“Please stop this – it’s wrong!”

maniacal 2003

MANIACAL

1.5 Stars  2003/18/79m

“Gilbert Gill has come home to kill!”

Director: Joe Castro / Writer: Eric Spudic / Cast: Perrine Moore, Lee Webb, Carl Darchuk, Heather Asley, Carol Rosecarver, Brannon Gould, Jon Prutow, David Ortega, Michael Nyman, Deborah Huber.

Body Count: 14

Laughter Lines: “Should we be watching all these slasher movies with my brother on the loose?”


A little extra merit for the sheer passion shown for the genre in this effort, which is about as retarded as its nominal madman, one Gilbert Gill, a ‘slow’ youngster who opens the film by murdering his kindly stepmother and attacking his abusive father and goody-two-shoes sister Janet.

In true Halloween style, a plinky-plonky piano score runs through the credits and we skip forward three years to the day Gilbert is to be allowed home for a day’s visit with dad and sis. Instead, he murders a few of the orderlies at his low security asylum and returns to town where Janet blows off seeing him for a slumber party with slutty bimbo friends DJ and Brooke.

The outcome can be seen rolling over the horizon for miles, but there are some cutesy references to such obscure slashers as Happy Hell Night, Cheerleader Camp and even Camp Blood as well as conversations about the irony of the situation.

Nevertheless, the characters are so stupid that they fail to call off their gathering, even upon learning Janet’s brother is back in town and has murdered several people! Meanwhile, dad and a singular law enforcement officer (also DJ’s father) drive all over the place looking for Gilbert while the local kids chant Freddy-style rhymes in the park.

With the obvious love for the slasher opus, Castro abundantly ladles on the gore on with some deaths so ridiculous it defies belief: A fork in the head is one thing, but heads that collapse into rubbery masses at the thrust of a palm, and the longest strangulation in history push the bar from campy extravagance to low-watt idiocy.

Good laugh: Janet’s reasoning with her brother after thirteen murders: “please stop this – it’s wrong.” Same thing should have been mentioned to the producers.

Blurbs-of-interest: Brannon Gould was in Final Stab; Castro also directed Butchered and The Jackhammer Massacre.

One comment

  • The killer’s death was one of the most random and anticlimactic I’ve ever seen.

    “and the longest strangulation in history”

    I found it genuinely disturbing, for some reason.

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