“Maniac” (1980)

Films And Lice


By Jerome Reuter

On the surface, this film seems like just another exploitation film. It certainly has the appearance of being one many entries in the enormous exploitation/slasher genre of the 1980’s. However, much like so many other horror flick, there happens to be more beneath the surface. In some ways it’s actually a period piece, a film that’s a product of its time. Reflecting a city, and the culture surrounding the infamous ‘grindhouse’ era. Most important of all, it’s not the murder, the violence, or the carnage that makes this film what it is. Here is a portrait of someone’s gradual descent into madness, and their inability to maintain control of themselves.

First off all, lets look at the first aspect; location, location, location. Lustig sets his narrative in New York at the end of the 1970’s. At a time when the public was still reeling from the shocking…

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