Dawning Creates

Writing and Reviews – Denise Pasutti

Maniac (2012)


The Gist: As he helps a young artist with her upcoming exhibition, the owner of a mannequin shop’s deadly, suppressed desires come to the surface.(IMDB)

Deviants & Dolls: Elijah Wood (Frank), Nora Arnezeder (Anna), America Olivo (Frank’s Mother)


My Take:  Oh Frodo, what have you done?  Yes, I still identify Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins but that is neither here, nor there.  So this is a remake or reboot of a flick from 1980 by the same name, which I haven’t seen, and it is kind of messed but I’ve seen worse.  Frank restores mannequins for a living in the shop that he inherited from his mother, who was a big ole slut and seriously messed Frank up by screwing men right in front of him.  Mommy issues.

If you are not familiar with what this movie is about and don’t want to know, stop here because I am going to spoil the shit out of it. 


The flick starts with creepy Frank watching a couple of girls leaving a club.  He then proceeds to talk to himself as he follows one of the women home, corners her in a hallway and rams his big knife through her chin, into her head and then scalps her.  It’s quite graphic as you can see from the pic below.  He goes home and places the scalp on one of the mannequins and calls her his girlfriend.  Ok.


Online dating cautionary tale to follow.  Frank finds women through an online service and I’m guessing since he’s not bad looking, women are willing to meet him based on little more than an image and some chatting.  Not uncommon I’m sure.  A public venue offers safety until Lucie invites him home and forces her mouth on his, well, you know.  Can Frank just enjoy it?  Nope. He strangles her, scalps her and places her flesh and hair on another mannequin then introduces her to the first victim.  In one scene, Frank is losing it and the 2 mannequins are involved in oral sex.  Ok.


Frank meets the lovely Anna, a photographer with a fascination for mannequins and she seems to love them as much as he does, well, maybe not that much.  They become friends although Frank is clearly infatuated with her but he soon learns that she has a boyfriend. Frank really likes her and doesn’t do anything to threaten her other than stalk her a bit but his darker appetites still demand to be fed and he gets himself some more ‘girlfriends’.


Frank continues to unravel, killing Anna’s agent then offering her, his shoulder to cry on.  Frank being the smooth talker that he is, slips up and Anna is smart enough to realize that Frank killed her agent and other women.  After a bloody fight with Martin the neighbor, butcher knife to the mouth, Frank subdues Anna and puts her in the back of his van.  Yeah, he drives a creepy van; that should have been Anna’s first clue.  But she is a tough one and wakes up in time to stab him in the stomach with a mannequin hand, flag down a car, and jump inside then force the driver to run Frank down.


Oh no, he is not dead.  Anna is near death from being ejected by the car that hit a cement pylon and is going to wish she died.  Frank stumbles to her, tells her he wanted her to meet his mother then, you know it, he scalps her.  But Anna is special and gets a mannequin in a wedding dress and a pretty nice diamond ring.  So, Frank is hurting and even more delusion than ever and sees his women as flesh and blood and alive and feels them tear him to pieces; limbs pulled off, skin peeled from his face.  The last scene shows Frank in a closet, the one he sat in while his mother banged anything male, and he has died from the wounds he sustained from Anna and being hit by a car.


Final Thoughts:  Now that I have written about the movie, I see that I really didn’t care for it all that much.  The flick is primarily shot from Frank’s perspective, as in the camera is strapped to his chest facing away from him and we only see him when he looks in mirrors.  There are scenes where this is not the case, like where he lies on one of his victims and calls her Mommy.  The monologue that he carries on when he is hunting just sounds weird coming from Elijah Wood’s mouth and not very threatening.  As for the violence, the scalping is pretty gory and when Frank is being torn to pieces at the end it is bloody but overall, it could have been worse.  The butcher knife to the mouth bothered me the most.  This movie is hollow and simple in premise and execution.  There was really nothing in it that drew me into the story or the characters.  I didn’t care about Frank’s story or about his relationship with Anna or his mother.  It was underwhelming.  I would give this one a pass, even though Elijah Wood makes a good psycho.


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This entry was posted on October 22, 2013 by in Movie Reviews, Reviews and tagged , , , .
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