Maniac (1980)

85m (USA – special edition), 87m (USA)
colour, 16mm film (blown up to 35mm film), 1.85:1
Dolby Stereo, English

An American horror film directed by William Lustig.

Plot Summary

The mentally unbalanced Frank, still mourning the death of his mother in a car crash a few years ago, takes to scalping young women and dressing in his apartment with the bloody hair. When he meets photographer Anna in the park, it seems that she might be the one who can save him from himself – but is it too late for Frank?


* = uncredited

Directed by: William Lustig
© MCMLXXX [1980] Maniac Productions Inc.
Magnum Motion Pictures Inc *
Executive Producers: Joe Spinell, Judd Hamilton
Produced by: Andrew Garroni, William Lustig
Associate Producer: John Packard
Screenplay by: C.A. Rosenberg, Joe Spinell
Story by: Joe Spinell
Director of Photography: Robert Lindsay
Editor: Lorenzo Marinelli
Music by: Jay Chattaway
Sound Mixer: Gary Rich
Wardrobe and Make-Up: Candace Clements
Special Make Up Effects by: Tom Savini
Locations: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA; Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA; New York City, New York, USA; Woodside, New York, USA *

Joe Spinell (Frank Zito)
Caroline Munro (Anna D'Antoni)
Gail Lawrence (Rita)
Tom Savini (disco boy)
Kelly Piper (nurse)
Hyla Marrow (disco girl)
Rita Montone (hooker)
James Brewster (beach boy)
Linda Lee Walter (beach girl)
Tracie Evans (street hooker)
Sharon Mitchell (second nurse)
Carol Henry (deadbeat)
Nelia Bacmeister (Carmen Zito)
Louis Jawitz (art director)
Denise Spagnuolo (Denise)
Billy Spagnuolo (Billy)
Frank Pesce (TV reporter)
Candace Clements (first park mother)
Diane Spagnuolo (second park mother)
Kim Hudson (lobby hooker)

Alternative Titles

Maniac – nukkemurhaaja – Finland
Maniak – Poland

Extracts included in
100 Years of Horror (1996)
The American Nightmare (2000)
Bleeder (1999)
Kovat jätkät (1996)
Scream Greats Vol. 1 Tom Savini Master of Horror Make-up (1986)



  • Screen International no.224 (19-26 January 1980) p.4 – note (In confidence by Peter Noble)


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.352
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.350
  • Grande Illusions – A learn by example guide to the art and technique of special make-up effects from the films of Tom Savini by Tom Savini
  • Horror! 333 Films to Scare You to Death by James Marriott & Kim Newman p.227
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.107-110 – credits, synopsis, review
  • House of Psychotic Women by Kier-La Janisse p.408
  • The Mammoth Book of Movies: An A-Z Guide to Over Sixty Years of Blood and Guts by Peter Normanton pp.302-305
  • Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990 by Brian Albright p.262
  • Serial Killer Cinema: An Analytical Filmography by Robert Cetti p.277-279