The Schlocktoberfest – Day 20: Maniac



Maniac (2012)

Read my review of the original here.


*Spoilers Throughout*

maniac posterWhat’s This About:
A young artist, searching for his vocation, makes a mannequin so perfect he falls in love with it. Finding the mannequin in a store window, he gets a job there and his creation comes to life.

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • A woman is on the street and another 5’1″ man who is not Elijah Wood harasses her. It doesn’t work because the short deserve no respect.
  • There’s nothing wrong with staring at women from across the street and breathily whispering sexy things to yourself, is there???
  • Maybe this picture will prove me wrong in the end but I just don’t think Elijah Wood is very creepy or maniacal. Not even in the mute fingernail assassin role in Sin City.
  • Elijah cuts the power to the girl’s building. Remember in movies when they would also cut the phone lines? That would be pretty funny in a modern movie and then the killer says, “Shit… I forgot about cell phones.”
  • He jabs a knife underneath this woman’s jaw, even though it doesn’t seem like that would actually kill her (see: Hot Fuzz). Then he scalps her and the whole thing comes off like hot butter sliding off a teflon dildo. Seems like all of that should have taken a lot more effort. Especially the scalping, which would have made it much more impactful.
  • So far he’s just doing this really lame creepy voice. It’s just not working.
  • Is this whole movie POV? If so, I’m not a fan. Or was this movie meant to be seen in VR? That’s actually not an awful idea.
maniac 1

What a nut!

  • Maniac goes on a date with a girl he meets on a dating site, which I understand is a modern take but that would leave a total paper trail, which is a crazy thing for a maniac to do.
  • They go back to her place and she puts on “Goodbye Horses.” How creative.
  • She strips down to her bra and panties and tells him, “I wanted to slip into something more comfortable.” But that’s what she was already wearing under her shirt and shorts.
  • So he strangles her and talks to himself. He hates himself! But who doesn’t?
  • This scalp removal was way harder, and thus much more effective. See what happens when you listen to me? ANSWER ME!!!
  • So like in the first Maniac, he recreates his victims in mannequin form and puts their bloody scalps on top.
  • We’re like 25 minutes in and I get it, he’s nuts. I don’t think we need to continue.
  • Maniac runs a mannequin store or something? What’s that business model, exactly?
  • And in the greatest coincidence in the history of the known universe, a beautiful French woman pops by because she takes photos of mannequins. Wow, who wouldn’t want to check out that enthralling picture show?
  • I haven’t seen a character as dubbed over as this French girl since Godzilla and Anguirus talked to each other.

  • I would think eyeing a jogging woman as your victim would be a bad idea because her cardio is probably better and she could outrun you easily.
  • I think the POV gimmick would work better if there were longer, real-time scenes, instead of a bunch of cuts, no pun intended.
  • Maniac follows this Cirque du Soleil woman out of her building, through the subway, all over, etc., wouldn’t it be easier to just grab a girl directly from the subway? Or maybe the stalking is just his thing.
  • Ah the ol’ empty subway trope. Not a soul in site, even though people work in and go on subways at all hours. This happened in the original too. And even after she gets to the surface level she runs into no one. Which is definitely something that happens in the small town of Los Angeles.
  • Ah the ol’ achilles slice. Classic from my childhood.
  • For the first time the camera goes outside Maniac’s body. Does this have meaning? Or did they just forget?
  • I’m thinking this French girl is creepier than Maniac. And her mannequin photography isn’t that good. Maybe because her subjects are stiff.
  • I guess Maniac’s mother was a hooker or just a hoo-er. I can see where witnessing his mom snort blow and get gangbanged would have a detrimental effect on the mental development of the Maniac.
  • Oh by the way the Maniac’s name is Frank but that’s just boring.
  • Maniac spends a ton of time looking up at things when new scenes start and then panning down, like his eyes are a director and his brain is us, the audience.
  • So Frenchie goes on a date to a public domain movie with Manic, then tells him she has a boyfriend. Is she an complete idiot, or also le maniaque?
  • Finding good childcare has long been a problem in the U.S., especially for single mothers who happen to be hookers.
  • I’m glad I was proven right about this Frenchie’s mannequin show being completely stupid. She also projected her face on the mannequins, which doesn’t make sense for her but, you know, Maniac likes to pretend that mannequins are real women/his mother, so there’s that.

maniac 2

  • I know Maniac is creepy but Frenchie’s boyfriend is an absolute asshole for no reason.
  • Frenchie’s agent at the show says, “Honestly I just find the whole thing really creepy; you and Anna (Frenchie) are a perfect fit.” That dialogue is so on the nose it made Pinocchio uncomfortable. Maybe that joke doesn’t quite work but if I think of something better before this is over I’ll let you know.
  • I mean, this movie is almost all stalking women and murdering them, which has gotten kind of stale after the 447th time.
  • I have very little experience drowning someone in a bathtub, but I would assume it would take more than 19 seconds?
  • Oh now she’s (Frenchie’s agent) tied up on the bed and not drowned, then why did she stop struggling in the tub? Was she knocked out by water? 
  • Ooh a live scalping. I’d rate that a 9 on the Scalp Scale.
  • When you’re upset about your agent being brutally murdered, naturally you invite your creepy mannequin supplier over to comfort you. I know I would.
  • Way to blow it, Maniac. Boy he really doesn’t know how to talk to women.
  • I guess a cleaver in the mouth technically wouldn’t kill Frenchie’s friend, but he’s probably not getting back up to fight so soon.
  • So Maniac wraps Frenchie up and puts her in the back of a van, then she stabs him in the gut with a mannequin hand and runs away, and he pursues her and almost catches up even though he’s got a big hole in his stomach now. Way to run, nimrod.
  • Haha, Frenchie flags down a car and somehow immediately convinces the driver to run Maniac over. But don’t worry, he’s ok! But Anna and the driver are not. Way to drive, nimrod.
  • Aww, Maniac and an Anna-scalp mannequin get married! Who says romance is dead? WHO??!!
  • Then Maniac’s victims come back to rip him apart, and it’s revealed that he was actually a mannequin this whole time! At least that’s how I choose to see it because I’m not a deep person.
  • And then there’s a completely unnecessary shot of a SWAT team in Maniac’s place, finding his body. Why they didn’t just end with the face ripping and the mannequin underneath, I don’t know. TELL ME WHY!!!

Final Thoughts: Finally, something this month that wasn’t a complete shit taco. I liked this well enough, but I just wasn’t big on the whole POV thing, even though I appreciate it for being different. And Elijah Wood did a fine job but he still just looks like a 12-year-old. But if you want something to watch on a Friday night with your creepy mannequin supplier, you could do worse.

Score: 6.75 Seconds to Total Tub Unconsciousness (out of 10)

Which was better?: While this was pretty decent there was just something a lot more gritty and cool about the original, and I thought Joe Spinell was the superior Maniac.


One thought on “The Schlocktoberfest – Day 20: Maniac

  1. Pingback: The Schlocktoberfest: The Recap Ends | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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