Late To The Party: ‘Maniac’ (1980)

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Maniac  is a film that has a special place in my heart. This film is memorable to me, as I have never been able to finish it. I have attempted to watch it multiple times: once as a teen and another time as a young adult. I am writing this introduction, before this viewing attempt, in order to give you an insight as to why I have not finished watching this film. From what I recall this film is very disturbing. I watched this film because of Tom Savini. I became a fan of Tom’s work watching films like Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, and The Burning. The special effects from this film are exponentially more horrific than all those others combined. I recall a slow motion shotgun blast to the head, a scalping, and in general some of the most heinous depravity ever put on film; at least these are my impressions after these many decades. Well here we go, race fans. Lets get this party started….

Maniac tells the story of Frank Zito (played by Joe Spinell ), a serial killer prowling the streets of New York with a singular purpose: kill people. The first act of the film has many of the aforementioned killings. A woman is strangled and scalped and a man, played by Savini himself, is brutally murdered via a point blank shotgun blast. As mentioned earlier, this is the point where I stopped watching the film on both previous attempts. Not this time!!!!!

Last Week in Horror News: 9/13-9/20

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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • HEREAFTER – Matt Damon will star in Clint Eastwood’s next directorial outing, a supernatural thriller produced by DreamWorks.
  • SILENT HILL 2 – Roger Avary and producer Samuel Hadida will be returning to the franchise.  No director or cast yet, but the sequel will film in 2010 to when production on RESIDENT EVIL 4 ends.
  • JENNIFER’S BODY – Not too hot at the box office.  Whodathunk?
  • THE PASSAGE – GLADIATOR scribe John Logan will be doing multi-million dollar adapting duties on an unpublished vampire novel for Ridley Scott to potentially direct.


  • HALLOWEEN 3D – Dread Central confirms that MBV3D and DRACULA 2000 director Patrick Lussier will be taking over the reigns on the first film in the franchise to be 3D.
  • NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – Is getting a pseduo-remake in the form of a 3D CGI prequel called NOTLD: ORIGINS, to be directed by the guy who did the remake of WHEN A STRANGER CALLS.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • DEATH ISLAND – Tom Savini finally heads back to the director’s chair for ‘fresh take on the undead genre’.
  • Ronnie Yu – FREDDY VS JASON director Ronnie Yu wants to direct a story about werewolves who run a bank in the Outback of Australia.  And if that isn’t sitcom awesome enough already, the bank is then robbed by vampires.
  • Clive Barker’s SEDUTH – Barker’s newest comic will be published in 3D.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • GROWTH – If the sub-cutaneous vine crawling of THE RUINS bothered you, do not watch this trailer.
  • NEVER SLEEP AGAIN – Trailer for the upcoming NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET documentary.

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