Maniac

1963 [english]

Action / Crime / Horror / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

Maniac

1963 [english]

Action / Crime / Horror / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

55%
5.9

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55% - Audience
5.9

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Synopsis

Kerwin Matthews, playing a dissolute drifter down on his luck, Jeff Farrell, is stranded in a cheap bar in France where he falls for Annette, the proprietor's pretty stepdaughter, played by Liliane Brousse. Annette's stepmother Eve, played by Nadia Gray, gradually shifts the young man's attentions to herself, rather than her stepdaughter, and together Eve and Jeff concoct a plot to help free Eve's estranged husband from the institution in which he's been confined as a homicidal maniac these past four years after committing the so-called "Acetylene Murder", when he killed with a blowtorch the man who raped Annette. The idea is that Georges, the husband, will leave the country, but, unknown to Jeff, it's not Georges who escapes but Henri, the guard who has become Eve's lover . . . —Wheeler Winston Dixon.

Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Aug 15, 2021 at 11:02 PM

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grade Movie Reviews

  • Reviewed by adriangr grade 6 / 10

    Easy to watch chiller

    Maniac is one of the lesser known of Hammer's "psychological thrillers" made in black and white around the 1960's. It's not fiendishly clever enough to be really memorable but it does have a few interesting twists. Basically the plot sees Kerwin Mathews stranded in a small French town where he books into a hotel and starts to feel attracted to the owners sexy young step-daughter. Soon after this, he also starts feeling attracted to the more mature but still sexy step-mother as well! Apart form this love triangle, there is a further problem, in that the missing family member in this scenario is the father, who is currently locked up in an asylum for a violent blow-torch murder committed years ago…now but he wants out, and our hero is about to be roped into aiding in his escape! The film doesn't hang together very well for the beginning hour or so, sadly mainly due to Kerwin Mathews' wooden performance. Seeing him flirt with the daughter and then casually drop her and turn to her mother left me feeling quite disconnected from the plot as I found him a very unlikeable character. However when the plot to spring the insane killer gets going, things get to be more fun, and its after this point that a few nice twists start being revealed. I didn't guess the ending, which I am glad to say.The movie is nicely shot, and makes a lot of use of it's location, with some very nice location filming, especially a very odd ruin/cave which features in the finale. Although why it's set in France at all is of no consequence, they really could have used the exact same plot and just stayed put in England. Anyway it's nice to see these old movies again, and luckily this is out on DVD. It's worth a look.


  • Reviewed by MartinHafer grade 7 / 10

    Yet another PSYCHO-like film from the early 60s

    The film begins with a very sick and brutal murder with a blow torch!! While you could understand why the man killed, how he did it was naturally quite unsettling! Four years later, Kerwin Mathews is wandering about Europe aimlessly when he arrives in a small town in Provence, France. Here he stumbles upon a beautiful pair of ladies who are mother and daughter. What happens next, I really don't want to say as it would spoil the excitement and twists.The early 1960s brought us a lot of films about maniac killers. PEEPING TOM seemed to be the film to start the craze back--debuting just before PSYCHO. PEEPING TOM was probably the best of these films and for about six years afterwords, there were a bunch of similar productions that focused on a mad killer. STRAIGHT-JACKET, HOMICIDAL, DEMENTIA 13, PARANOIAC and HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE are among scores of psychopathic killer films.In the middle of this mad killer craze came the film MANIAC. Like the others, it involves a brutal killer who was seen as hopelessly crazy and the film had lots of nice twists and turns to keep the viewer guessing. Compared to these other films, I'd say that MANIAC is about average--very engaging but not among the cream of the bloody crop. Well made--just now good enough to put it among the best of the genre.


  • Reviewed by claudio_carvalho grade 7 / 10

    Triangle of Love

    When the American painter Jeff Farrell (Kerwin Mathews) dumps his girlfriend in Camarga, France, he meets the eighteen year-old waitress Annette Beynat (Liliane Brousse) in a bar and decides to stay in the town on vacation at a bed and breakfast owned by her stepmother Eve Beynat (Nadia Gray). Jeff feels a great attraction for Annette but soon he is seduced by Eve and has a love affair with her. He learns that three years ago Annette was raped by a man called Janiello (Arnold Diamond) and her father Henri (Donald Houston), who is locked in an asylum, killed the man using an acetylene torch. After visiting Henri, Eve tells to Jeff that he accepts to let her go with him provided they help him to escape from the asylum driving a runaway car to the harbor. Jeff decides to help Henri but soon he is visited by Inspector Etienne (George Pastell) and discovers dark secrets."Maniac" is a combination of film-noir with psychological thriller by Hammer having a triangle of love to complete the big picture. The sexual tension between Henri, Annette and Eve is constant and the relationship of Henri with the two women is unusual and strange. The plot has many twists and is engaging. My vote is seven.Title (Brazil): "Maniac"


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