Thursday, July 4, 2024

Maniac, Deadly Love

Another Hammer one today.  An early Hammer film.  Peter Cushing was supposed to be in it with George Sanders.  By the time the film got around to being made, the two acting greats were otherwise occupied. We have a good one with a shock ending.  Though when people speak with their hormones, happy endings are nowhere in sight.  Today we look at "Maniac," directed by Michael Carreras.  This one is from France.

Four years ago the lovely Annette (Liliane Brousse) gets off the school bus and is raped by pervert Janiello (Arnold Diamond).  Annette's dad gets there and grabs Janiello and hauls him back to his garage.  In the garage the dad takes the acetylene torch to Janiello, killing him. Dad is sentenced to a mental asylum. Four years later Annette works as a barmaid at her stepmom's inn. In walks the handsome Jeff (Kerwin Mathews).  He's immediately taken with the now 19 year-old babe.  So much so he dumps his present GF, the more appropriately aged Grace (Justine Lord).  Now Jeff decides to stay at the inn.  In comes the stepmom, Eve (Nadia Gray). She is not happy this older man is interested in her teen stepdaughter.  She would rather Jeff be interested in her.  She'll seduce him and the two will become lovers.

Now Jeff and Eve are smitten with sweaty passion.  Annette is jealous.  Uh oh...Eve is still married to an insaniac.  Here is where it gets good.  Giles (Jerold wells) will allow Jeff and Eve to go off together if they help bust him out of the asylum.  They do.  Making deals with the criminally insane rarely goes well.  Now Eve and Jeff quickly find out they are not rid of the acetylene torch murderer.  He's back and bodies start piling up. Now Eve once more makes a bargain with Giles.  She will give him his daughter Annette if he will go away and leave her and Jeff alone.  Again, making bargains with the criminally insane rarely goes well.  

Will the insane Giles allow Jeff to have his wife?  Will the nubile Annette be happy going away with her psycho dad?  Can't handsome Jeff find a woman with no psychos in her personal life?  Then the ending!  Shock and surprise will abound!  Experienced Hammer fans might figure it out, but will still enjoy this morality tale.  See "Maniac," and be grateful a psycho with an acetylene torch is not after you. 

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