Just a steel town girl on a Saturday night
Looking for the fight of her life
In the real time world no one sees her at all
They all say she’s crazy

There’s a cold kinetic heat
Struggling, stretching for the peak
Never stopping with her head against the wind

She’s a maniac, maniac at your love
And she’s dancing like she’s never danced before
She’s a maniac, maniac at your love
And she’s dancing like she’s never danced before

It can cut you like a knife
If the gift becomes the fire
On the wire between will and what will be.

Strange to think that these lyrics from Maniac, the number one hit from Flashdance, were actually written for the 1980 “video nasty” original of this movie.

23 years later director Franck Khalfoun has remade Maniac as a far glossier art-house offering.  Its main feature is that it’s shot almost entirely point of view by the main protagonist, schizophrenic and enthusiastic scalper, Frank Zito played by Elijah Wood.  Why Wood chose to play this part is anyone’s guess.  It’s as far from The Hobbit, Lord of The Rings and Happy Feet as anyone could begin to imagine, but it’s to his credit as an actor that he has chosen to do so.

It’s a curious movie.  Billed as truly terrifying and extraordinarily sick, the truth is it’s not nearly as bad as the so called “torture porn’ that’s graced our screens of late.  In fact with its classy soundtrack by “Rob” with echoes of 2011’s Drive and 70’s thriller noirs and its interesting use of what appears to be a form of tilt shift photography it’s a really interesting technical achievement.

Wood carries the whole thing off well, he never milks the part and he’s almost a sympathetic character as he quickly ravages the sexually active female population of Los Angeles and uses their hair as the finishing pieces to his collection of vintage mannequins.  Clearly he has issues with his mother’s promiscuity which has sent him into such an Oedipal lather and she doesn’t come out well in his estimations.

Overall it’s interesting rather than brilliant.

It won’t get much of an audience but it’s most certainly recommended if you have the stomach for the more graphic moments.

Come on folks. Don't just sit there gawping. Say something. Get involved.

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