The horror of a Maniac remake

If anyone wanted to start a website that exclusively covered bad genre remake news, well, they’d never be out of business. 

Sadly, it would be the same story over and over again with interchangeable titles, yet one recently struck me as so wrong headed, it makes Ben Affleck helming The Stand look like brilliant move of the year.

According to Deadline, the 1980 sicko gore horror film Maniac is being remade with Elijah Wood in the lead. 

For those who aren’t underground horror inclined, the original Maniac was considered really strong stuff when it first came out.

In fact, it’s still disgusting people to this day. 

Even way back when, gore fans were offended by this film, and if you think Eli Roth is as hardcore as horror gets, Maniac makes his work look like Romper Room.


The film is definitely an acquired, ah, taste, and if viewers find it offensive, that’s the whole point. The plot’s pretty simple, a lunatic stalking and killing women, and nailing their scalps to his collection of mannequins.

Under rated character actor Joe Spinell played the title role, a greasy, sicko loner, and if you’re familiar with the original, you’ll know Wood is completely wrong for this role.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Lord of the Rings as much as everybody else and thought Wood was terrific as Frodo in the series, but he’s too cute and elfin to play a hideous greaseball who couldn’t get laid if his life depended on it, piling up dead people in his rathole apartment. 

Even though he did a relatively sick role in Sin City, this is just too much of a stretch.


Like Caligulia, the best you can say about Maniac besides the gore effects by Tom Savini (probably his most realistic work to date), is it still has the power to shock and offend after all these years, and without anything deeper, this will probably end up like the Last House remake. 

Without any political subtext of the times, (like Night of the Living Dead, Last House carried a lot of the baggage of the sixties into it), it was just a standard rape and revenge movie. 

Similarly, the nu Maniac’s probably gonna be just another nutjob killing women movie, and what’s so special or scary about that?

Oh, big improvement, he’s now got the Internet to hunt his victims. (ZZzzzzzzzz).