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Maniac Killer - Maniac Killer( Blu Ray) [Full Moon Features - 2021]

Maniac Killer is a lopsided & largely cackhanded blend of occult horror, bumbling action, and mad doctor mystery. The film appeared in the late 1980’s- it’s a French production, with very stilted and dodgy dubbing. And, depending on ones tastes it’s either an entertaining slice of euro trash, or an unevenly paced mess that tries to juggle horror and action genres badly. Here from Full Moon Features is a recent Blu Ray release of the film, which features just a new HD scan of the film and a trailer reel.

Maniac Killer( aka Mania, Kill & Enjoy ) appeared in the year 1987- it was released by the infamous euro sleaze/low budget exploitation company Eurociné. It was directed by Andrea Bianchi, who will be most known to euro horror fans for his sleazed ‘n’ campy zombie picture Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror(1981). Though he also helmed the notoriously sleazed Giallo Strip Nude For Your Killer(1975), as well as around twenty or so other films between the years 1972 and 1995. And it’s fair to say Maniac Killer is neither well-shot, well-edited, or well-acted- but of course, this is unashamedly 1980’s euro trash.

The film kicks off in trying to creepy and atmospheric form- with a still of a black cat, crunching footfalls and horror ambience playing over the very lengthy credits. When we finally get into the film Mr crunchy shoes is back- as he’s stalking a lady of the night who has just come out of a nightclub, she tries to hide but is found soon enough and bashed on the head. When she comes round she’s in dungeon tied to a wall- an unseen figure in a red grown, holds a gold sprayed cane with a flake plastic snake on it, and instructs his ageing muscle man henchmen to start- really bad heavy metal kicks in and the woman screams as her top is ripped and her nipples are tweaked. This is the dungeon we revisit a few times over the film and is one of the badly drawn plot lines of the film. The other plotline features an ageing Chuck Connors( Old yeller, Soylent Green, Tourist Trap)- playing Professor Roger Osborne-a respected Dr who is hiding out in the French countryside.  The prof is carrying out some kind of experiments, using animals ( both dead and alive) brought to him by a lumbering- skinny- flop haired special needs teen boy. Also added into the mix we have random gossiping locals trying to fill in huge plot holes, an up to no good count( Bo Seveson), a posh policeman, and a selection of other characters who have little or no background/ meaning been in the film.

The whole film is badly edited - with some scenes sudden cutting out, while others drag on and we get awkward smirking cast members. The film's soundtrack features sudden rises of low-grade metal music, wonky synth sounds, or ham-fisted attempts at mood music.   As it unfolds we get an awkward mix ‘n’ match of dungeon-based torture with crude breast fondling & dodgy brandings,  bumbling gunfights with badly set off squibs,  mad doctor interactions, and a talking ‘n’ badly drawing computer. The whole stumbles along, barely holding together. Connors is the only semi-competent actor here, and at points, you really do feel a little sorry for him.

The blu ray is region free, and the new HD print looks clear and bright enough- with a good sound mix. Like most other Full Moon Feature releases, there are no extras here, aside from a trailer reel of the companies of euro trash titles.

In conclusion, Maniac Killer sits very firmly in the bad movie camp- with its barely competent filmmaking, crappy dubbing/ dodgy acting, and a rough ‘n’ ready blend of horror and action tropes. I’d say you’ll know now if this is for you or not, but if you are still on the fence check out the trailer here 

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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