From the brutal opening scene this re-make of the 1980 film leaves the viewer in no doubt what this is all about. I suppose the title is a bit of a clue as well.
Elijah Wood (The Lord Of The Rings) is Frank Zito, a loner who lives in the run-down shop previously owned by his Mother. Their business was restoring mannequins but these days Frank spends more time talking to the dolls than repairing them.
When he isn’t interacting with the mannequins Frank goes cruising for victims who are despatched with increasingly graphic and violent methods, ending with Frank’s own peculiar fetish.
A professional photographer asks if she can use the mannequins in her exhibition and an uneasy friendship begins. Of course Frank’s distorted view of reality soon becomes apparent leading to trouble for all involved.
I haven’t seen the original but I imagine that this is a pretty close re-make. There are many scenes saw through Frank’s eyes and the soundtrack has a seventies slasher movie feel to it. Elijah Wood proves that his creepy turn in
was no fluke as he
delivers another convincing portrayal of a deranged killer. Sin
The extreme violence here will put people off and despite the explanation of how the main character came to be what he is there is a distinct lack of any redeeming features.
Maniac falls into the category inhabited by films like Irreversible and the I Spit On Your Grave re-make in that it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience but I have to admire the gutsy presentation of horrible events and the exploration of a disturbed mind.
Ric’s Rating: Good.