Grindhouse Releasing has been doing a pretty spectacular job of bringing some great old-school horror and exploitation flicks to the big screen (The Evil Dead, The Beyond, and Gone With The Pope are currently making the rounds), and next on their slate is William Lustig’s Maniac, starring Joe Spinell and featuring top-notch special effects by Tom Savini. Read on to see if Maniac is coming to a theatre near you. Blue Underground’s Blu-Ray release of the film hits shelves on October 26, 2010.Grindhouse Releasing, the company that brought you THE EVIL DEAD, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, PIECES and Duke Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE POPE, has partnered with director Bill Lustig of Blue Underground to present Mr. Lustig’s controversial horror classic MANIAC in theaters across North America.
MANIAC stars Joe Spinell (ROCKY, THE GODFATHER, TAXI DRIVER) as Frank Zito, a deeply disturbed man haunted by the traumas of unspeakable childhood abuse. 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. Even as he begins a relationship with a beautiful photographer (Caroline Munro of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME), Frank continues to act on his vile compulsions. The film holds nothing back in depicting the atrocities of a human monster.
MANIAC earned instant notoriety in 1980 as the most graphic and disturbing of all slasher films, thanks to the gruesome special effects wizardry of Tom Savini (DAWN OF THE DEAD, FRIDAY THE 13TH). Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert called for their audience to boycott MANIAC, feminists protested the film’s brutal violence, and other critics simply reviled the film as “sick” and “dirty.”
Aside from the shocking, bloody special effects sequences, MANIAC draws much of its power from the acting of the late Spinell, who also co-wrote and executive produced the film.
“MANIAC’s longevity is a tribute to the extraordinary talent of Joe Spinell, whose compelling performance has resonated with worldwide audiences since the film’s release 30 years ago,” Mr. Lustig said. “I’m very pleased to work with Grindhouse Releasing on this series of screenings.”
Grindhouse Releasing specializes in restoring and distributing the most extreme and controversial horror and exploitation films of our time. The company was founded in 1996 by actor/director Sage Stallone (VIC, ROCKY V) and Bob Murawski, the Oscar-winning film editor of THE HURT LOCKER, Sam Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN 1, 2 & 3 and DRAG ME TO HELL. Author David Szulkin (WES CRAVEN’S LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT) runs the company’s theatrical division, which has had its most successful year to date thanks to the phenomenal success of EVIL DEAD and the first-run release of GONE WITH THE POPE in more than 25 U.S. cities.
“MANIAC is an absolute classic and definitely the best of the late 70s/early 80s slasher movies,” Murawski said. “We knew it would be the perfect follow-up to EVIL DEAD since it’s also one of those rare exploitation films that fully lives up to the hype and delivers on all levels. As usual, we have gone all-out for this release, striking brand new 35mm prints and commissioning Stephen Romano to create a stunning new one-sheet to promote the film.”
“MANIAC is an extremely powerful movie, and I’m glad a new generation of fans now have the opportunity to experience it on the big screen,” said Szulkin. “Landmark Theatres has already booked the movie solid in November, and I expect to see it hit an additional 50 theaters in 2011.”
The new release of MANIAC begins Oct. 29 & 30 at the Egyptian Theatre in Seattle. Mr. Lustig will introduce screenings in Los Angeles (Nov. 5, Nuart Theatre) and New York (Landmark’s Sunshine, Nov. 19 & 20.)
For more information, visit www.GrindhouseReleasing.com or dial 323-963-GUTS (323-963-4887).
Oct. 29-30 Egyptian (Seattle)
Nov. 5 Nuart (LA) – Bill Lustig in person
Nov. 12 -13 Esquire (Denver)
Nov. 12-13 River Oaks (Houston)
Nov. 19-20 Sunshine (NY) – Bill Lustig in person
Nov. 19-20 Inwood (Dallas)
Nov. 26-27 Hi-Pointe (St. Louis) *tentative
Dec. 3-4 Uptown (Minneapolis)
Dec. 3-4 E Street (DC)
Dec. 10 – 11 Castro (San Francisco)
Dec. 17 – 18 Oaks (Pittsburgh)
Coming in 2011 to Loft Cinema (Tucson), Music Box (Chicago), Hollywood Theater (Portland, OR), and more!