SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB: Week 37 Discussion - Maniac

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by shadow_priest_x, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    NOTE to NON-MEMBERS: Interested in joining the SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB? Shoot me a PM for more info.


    "You wanna get nuts?! All right! Let's get nuts!" -- Bruce Wayne, Batman '89

    Indeed, this week we get nuts as we trod the dark path of. . .


    [​IMG]


    Director Bio


    [​IMG]


    Maniac
    is directed by FRANCK KHALFOUN.

    And literally the only bio information I can find on him is this bit from his Wikipedia page:

    Franck Ange Khalfoun (born 9 March 1968 in Paris, Île-de-France, France) is a French film director and screenwriter, known for directing P2, Wrong Turn at Tahoe and Maniac. His upcoming films include Amityville franchise entry Amityville: The Awakening, horror-thriller Prey, and action-thriller Entry Level.



    Our Stars


    Elijah Wood: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000704/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm


    [​IMG]


    Norah Arnezeder: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2482391/?ref_=tt_cl_t1


    [​IMG]



    Film Overview and YouTube Videos


    Premise: As he helps a young artist with her upcoming exhibition, the owner of a mannequin shop's deadly, suppressed desires come to the surface.

    Budget: $6 million
    Box Office: $31,000





    Trivia
    (courtesy of IMDB)​


    * The movie features the song "Good-bye Horses," by Q. Lazzarus. The song was also featured in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), another movie about a serial killer who skinned people and had issues with his mother.

    * Upon meeting Frank at the restaurant, Lucie says she's happy that he's not "Fat, with long black hair and greasy skin full of acne" which, whilst not flattering, would be an apt description of Joe Spinell's Frank, in the original 1980 film.

    * Right after the scene when Frank kills the girl in a parking lot and he stands up with a knife in one hand and scalp in the other, you can see his reflection for a few seconds that is intentionally styled as the poster of the original movie Maniac (1980).



    [​IMG]


    Members: @shadow_priest_x @europe1 @EL CORINTHIAN @HUNTERMANIA @iThrillhouse @DaDamn @chickenluver @jeicex @MusterX @BeardotheWeirdo @In The Name Of @Coolthulu @AndersonsFoot
     
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  2. BisexualMMA Don't Put My Name in the Name of Steroids!

    BisexualMMA
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    My posts from the Horror discussion thread...

    Last horror movie I watched was the remake of Maniac with Elijah Wood.

    All in all, I would say I was rather disappointed. I'll give it a 4.9 out of 10. I could talk about this movie in some detail but I won't bother unless anyone else has opinions or wants to discuss it.

    ...

    Well, it suffers by comparison to the original. Joe Spinell was a hell of an actor and he really invested himself in the original character. But I won't hold the original against the remake.

    Having the vast majority of the film (I think all but one or two shots) filmed in first-person POV got fairly tiresome for me. It was just a gimmick that didn't really add to the story and, while it might have been effective if used sparingly, it just kept me from getting to know the Elijah Wood character. He was mainly a voice actor...and that was a problem because I wasn't a huge fan of the way Elijah Wood chose to voice the character.

    At times his voice was effective, and at times it seemed like a caricature of "creepy voice." He sounded like a prank phone caller at times.

    Sometimes Elijah Wood was above average, sometimes he was average, and sometimes he was below-average.

    The girl who played his love interest was actually quite good in her role. She stole the show.

    They had some bad CGI once or twice that took me out of the movie, and especially so given the authentic practical gore of the original Maniac.

    I was fine with having a Maniac that didn't look physically disgusting like Joe Spinell did in the original, and I got the reference the girl made in the "first date" scene (I pictured you fat with long greasy black hair and acne, or something like that). And while that could have been a clever line delivered differently or written more subtly, it was so specific and out of place in the conversation that, again, it took me out of the movie.

    It was all right, but I think they would have been better off just calling it something else. There was no reason to have it be a remake of Maniac, especially if they were going to film in such a radically different style.

    I thought the soundtrack was good.
     
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  3. In The Name Of Steel Belt

    In The Name Of
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    It was "alright" and you give it a 4.9/10?
     
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  4. In The Name Of Steel Belt

    In The Name Of
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    I haven't seen the original, but if it's anything to how people lauded Ringu over The Ring, I'll take The Ring 10/10 times.

    I thought the POV camera was very effective in this film. Even better than the drug movie we watched a few weeks back (name escapes me at the moment).

    Also, I thought the stunted, unique-looking Wood was an excellent cast for the role. He fit the reclusive, troubled loner very well.
    I felt that this voice was both natural to Wood and his character, and that it just happened to enhance the creep-factor of the film.

    All the reviews I've read raved about his portrayal. I agree with them that he was excellent throughout.

    I don't recall any myself, and in fact felt the real effects well above average. The scalpings were very authentic as was the achiles tendon slice, as was Wood carving the old dame's back before killing her.

    Now that I think of it, I think I did see the original, but I didn't let it detract from this film. In fact they were different movies with the same title. I'm sorry that you had a below average opinion of this film.

    The difference of opinion reminds me of how different people appreciated "It Follows."

    In keeping with my last point. I thought the soundtrack was excellent. It reminded me of the soundtrack to It Follows.

    I rate this version of Maniac an 8.7/10
     
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  5. BisexualMMA Don't Put My Name in the Name of Steroids!

    BisexualMMA
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    I think people consider me a fairly tough grader when it comes to movies. All right to me is in the range of 5-ish.
     
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  6. Joseph Budden GTM Gym, Tan, Make #Elite Bets

    Joseph Budden
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    Ringu and The Ring were different movies in a lot of ways. The Maniac films are basically the exact same thing except some thought Elijah Wood would be a good lead for something like this. Apparently you and reviewers are all about it so....

    8.7/10 jesus christ.....
     
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  7. In The Name Of Steel Belt

    In The Name Of
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    Now that you mention it, I remember this about your ranking. I think your 5 would probably be a 7 for me.
     
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  8. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    @In The Name Of, I got some thoughts for you but I'll have to post them in a bit.
     
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  9. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    Guys, remember that Kung Fury discussion is also welcome this week.


    [​IMG]
     
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  10. In The Name Of Steel Belt

    In The Name Of
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    I hardly remember the original Maniac, but thought this one was excellent. Have seen it 4 times now I believe.

    One thing I'll say, is that the kill scenes in this were some of the most-authentic and unnerving I've ever seen in horror (and it didn't use excessive filtering like Evil Dead remake). Close-up, slowly executed, gory, and very realistic. For a film like this that's an accomplishment.

    The only scene I thought was a little fake, was how he trapped the one girl in the parking lot with a bar over the gate latch. She acted pretty helpless to her plight. But then again, in a way, some of these scenes were meant to be caricatures of maniacal murders without the comedic angle. That scene I'm referring to ended with the realistic tendon cutting so it worked for me because of that.
     
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  11. In The Name Of Steel Belt

    In The Name Of
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    And just to add to my earlier thoughts, I think "mood" was important to the telling of this story, which was helped along by the tremendous soundtrack and then Wood's strange voice and the way he carried himself (not to mention his odd family craft).
     
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  12. Joseph Budden GTM Gym, Tan, Make #Elite Bets

    Joseph Budden
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    Jesus you really love this film lol i'm exaggerating when I say its shit. Mainly cause I prefer the original and don't think this did anything at all to better it, but can't deny its well made so I get the positive reviews and feedback its gotten. The kills were well done. If there is any solid complaint I can loft its that I really didn't find this unnerving which is essential for a movie like this (One Hour Photo being the best example of a similar movie that is unnerving the whole ride to me)

    That synth soundtrack was dope though
     
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  13. In The Name Of Steel Belt

    In The Name Of
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    I'll have to find and watch the original again. But I don't think it'll change me perception of this one.

    I've seen almost every horror made and this is right up there with the best as far as I'm concerned. The genre is pretty much my favorite along with low-brow comedy. It's my undiagnosed bipolar coming out I suppose lol.
     
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  14. MusterX Steel Belt

    MusterX
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    So anyway, I decided this week to order Chinese and then watch the movie. Just a little hole in the wall place that delivers, I had the crispy orange beef. It was somewhat ruined by Maniac's maniacal disposition but, nah, it wasn't ruined, it was better than the movie was.

    I actually give this film something like 6.8/10, almost a 7 but you have to realize that 7 in my book is just an average movie, a like, 8 is a good movie, a recommend, 9 is a great flick, there are probably only a couple of 9 films in any average year, and a 10 is the Holy Grail of film making. There are not very many 10 movies in existence but if I had to give an example, Forrest Gump is done as well as it could be, it has to be a 10. I can't think of anything that would be changed that would improve it.

    So 6.8 out of 10 for Maniac. I was struck by the get to it attitude of the film and by the sheer level of violence. Obviously he was hearing voices and was a schizophrenic who was obsessed with his mother. Thing is that's been done before, its called Psycho. In real life one of the most famous serial killers of all time was Ted Bundy and he said in a jail interview before he was executed that he was the way he was because his mother was a whore who brought men home and banged them.

    So maniac kinda borrows from both Psycho and from real life. Its the classic killer with mommy issues. I was irritated at the end though when the person pulls up in the car to save the female lead. She gets in the car then the person guns the car, runs over the Maniac and crashes the car.

    Literally none of that shit ever happened. She would not have tried to run over a random person and not only that the car wasn't traveling fast enough to kill them both. In fact, I'm downgrading to 6.5 because of that scene. I felt his end was a positive point in the film though because he was dying of blood loss but his frayed mind made him think that all his victims were killing him. What a horrific end.
     
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  15. MusterX Steel Belt

    MusterX
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    Yea he also had those anxiety problems. Every time someone asked him if he had a girlfriend or about his mother and he almost fainted. He had serious mother issues. Why is it always that girls have daddy issues and boys have mommy issues. Seems Sigmund Freud was on to something.
     
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  16. Coolthulu Blue Belt

    Coolthulu
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    This was just my usual Saturday night: some Croatian wine, gluten free chips, and Frodo Baggins scalping a plethora of women......

    <{zoinks}>

    It was an oddly captivating experience. The POV style adds an interesting element to the film and the performances from Wood & Arnezeder were fairly good. The mood & music makes it a chilling watch.

    The soundtrack was easily my favorite bit. Loved it. All of it. You can hear right away from the opening cue ‘Doll’ that it is a sort of homage to the 80s with some cool synth sounds and throbbing bass lines. It's entirely electronic in nature and I FUCKING LOVE THAT SHIT.

    Despite being a product of the 90s, the 80s were the tits from what I've seen & heard. It just had so much more pizzazz than any other era. Most of the cues are very enjoyable to listen to, like the repetitive but rewarding ‘Haunted’. Pretty catchy stuff. The most impressive cue of them all was "Haunted Sequence". It sounds like a remix of "Haunted", but it works a lot better.

    It kind of reminded me of Drive, but with a delightfully unhinged serial killer who looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    As opposed to a devastatingly handsome Ryan Gosling in a white satin jacket with a golden scorpion emblem that looks so fucking cool. I could never pull it off. It's nowhere near the groin-grabbingy transcendent NWR masterpiece that Drive is. Obviously. It just had a similar vibe coz of the music & some other techniques/aesthetics.

    I understand this is a remake and I might want to see the original to get an idea of how thoroughly made this one is.

    In a weird way, I enjoyed it. Prob more than I should have.

    <{titihmm}>
     
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  17. In The Name Of Steel Belt

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    See, the way I saw his odd way of conversing (and even the way it sounded throughout with the use of POV), was through the Freudean lense you're speaking of. I can't remember, berry which victim it was, but he was clearly tormented by his mother in his mind when he'd say, "can't I just have this one!" It's like his mother stole everything from him (his innocence, his view of intimacy and sex), and demanded his secret devotion to her even after death.

    Also, yeah I forgot about that car death scene at the end. I'm not sure why I let of this go by way of artistic license, but to me the realism wasn't that important, as so much of what the story had to do with the internal struggle of the Maniac to the point that his external perception of events was constantly being altered. The dinner scene with the emo-girl where he saw everyone glaring at him was exemplary of this. But I digress.
     
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  18. In The Name Of Steel Belt

    In The Name Of
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    Cool comments. Hilarious that I loved the soundtrack too and was going to mention how it reminded me of Drive also lol. But because it lacked a lot of big-name songs, I compared it rather to It Follows (not sure if you saw that or not - GREAT soundtrack).

    Also, there was some sci-fi, Canadian (I think) production about 5 years ago that utilized throbbing synthetic 80s sound too. It had a lot of the era neon and red lighting as well. I can't remember the name of the movie but it was on Netflix. It wasn't that great a film as it was mostly style with little substance IMO.

    But anyway, I feel similarly about Maniac. I probably enjoyed it more than I should have. It certainly wasn't perfect, but for the genre, it was unique, creepy, gory and overall pretty good IMO.
     
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  19. In The Name Of Steel Belt

    In The Name Of
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    Oh and regarding Kung Fury . . .

    My favorite parts were:

    - the computer geek hacking time lol. Too funny. "Error: too much time hacked."

    - the German guys talking about their mustaches on the bench and then Kung Fury picks up the tank and squashes them. The one German in particular who was sensitive about his light-colored 'stache and then tearing up. Priceless.
     
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  20. MusterX Steel Belt

    MusterX
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    Yea the one he said that about was the red head named Lucy. She seemed like fun, but he had to go and strangle her.

    Also, the black guy that was the boyfriend of his interest talked shit to him in the bathroom and dried his hands on him. I thought, yea, he is going to kill the shit out of that dude but he was a bit impudent in that dept. He had to go kill her agent instead. It makes sense though that a stronger male would male him feel "less than."
     
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