Film: Maniac

I warned you not to go out tonight.

A horror film from 1980. It was directed by William Lustig (Maniac Cop, Uncle Sam) and stars Joe Spinell in the title role.

It follows the exploits of the woman hating and mommy issues-ridden psychopath Frank Zito, who wanders streets of The Big Rotten Apple from a brutal kill to the next, breathing heavily and babbling incoherently all the while.

Film's effects were provided by Tom Savini, which includes the infamous "Disco Boy Scene" where a man's head explodes from a close range shotgun blast.

The year 2012 was treated to a remake that was produced and written by Alexandre Aja and which had Elijah Wood star as the title character. It is mostly the same story, but with the twist that almost the entire film is shot from a first-person perspective. It also incorporates online dating.

Tropes in the film:

  • Grave Marking Scene: Frank visits his mother's grave near the end.
  • Hallucinations: Frank starts having these when Anna hurts him at the funeral.
  • Make-Out Point: Disco Boy and Disco Girl drive into one near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for some Auto Erotica. Unfortunately, they were followed by Frank.
  • Murderous Mannequin: Frank hallucinates being ripped apart by his own mannequins (on which he placed the scalps of his victims) in both versions of the film.
  • The Remake: The unmade sequel was apparently going to be a remake of the 1975 film The Psychopath. And of course, there's the remake of the original.
  • Rise from Your Grave: Frank has a hallucination at the graveyard of his mother's maggot ridden corpse rising from the grave and grabbing him.
  • Senseless Violins: Frank carries his shotgun in a violin case.
  • Shovel Strike: Anna attacks Frank with a shovel when he is chasing her in the cemetery.
  • Sinister Subway: Frank follows one one of his victims hrough one.
  • Slashed Throat: Frank does this to his first on-screen victim (whom he finds on the beach waiting for her boyfriend) with a razor blade.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Last Horror Film, which features Caroline Munro and Joe Spinell in nigh-identical roles.
  • Stalker Shrine: There's one for Frank's mother, that's right next to his bed.
  • Villain Protagonist: The film follows Frank point of view.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Frank who is pitiable despite the utter viciousness of his murders.
  • Your Head Asplode: Disco Boy's head explodes thanks to a shotgun blast.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Disco Girl attempts to cheat her boyfriend with Disco Boy at the Make-Out Point. Frank then arrives and kills them both.

The remake has examples of:

  • Final Girl: Subverted with Anna, as she dies this time around.
  • Mythology Gag: Lucie tells Frank that he's "Not what I imagined, I thought you'd be fat with long greasy hair". This is a reference to Joe Spinell, the actor who played Frank in the original.