Maniac - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Maniac Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2016
One of the most notorious films in the 80s. This cheaply made shocker contains one of the earliest usage of head explosion effect (later seen in Scanners, Chopping Mall, etc). The story is about a man who suffers from schizophrenia induced by child abuse. He had difficulty interacting woman on a regular basis leading to his episodes of outbursts- scalping women's head to match his mannequin collection. It was a deeply unsettling film due to the realistic acting and setting. The ending gave me the creeps. A must watch for those with a strong stomach.
½ May 14, 2016
OH. MY. GOD.
MANIAC
April 27, 2016
Maniac (1980) ??
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.
½ January 25, 2016
Trash, exploitation classic. Manages to rise about its grimy trappings.
October 23, 2015
Gruesome, violent and disturbing murder horror. Was it so bad? It was remade in 2012 starring Elijah Wood.
½ June 4, 2015
Maniac is a classic. This movie is very different from most slasher movies of that time period. Most were viewed from the side of the various victims coming across the killer and then dispatched. Maniac is told from the side of Frank, who is the killer.

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.

Great flick.
March 3, 2015
Unique look at a serial killer
½ February 27, 2015
I only rated it a high as I did for the gore. As eerie as the ending is, it's also stupid and makes no sense as if the director was just in a hurry to end it.
½ January 10, 2015
unpleasant but effective
½ December 21, 2014
Certainly one of the more decent/good slasher flicks out there, overall, i felt a bit satisfied once the movie was done, especially since i love gore, and the movie has some pretty good gore effects from who else but Tom Savini
½ December 14, 2014
Better than I'd expected. It's not one of those films where a shadowy character just turns up at various places and kills people for no reason. They do make an attempt to explain the mind of a maniacal serial killer by letting you see, and get to know him a bit, which is better than a lot of other films where it's just enough to tell you he escaped from an asylum or whatever.
December 9, 2014
Sickening, depraved, and beyond gory, Maniac, an American integration of Argento-inspired splatter was ahead of its time, underfunded and under appreciated. It's both the most anti-feminist and pro-feminist slasher film of the decade. Those offended by the gratuitous and prolonged sequences of female sexualized violence will find bloody satisfaction in the finale, which kicks all sorts of ass. Don't eat while watching.
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2014
A gritty, low-budget slasher, Maniac is a rather pointless film that's only focused on gore. Lacking in story, the film really just breaks down into a series of random kill scenes. With makeup effects by Tom Savini, the deaths are incredibly gratuitous and bloody. Still, the directing brings an intensity and sense of terror that's quite effective at setting an atmospheric tone. Yet ultimately Maniac is an unfocused mess that doesn't have any substance to it.
November 23, 2014
I really hate slasher films, but this one actually works for me. You can tell Joe Spinell is giving it his all, and that amount of effort in such a simple genre flick is commendable. The direction has its moments, though there's also plenty of time simply being killed (pun?). Chattaway's music is delightfully unsettling.
½ December 24, 2012
(83%)
This is likely to get my vote for the greatest slasher movie ever made. It has a very poor image, mainly due to critics over the years claiming it to be more or less worse than Hitler. It is violent, but then it is about a murderer, so what did you expect? Joe Spinell is really damn good playing this very sick, yet very believable killer. The part of this movie that sets it aside from the rest of the pack for me is when Spinell's character forms a relationship with a female photographer that's handled in a completely real and genuine way, mainly thanks to the decent script and good performances, as it then soon becomes clear that this guy is much more than just a brainless, on the loose madman. The stalking scenes in the subway are some of the most intense parts of any movie I've ever seen that along with everything else help make this a highlight amongst all 70's and 80's slasher horrors. A grimy classic.
June 11, 2009
June 11th 2009
July 28th 2014
September 10, 2009
Good serial killer horror
May 9, 2014
Joe Spinnel is brilliant and magnetic as the titular Maniac but everything else - with the exception of the shotgun scene - is contrived and/or forgettable.
April 25, 2014
Dark and gloomy. Some pretty brutal and bloody deaths. Typical psycho killer movie with a cool not so typical ending.
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