Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Maniac (2012) French-American

It is estimated that only about 8% of people in the world have blue eyes. It is also said to be a 'diminishing trait' meaning, I guess, that before the invention of contacts, you could be confident that the striking young gentleman or beautiful lady's blue eyes were for real. In 1985 (if you weren't born yet, shut up) there was a western that I ACTUALLY WATCHED AND LIKED called Silverado. It's main purpose seemed to cram in every actor and actress currently popular for some kind of story and lots of shooting. 

But there was one young actor and... I don't OMG and I don't think OMG even existed back then, but O.M.G. this guy had THE BLUEST eyes I had ever seen and he was gorgeous to boot - when it turned out he was a nasty bad guy I actually booed. But from then on, no matter how bad the movie, I watched everything he was in that I could find. 

His name is Jeff Fahey. Nowadays his roles seem to be as the corporate bad guy, the scruffy bad guy, the western bad guy (again), and, kind of like Tom Savini, seems to be around to appear in movies where he's there for, oh, five minutes tops, two of those with Michael Biehn (John Conner's dad in the Terminator movies). He's still doing that - the last movie I saw both him and Biehn (for two minutes) was in the movie Sushi Girl but that's coming later. Jeff's eyes may have faded just a bit but they are still striking and yes, I have had a movie crush on the guy since Silverado.

Long story short (way WAY too late) there's only one more actor with eyes that beat his - Elijah Wood. Okay now you can OMG. I'd seen him around... somewhere, but in Lord Of The Rings (those constant closeups of his cherubic face helped) those blue eyes looked enormous and the color of - huh, I tried to look up what the bluest blue in the world is and I got a bunch of links about Crater Lake, Oregon (I've been there several times, and it is gorgeous) so I'll guess it'll have to do or at least come close. Those eyes are something you could stare at for years.

The movie? You should know by now the movie is just coincidental to my rambling. In 1980 a gruesome and stupid horror movie came out called Maniac about a guy off his nut in NY, going around killing girls, scalping them and putting the hair on mannequins in his apartment to, I don't know, re-create his dead mother or something. She was a whore and constantly made him miserable so he starts killing after her death. It was horrible then (starring Joe Spinell who unfortunately died early at 52) and even featured Tom Savini (billed as 'disco boy') and I don't want to watch it now.

But I guess I just did. For some ungodly reason, Elijah Wood did a remake of this movie. It. Was. Horrible. It was embarrassing. And worst of all, for some other ungodly reason they decides to show most of it from Frank Zito's (Elijah Wood) POV, meaning you don't even get to SEE those blue eyes for a lot of the movie. If that was supposed to be clever, they failed.

Frank Zito is a mentally disturbed young man who has taken over his family's mannequin sales business after the recent death of his mother, who also moonlighted as a prostitute. Frank's childhood experiences of seeing his mother bring home clients or being taken out with her to turn tricks has left Frank unable to enter into meaningful relationships with women, and his sexual impulses tend to manifest themselves as violent urges that Frank externalizes as his mother's will. Struggling to come to grips with his mother's treatment of him, and spurred by memories of his mother brushing her hair before going out at night, Frank stalks, murders, and scalps a woman one night, attaching her hair to a mannequin that he then keeps in his bedroom.

Aaaand there's your movie. Lather, rinse, repeat. The act of scalping them was pretty well (and bloodily) done, putting those bloody things (literally) on dummy heads, going to get another one. Wow, what a riveting story. Oh but wait - there's the artist who's gonna redeem him, right? Photographer Anna (Nora Arnezeder, a French actress) takes pictures of his mannequins (the non-bloody, non-scalpy ones) and asks if she can use some of them in her exhibit. He reluctantly says yes and so she does - and puts her face on every one of them. Vain much? Seeing her all over the room makes Frank really, really nervous and really, really, murdery. Hey, my blog, my vocabulary, shut up.

So will Frank resist the kill and go for the, uh, love? This is a slasher flick, what do you think? He actually gets worse, scalping one woman while she's still alive (a flinch-worthy scene I must admit). Finally he goes after Anna - but kidnaps her instead of his usual MO. In a really REALLY movie DUH scene she escapes, gets in a car that hits Frank, then crashes, sending Anna through the windshield (because in France apparently they have neither seatbelts nor safety glass). Frank is messed up, but hobbles over and scalps Anna as she dies.

Her scalp takes its place of honor on a mannequin in a wedding dress. And we get some weird LSD-like experience of Frank, as he's dying, believing the mannequins all come alive to tear him apart, revealing him to actually be a mannequin himself, while his 'love' in the wedding dress turns her back on him. Later the cops crash into his apartment but he's already dead, somehow making it into the closet. YAWN.

I would say I hope that's the last bad decision Wood makes, but he currently stars in a TV show with a human in a dog costume so... yeah.