Maniac! is not high art nor is it award winning material. It is what it is and merely aims to gross out, disturb its audience, which it mostly succeeds in doing.
Routine, sickening, utterly worthless slash-fest about a psychopath in N.Y.C. who stalks and kills young women, and uses their scalps as "trophies". Nice, huh? Even for a gory, women in danger trash movie, this plumbs new depths. Reprehensible.
We see him being normal, then going into tirades, and horrible killing where he is talking to his dead mother. Despite his predilection for murder and scalping women, we almost develop a sympathy for him. Frank is very troubled, and when he is acting normal, is actually likeable. He is awkward but seems quite nice and caring.
So I have to commend this movie for taking such a different approach to the story telling.
The movie is decently acted. The practical effects are top notch (Thanks Tom Savini) and the cinematography is gritty and sleazy.