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Maniac (1980)

aka Maniac

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 87 mins · English


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Small Frank Zito
Small Anna D'Antoni
No_movie_poster Rita
No_movie_poster Nurse
No_movie_poster Hooker
Small Disco Boy
No_movie_poster Disco Girl
No_movie_poster Beach Boy
No_movie_poster Beach Girl
Small Second Nurse
No_movie_poster TV Reporter
No_movie_poster Second Nurse's Boyfriend
Small Al (Hotel Manager)


Small Tom Savini Makeup Effects
Small Joe Spinell Screenplay
Small William Lustig Director
No_movie_poster Jay Chattaway Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Andrew W. Garroni Producer
No_movie_poster Judd Hamilton Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Rob Bottin Makeup Effects


Frank Zito is a middle-aged, overweight, Italian-American loner living in an unspecified borough of New York City, where he works as the landlord of a small apartment complex. Unbeknownst to his tenants, Frank is a schizophrenic serial killer who spends his nights stalking and killing women, scalping them and bringing the scalps and their clothing back home to decorate his steadily growing supply of mannequins. Once a mannequin has been decorated to his satisfaction, Frank sleeps with it for several nights, using them to carry on one-sided conversations with his deceased mother, an abusive prostitute who subjected him to years of physical abuse before dying in a car accident and leaving him orphaned. Inexplicably, after several nights, Frank grows tired of each mannequin, posing them around different parts of his apartment before seeking out another victim.

One afternoon, Frank sees that his picture has been taken by a fashion photographer named Anna. Getting her name off of the luggage tag she keeps on her purse, Frank tracks her down, but is impressed enough with her artwork that rather than kill her, he begins dating her. While visiting her on the set of her latest photo shoot, he is so taken with Rita, one of Anna's models, that he steals a piece of Rita's jewelry, using it as a pretext to come to her apartment later that night so that he can kidnap her. Frank takes Rita home and ties her to the bed, where he addresses her as his mother, declaring his undying love for her before stabbing her to death. He then mutilates her body and disposes of it, later attending the funeral with Anna.

His grip on reality quickly deteriorating, Frank takes Anna to his mother's grave one night on the way to the movies. At the cemetery, Frank tries to kill Anna, but she wounds him with a shovel left lying by a freshly dug grave and escapes. Frank begins suffering disorienting, disturbing hallucinations of his mother's corpse rising up from its grave and of his mother beckoning to him from her bed. He returns to his apartment, where he has a vision of the mannequins transforming into the vengeful reanimated corpses of his victims and tearing his body apart.

The next morning, two police detectives, apparently alerted by Anna, break down the door to Frank's apartment. They find him on his bed, bleeding from the stomach as the result of a self-inflicted knife wound. The detectives, upon seeing Frank's mannequin collection, leave the apartment, at which point Frank opens his eyes, implying he's still alive, then the film ends with the title of the film, before cutting to the credits.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1980-12-26 : United States of America