|Theatrical Movie Poster (1980)|
Spinell became a well known actor, appearing several Hollywood films, including THE GODFATHER and ROCKY. With his portrayal as Frank Zito, Spinell crossed over to the horror genre and audiences couldn't believe what they were seeing. Having perfected his Mafia persona in the previously mentioned films, Spinell took a gamble with director Lustig, by being the co-writer, co-producer, and starring in one for the sickest and autrocious films ever made in the annals of horror.
All of the special effects in the film were done by F/X icon Tom Savini. Savini became well known as the makeup artist for George Romero's groundbreaking film DAWN OF THE DEAD, the second entry of his Zombie films. Savini went all out in the film, creating some of the most outrageous and violent effects ever captured on celluloid.
Lustig has directed some of the most interesting horror and exploitation films, including VIGILANTE, UNCLE SAM, and the MANIAC COP trilogy. However, Lustig is now more famous for is forming and running the outstanding DVD label Blue Underground which restores and re-releases popular and little seen cult movies and other grind house action, drama, and horror films. The film was originally released by Analysis Film Releasing Corporation (the same company the distributed BASKET CASE) into theaters on December 26, 1980.
MANIAC is an brutal examination of the scared psyche of man and the ramifications of his upbringing. The film paved the way for other psychological horror films to be made, such as MANHUNTER and HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. With MANIAC, both Lustig and Spinell created one of the most important and bloody horror film to come out of 42nd Street. Not too bad of a legacy to leave behind.
MANIAC is currently available on both Blu-Ray and Special Edition DVD. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit your local retailer or visit the Blue Underground website at http://www.blue-underground.com/
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