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Directed by William Lustig ; Starring Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro
Elite Entertainment ; Region 0 ; NTSC ; Non-Anamorphic 1.85:1 ; 5.1 Surround / 2.0 Stereo ; Commentary, Trailers & TV Spots, Deleted Scene, Footage From Unfinished Sequel

Ah, DVD! The best thing about it is that, combined with this funky little thing called the 'internet', it enables us to finally see movies which were either banned in our repressed, backward country, or, as was the case with Maniac, butchered beyond recognition. This was one of the films I'd dreamed of seeing uncut for so very long. And now that I have, I have to say, shit, this is a pretty damn good movie. Often dismissed as a worthless and sleazy slasher picture, Maniac is in fact a truly disturbing portrait of a serial killer (hey, that sounds familiar!) thanks entirely to Spinell's powerhouse performance. He is totally believable in this role, and that's what makes the movie so icky. While you can't really take dead guys in hockey masks slaughtering slutty teenagers seriously, a guy who collects his victims' scalps and nails them to the heads of manequins is believable - I have a neighbour who I think does that! The only thing that sends this film out of the bounds of reality is when Caroline Munro takes a liking to our less than suave hero. But, thanks to this director's cut, this has been somewhat corrected. Bill Lustig has cleverly cut out the sequence where Spinell has dinner with Munro (however it's still available as a supplementary material). It's now an even more tightly edited, well-acted, and chilling thriller that deserves more praise.

It looks great too! Apart from some minor compression artifacts, I can't fault the picture on this one. A great job has been done on the remastered soundtrack - it sounds great!!

It also features some great extras, including the best damn audio commentary I've heard so far!! Featuring Lustig, Tom Savini, Luke Walter (Spinell's Assistant) and Lorenzo Martinelli (editor), this track is fan-bloody-tastic!! These guys sound like they're having a great time reliving the good old days. It's fast, very funny, and incredibly fascinating. You also get several trailers and TV-spots., the aforementioned 'Date' scene and footage from the never finished sequel 'Maniac 2: Mr Robbie', which is a real eye-opener!

Maniac comes highly recommended. It's great that folks like Elite and Anchor Bay are out there doing such a good job on movies that many would overlook. Keep 'em coming guys!