Maniac (1980)

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Hazy_Paisley, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. Hazy_Paisley

    Hazy_Paisley Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Scotland
    Another week, another new In Film We Trust podcast episode at Anchor.fm/ifwtpod.

    This week we're diving into the psychological slasher film Maniac (1980). Released during the slasher heydey this film is far more disturbing and psychological in nature than a lot of the slice and dice slashers of the day were (Friday the 13th, The Burning etc).
    Borrowing more from Psycho and Taxi Driver than Halloween, Maniac, is far more a character study of mental instability than a thrill-kill splatter fest - though, those elements still reside.

    Anyone a fan? Anyone see it during its original release and the controversy surrounding it? Would also appreciate a listen or 2 if anyone feels the need.
     
    Lars Medley, xilef regnu and Michael like this.
  2. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    Joe Spinell's best role and it's quite the creeper, aided and abeded with Tom Savini's gore effects.

    EDIT: I'd show the poster but it might be a bit too much.
     
    Chad75, Lars Medley, Michael and 2 others like this.
  3. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I enjoyed his part in Rocky as well...Joe nailed "Maniac" could he be more creepier? saw this at the movies...
     
  4. Hazy_Paisley

    Hazy_Paisley Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Scotland
    Joe Spinell is great in it. And a role he completely believed in - even turning down the Spielberg produced Used Cars for it. Spinell is one of those great character actors who would turn up in big film - Rocky, The Godfather - yet remains largely unknown
     
  5. Hazy_Paisley

    Hazy_Paisley Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Scotland
    Oh that's great! What was it like to see on ghe big screen at the time?
     
    Michael likes this.
  6. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    it was great! when being at the movies was wonderful experience! no phones, rude people, ushers that kept the rules in force...I miss those days madly...I must have seen thousands of movies at the movies...
     
  7. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    A time when you could get unrated films into theaters with this simple warning; "There is no explicit sex in this picture. However, there are scenes of violence which may be considered shocking. No one under 17 will be admitted."
     
    Michael and Simon A like this.
  8. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    exactly! we are very fortunate we were able to enjoy the movies in peace "at the movies"...It was amazing. people had much respect for each other!
     
    mBen989 likes this.
  9. agentalbert

    agentalbert Senior Member

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I like the brief appearance by adult film star Sharon Kane (as a nurse). Wish there were more of her in this movie.
     
    altaeria likes this.
  10. GreggF

    GreggF Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    "....the family had a lot of buffers."
     
  11. Rob P S

    Rob P S Senior Member

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    There's nifty unauthorized footage of old NYC - that's all the good I have to say about it.
     
    Michael likes this.
  12. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    well that's something! ; )
     
  13. Mccook

    Mccook Forum Resident

    Location:
    OR
    Right, more commonly known as Sharon Mitchell. Her appearance certainly speaks to director William Listwig’s roots in adult films.

    The film has a grimy quality that is at least partially influenced by the 70s adult industry, especially the films of Shaun Costello (Forced Entry, Water Power).
     
  14. jwoverho

    jwoverho Licensed Drug Dealer

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    Spinell’s totally committed performance helps set this apart from the typical slasher film. Caroline Munro didn’t hurt either.
     
  15. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Never saw it on initial release - I was too young back then and probably wouldn't have been aware of it anyway.

    Watched it on BD a few years back and thought it was pretty weak. Lots of boring scenes with the occasional moment of graphic violence.

    The 2013 remake with Elijah Wood isn't any better.
     
  16. finslaw

    finslaw muzak to my ears

    Location:
    Indiana
    Slashers from the time would tread a fine line. Some would go for the teen crowd with jump scares and suspense, but not go too far overboard in being unpleasant. Then there were those films that seemed to follow the killer more and went straight for unpleasant:

    Bloodrage (1979)
    Don't Answer the Phone
    Don't Go in the House
    Don't Open Before Christmas
    Maniac
    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
    New York Ripper
    Nightmare
    Murderlust
    Driller Killer

    I personally am not a big fan of these films, they simply aren't much fun to watch. Maniac (1980) also had some odd parts where the lead psycho got a bit too close to Caroline Munro to be believable. I will vouch for the Elijah Wood remake, because if we are going to follow the killer around then we might as well fully jump into their head.
     
  17. agentalbert

    agentalbert Senior Member

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Woops, I got the two confused. They're two different people. Sharon Mitchell is the one in this, and who I was thinking of.
     
  18. Mccook

    Mccook Forum Resident

    Location:
    OR
    LOL, you’re correct. Sharon went by so many names that I figured it was a pseudonym.
     
  19. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    Another thing I miss is that they turned the lights off. Ushers had flashlights. Around here the lights merely dim these days and it hurts the experience imo.
     
    Michael likes this.
  20. Lars Medley

    Lars Medley I lost on Jeopardy!

    Location:
    Utah
    He's great in Taxi Driver. I also have a soft spot for Richard Elfman's The Forbidden Zone in which he has a very small role.
     
  21. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    yes, the darkness was great! and so were the ushers! they kept things on an even keel...
     
    unclefred likes this.
  22. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Joe was just an all around good actor!
     
    unclefred and Lars Medley like this.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine