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Maniac - 2012 - DVD - Metrodome Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Sunday, 08 December 2013
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DVD cover art from the UK DVD of "Maniac" 2012 from Metrodome Distribution on Severed Cinema
Buy "Maniac" 2012 from Amazon.co.ukBuy "Maniac" 2012 from Amazon.comBuy "Maniac" 2012 from Amazon.ca

AKA: Manijak, Alexandre Ajas Maniac, Mahbrk, Manyak

Directed by:
Franck Khalfoun
Written by:
Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur
Produced by:
Alexandre Aja, Thomas Langmann, Willam Lustig
Cinematography:
Maxime Alexandre
Editing by:
Baxter, Franck Khalfoun
Music by:
Robin Coudert
Special Effects by:
Eric Coon, Donnie Dean, Matt Kutcher, Brittania Denison
Cast:
Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, Megan Duffy, Dan Hunter
Year:
2012
Country:
France/USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 29min

Distributor:
Metrodome Distribution
 

Every now and then a horror remake comes along which puts a finger up in the air saying; “Hey, don't put me in that category!  Think of me the same time you talk about "The Thing," "The Fly," "Horror of Dracula," "Let Me In," "Dawn of the Dead," "Hills Have Eyes," "Quarantine".... ignore those hundreds of forgettable horror upgrades, they suck!”

The "Maniac" revamp is absolutely a contender to be inserted in the top 5 remakes of the last decade or so, and I totally adore the original.  Joe Spinell was a sweating bag of disturbance, even down to his breathing.  So to see someone else take on Frank, and of all people a little lad like Elijah Wood -- the polar opposite to the man mountain Spinell, well, has to be seen to be believed because he pulls it off with an aura that is somehow more creepier than the first Frank.

How to totally redo a film which is like a testament to its era like "Taxi Driver" or "Back to the Future," what can you do?  If you're writer is Alexandre ("Haute Tension," "Hills Have Eyes") Aja, Gregory ("Hills Have Eyes," "P2")  Levasseur and  director Franck ("P2") Khalfoun, you film in a different city, you then make the central theme a POV style shoot, save for a reflection caught here and there, and a few standout camera pan away moments... more on that later though.

So we open with a view from Frank's eyes as he drives following a woman.  “I see you to,” he mutters amongst other things.  The title theme kicks in, it's so electric, so 80s, with keys, synths and pulsing beats.  Arriving at her tenement building, Frank dodges in and pops his knife in the fuse box, lights out.  She arrives and he corners her, “Please don't scream, you're so beautiful.”  Ladies and gentlemen Frank Zito is alive and well under another face.  It's 1980 again as he heavy breathes and then slams his blade into her throat.  We then witness her deep red scalping, nuff said.  This is simply awesome!

Frank surfs dating websites, sending out cute pictures, calling himself timid.  Through his eyes  he dates Lucy, a tattooed redhead.  Halfway into a conversation he suddenly sees everyone else in the bar staring at him, and Lucy starts to bleed from her scalp.  Frank races to the rest room and necks pills down fast, staring at his reflection.   Afterwards, back at Lucy's apartment he slowly chokes her to death.  Arguing with his other voice, he proceeds to remove her red hair and take it home in a bag to be stapled to a mannequin.  He then freaks out, “Why are you doing this? You're just like her!” as he beats another mannequin in his bed with a lamp.

Frank has been a schizophrenic most of his life but since his mother's death the previous summer, his urges and violence has totally spilled out.  He has a lonely frightened existence restoring mannequins and fighting himself daily.  However, one morning he meets Anna, a French photographer outside of his workshop/home who is fascinated by his work and the fact his family has been in the business for generations.  Meanwhile, we can tell by Frank's voice he is shy, bewildered and possibly smitten.

Later that day he cruises the streets watching women as that 80s style soundtrack throbs.  At night he stalks on a train, sees a newspaper article 'Police suspect serial killer', chases a victim who screams for help through an empty station, across a car park, to the inevitable kill.  This film does not hold back on the brutality and one rare moment the camera pans away from the POV to show him, very intense.

Frank helps Anna with a photography exhibition, devoted to mannequins and they grow closer.  At the movies he sees himself on the screen killing, and by his side Anna turns into a mannequin.  Afterwards he reveals that she has a boyfriend and you can feel his world come down.  “Goodbye, Anna.”  However after Frank kills her agent, and her boyfriend has left for New York after an argument, he eases his way into Anna's life to comfort her and might have a chance at love, until a slip of the tongue whilst massaging her changes their lives forever.

A random vision in the movie has Frank seeing himself as a sexless smooth genital mannequin himself and that speaks volumes about the dead person inside.  Flashbacks reveal his mother as a coke snorting fuck addicted woman who's acts are witnessed by a young Frank many times.  Frank is like I said, very frightened.  He's a confused little boy.  Elijah Wood certainly looks the part, which adds a lot of meat to the new generation's Frank.  If somewhere along the line, Buddy Giovinazzo decides to take up "Maniac 2: Mr Robbie" again and Elijah is chosen to be the title character, then he's earned it and I hope Joe would be very happy.

Metrodome in the UK has released a cover for "
Maniac" which makes it look like a knock-off of the "Pusher" remake, "Hummingbird," "Drive," "Only God Forgives," and a few other disco like lettering covers that use a lil dash of pink or whatever.  Still, having the "LOTR" trilogy star staring out with blood on his face should get it noticed regardless of style.  Another way I looked at it is that all of the aforementioned movies are pretty good anyway.

The extras, I suppose, could have been better.  There's a trailer and quick interviews.  The director wasn't too happy with remaking such a classic at first since too many films have copied it already.  Alexandre met William Lustig who supported the idea.  Elijah hadn't seen the original at the time he received the script but was thrilled to play a villain and compares the POV to "Peeping Tom."  Finally, Nora explains how acting to a camera lense was made better by Elijah being by her side always delivering his lines.  She also likes psychological horrors.

In conclusion my top star rating below says it all, as does my Horror Soulmate's words afterwards: “That was simply amazing.”

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

"Maniac" 2012 Screenshot on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 16x9
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo
2.0

 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Trailer
 - Interviews with cast, director and writer

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 December 2013 )
 
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