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Maniac
Maniac 1980
Original Theatrical Poster
Country USA
Directed by William Lustig
Release Date 1980
Language English
Studio Magnum Motion Pictures
Distributor Analysis Film Releasing Corporation
Main Cast
Character Actor
Frank Zito Joe Spinell
Anna D'Antoni Caroline Munro
Rita Abigail Clayton
Nurse Kelly Piper
Hooker Rita Montone


Maniac is a 1980 American cult slasher film directed by William Lustig and co-written by known character actor Joe Spinell. It is mostly notable for Spinell's portrayal of a psychotic serial killer Frank Zito as well as incredible special make-up effects by genre guru Tom Savini and neo-noir dark romantic depiction of New York, all these while not being stripped of social content and sense. With a minuscule budget, many scenes in the film were shot guerrilla style. Originally considered an exploitation film, Maniac later had success as a cult film. The Hollywood Reporter called it "something of a grubby touchstone among genre fans".

A sequel, Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie was partially filmed in 1986 but abandoned and eventually not completed after Spinnel's death in 1989. Another half-abandoned idea was the crossover with Maniac Cop franchise (though, Maniac Cop 2 still has a similar character portrayed by Leo Rossi, as well as being dedicated to Spinell who is nicknamed "Maniac" in the end credits). Also in 1989, movie was unofficially remade in Greece as The Sigrou Street Strangler.

In 2012 an official remake (produced by Lustig) starring Elijah Wood as Frank Zito premiered in Cannes, followed by successful theatrical and video releases in 2013.

The following melee weapons were used in the movie Maniac:


BayonetsEdit

Argentina M1891 BayonetEdit

Argentinian M1891 Bayonet is used by Zito in the scene, where he chases nurse (Kelly Piper) in the subway station and then killing her in station's toilet with this bayonet in her back. It may be identified as M1891 rather then identical M1909 (or M1909/47) because of distinctive aluminum grip.

ArgentinaM1891Bayonet

Argentina M1891 Bayonet. Note aluminum grip.

Table2

Bayonet on the table.

Sword1

Bayonet just before it used to kill the nurse.

Sword2

Zito killing nurse in front of the mirror.

Sword3

Zito with bloody bayonet after killing the nurse.

Sword4

Zito with his bayonet watching himself in the mirror after killing nurse.

Sword5

Zito washing his bayonet after killing the nurse.

MachetesEdit

U.S. M1942 MacheteEdit

One of Frank Zito's weapons in the film is rarely used U.S. M1942 Machete. In the film it is mostly seen on the table until hallucination scene, where it's picked up from the violin case (same one used to held the double-barreled shotgun) by one of the mannequins of killed girls (Kelly Piper) with her scalps on it, and then used to cut out Zito's arm. Interesting fact, that it was the same prop machete, that was used by Tom Savini in Dawn of the Dead (1978) as motorcycle rider named Blades.

USM1942Machete

U.S. M1942 Machete.

Machete screen used

Screen-used U.S. M1942 Machete with Tom Savini autograph on it. Original prop used in "Maniac" and Dawn of the Dead (1978). Note that it rusted a little bit because of fake blood (real blood is also terribly effective rust agent). Also note duct taped handle due to frequent and productive use.

Machete1

Machete held by one of the mannequin girls.

Machete2

Zito's arm cut by his own machete.

Violin case3

Machete visible on the table.

Violin case4

Violin case directly before machete is taken from it.

KnivesEdit

Italian Style SwitchbladeEdit

Italian Style Switchblade typical for 70s and 80s can be seen as one of Zito's main weapons - he kills Rita (Abigail Clayton under pseudonym Gail Lawrence) with it.

Maniac switchblade2

Frank taking his switchblade from his pocket.

Maniac switchblade3

Frank with his switchblade.

Maniac switchblade4

Frank scares (though he don't want actually to do something bad - he's a psychotic tortured soul) Rita with his switchblade.

Maniac switchblade5

Another disturbing picture with a little bit of twisted erotica in it.

Maniac switchblade

Gory close-up.

Violin case3

Switchblade visible on the table.

Table2

Knife on the table.

Unidentified Kitchen KnifeEdit

An mysterious and unidentified kitchen knife with a wooden grip can be glimpsed on Zito's table, probably a usual tool in his killing escapades.

Table2

Knife on the table (on the left).

Poster KnifeEdit

Depicted on the iconic poster is the knife that doesn't appear anywhere in the movie yet exists in reality (an absolutely similar is used in the movie Mean Guns and also, identical blade design is is shown on the poster of Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers).

Maniac 1980

Theatrical poster.

Improvised WeaponsEdit

Wire GarotteEdit

In the beginning of the film, Frank murders a man with logged sticks by wrapping a wire-made garrote around his neck, causing his neck to bleed to death.

BoxcutterEdit

Frank uses Boxcutter of an unknown manufacture to scalp hooker (Rita Montone) he strangled (possibly accidentally) in a hotel room.

Maniac writing knife

Frank retracts the blade of his boxcutter.

Maniac writing knife2

Frank scalps hooker with his boxcutter. One of the most famous (and notorious) scenes of this movie among with shotgun-to-the-head one.

ShowelEdit

Anna D'Antoni (Caroline Munro) uses showel as a weapon to wound Frank's arm in the cemetery when his gruesome serial killer's secrets revealed and she's about to find her and kill.

Maniac showel

Anna with the showel...

Maniac showel2

...which can be a deadly weapon or at least wound BADLY.

Links to Other Data BasesEdit

IMDb (Internet Movie Database) IMFDB (Interent Movie Firearms Data Base) IMCDB (Internet Movie Cars Data Base)

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