This slasher flick by William Lustig is known for its outrageous violence and utter splatter, and it has been banned i.e. in Finland. Now it's been released on DVD in here as well - there are two discs, the other containing the uncut version. I watched the uncut version earlier today and wrote a three-star review of it.
There's a short introduction by Drive and Pusher director Nicolas Winding Refn in the beginning of the film. Refn says that Maniac is a combination of an European art film and a splatter film. He may well be right, as the film is purposefully slow and brooding, with Joe Spinell's confused monologue on top of everything else. The slow pace gives the film a detached, yet somehow intimate feeling. There are
also no clear explanations as to why Spinell's character, Frank Zito, is killing
all these women and scalping them. There are one or two scenes about it, but
that's about it.
The combination of the slow pace and extremely
brutal killings is an uneasy one, and I think John McNaughton did it better with
his Henry: The Portrait of a Serial Killer, just six years later, but Maniac is
still worth seeing, if you can stand it. There are some implausibilities,
though. I didn't buy that a maniac like Frank Zito could pull out the artist act
and almost seduce the woman photographer like he does in the film.
More Overlooked Movies at Todd Mason's blog.