Maniac (1980) (4K Remaster 3-Disc Limited Edition) (Blu-ray Review)

Maniac (1980) (4K Remaster 3-Disc Limited Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: William Lustig
STARRING: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Gail Lawrence
AVAILABLE FROM Blue Underground

Frank Zito (a career performance by writer/executive producer Joe Spinell of ROCKY and THE GODFATHER fame) is a deeply disturbed man, haunted by the traumas of unspeakable childhood abuse. And when these horrific memories begin to scream inside his mind, Frank prowls the seedy streets of New York City to stalk and slaughter innocent young women. Now Frank has begun a relationship with a beautiful photographer (Caroline Munro of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME), yet his vile compulsions remain. These are the atrocities of a human monster. This is the story of a MANIAC.

Blue Underground has once again brought us a release of Maniac, but this time it comes to us with a newly discovered print and it is mastered in 4K. So, if you are looking for a better release than the Blu-ray before, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s be honest, Maniac never looked great. In the days of DVDs what we got from Maniac was okay. It looked better than VHS and it maintained that Grindhouse look. On Blu-ray, we expect more and the 30th Anniversary was soft. This new transfer pulls details out of Maniac that you never thought it would have had. The movie doesn’t pop with bright colors or anything of that nature, but you could compare the old Blu-ray to the new Blu-ray by saying it is kinda like putting on a pair of glasses after your old pair isn’t really working that well anymore. The extras and the CD that comes with this only adds to it, because the new transfer is reason alone to be buying this new release of Maniac. A movie that always makes you kind of feel dirty when you watch it, but that’s part of the charm.

Maniac is not a movie for everyone. I’ll admit that I myself find it a bit on the slow side from time to time, but I do enjoy the violence, the effects work from Tom Savini, and the look at a very grimy and dirty pre-tourist crazy New York. You feel a grimy vibe when you watch Maniac and I think that’s a thing that is very much meant to be a reaction to it. It really does seem to capture a time. You can watch a new extra on this release with the director visiting old locations and seeing how they compare today to notice the vibe of the time was caught on film. Manic is a very violent film and that might be what I like most about it, but there’s a good story behind it as well. When you aren’t in awe of the new transfer, you’ll have plenty of interviews and such to go through to hear all about its story on this release.


– WORLD PREMIERE! New 4K Restoration from the recently discovered 16mm original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) Widescreen 1.85:1 feature presentation and Bonus Extras Blu-ray
Audio: 7.1 DTS-HD (English); 2.0 DTS-HD (English); Dolby Digital 2.0 (Castellano, Francais, Italiano, Deutsch)
– Subtitles: English SDH, Francais, Espanol, Portugues, Deutsch, Italiano, Dansk, Suomi, Nederlands, Svenska, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai
– Audio Commentary #1 with Producer/Director William Lustig and Producer Andrew W. Garroni
– Audio Commentary #2 with Producer/Director William Lustig, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini, Editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Joe Spinell’s Assistant Luke Walter
– NEW! MANIAC Outtakes
– NEW! Returning to the Scene of the Crime with William Lustig
– Anna and the Killer – Interview with Star Caroline Munro
– The Death Dealer – Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini
– Dark Notes – Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway
– Maniac Men – Interview with Songwriters Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky
– The Joe Spinell Story
– Mr. Robbie: Maniac 2 Promo Reel
– MANIAC Publicity
– MANIAC Controversy
– Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spots
– BONUS! MANIAC Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by Jay Chattaway
– BONUS! Collectible Booklet with new essay by Michael Gingold