tobac and all the bad feelings about remaking a cult classic are wiped away for all times. What we got here is a new Maniac with its own personality and special making so both movies, original and remake got their places in the hall of gore for all time. And more, it is a kind of art.
Maniac has such a great visual power because of its colors and the first-person perspective through the complete movie. Yes you a reading right, you are watching the whole story through the eyes of Frank and it was such an extreme experience because you are not only guest, you got to be sucked right into the movie for exactly 89 minutes. After it you will be spit back into your own world and you are run down the next hours thinking of all about it.
It is not just a horror movie with 4 or 5 really gory scenes, it is also a love story about Frank and Anna with a little hope Frank being taken out of this shit he lives in. It is a bloody and a sad movie about a sick mind being born into a cold world left alone by his mother seeking for redemption. Watching Maniac you are not only a witness, you are part of Frank. Creepy isn’t it?
The technical stuff: The blu-ray (and yes, watch it in hi-def!!!) is state of art. Picture got a kind of soft touch and it is colorful. The softness is almost a part of its artistically minded touch giving no reason for bad critics. Yes there is no notable grain but that doesn’t matter at all because the details are there also at deeper background elements.
The sound is clear with its 5.1 DTS HD. The German rental disc got German and English audio with German subtitles. The bass is very powerful and you need it thinking of the awesome soundtrack by Rob. Gore effects are few but very strong. The scalping scenes are more explicit as the original and didn’t look like todays normal cgi effects.
Bonus: Making of, Interviews, Trailer and Trailershow.
Regiocode is set to B.
So I warned you not to miss …