Monday, July 13, 2020
I have always been a slasher film fan. In that particular genre you have what I like to refer to as a sub genre that I affectionately refer to as looney from the looney bin on the loose. Interestingly enough, Halloween isn't one of those I count in this sub genre as I feel it has been done to death.
I'm thinking more of things like Truth or Dare; A Critical Madness or The Last Slumber Party.
And now, Maniacal. It seems that Gilbert is a little slow and freakishly strong. His drunk father could care less and yells at Gilbert. To confuse his poor brain even farther his step mom is always being a little too kissy kissy. One day Gilbert snaps, smacks dad with a hammer and then proceeds to bash step mom's head in with the same hammer. Gilbert gets caught and is taken to the insane asylum to stew in his own insanity for a few years.
Then, the asylum decides he should be able to visit so, Dad is on his way to pick Gilbert up when Gilbert decides he wants to leave early by shoving a fork in an orderlies skull and snapping another ones neck. Before he can make it out of the asylum he is forced to rip a few other people to pieces and then he steals his own father's truck and heads for home. Home where his little sister is getting ready for a slumber party with her friends and some uninvited boys,.
I know what you're thinking; this sounds like a number of slasher films and you'd be right, except for one thing;
Joe Castro. Joe Castro not only directed the film, but he also did the gore effects. Joe's practical effects are some of the best in the business. He also directed a couple of my favorite flicks; Terror Toons and Legend of the Chupacabra. Joe brings his knowledge of practical effects along and the aforementioned step mom head bashing looks spectacular. The fork to the head? Yeah, that looked painful. All of the effects are practical and remind me of the fantastic slasher flicks from the 80s combined with the slasher SOV flicks of the 90s. In other words, Maniacal is a slasher film fans dream come true. There is a scene in a video store with so many VHS tapes on the shelves it took my breath away. I think if I had any criticism of this movie it would be this cool weapon that Gilbert put together with a pole some knives and duct tape. I would have liked to see that used in a few more kills in the film.
In addition I would like to mention Lee Web as Gilbert for the sheer intensity he brings to the role of a stone faced, silent killer.
Maniacal is available from Sterling Entertainment for a pretty reasonable price. I recommend it.