Description: Joe Spinell, who appeared in Taxi Driver, stars in this unsavory horror film as Frank Zito, a character reminiscent of an even more disturbed Travis Bickle. Frank is an embittered loser who talks to himself and his dead mother, stalks a pretty model (Caroline Munro), and spends his spare time brutally murdering women. He then scalps his victims and puts the trophies on mannequins which he takes to bed with him at night. An unpleasant film with a relentlessly downbeat tone, Maniac! features graphic, bloody special-effects makeup by cult favorite Tom Savini, who meets a gruesome end in a cameo as Disco Boy. Highlights include a realistic scalping by Exacto knife and an exploding head. The ending takes an interesting twist as Spinell hallucinates his victims returning to life and tearing him limb from limb. Spinell and Munro reteamed in 1982 for The Last Horror Film. Adult film star Sharon Mitchell (whom director William Lustig discovered in The Violation of Claudia) appears briefly as a nurse.~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide
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