Tag: sam raimi

Maniac: Throwback to the Video Nasty

I recently watched Maniac starring Elijah Wood and it is a surprisingly nasty film and only watchable if you can stomach such extreme misogynistic violence. Not exactly a mainstream film itself but starring a cast-against-type Elijah Wood. The feel of the film reminded me of the other notorious cinematic shocker The New York Ripper which i decided to re-watch. Both make uncomfortable viewing due to their apparent hatred for women and nothing i have seen in the last few years has been as truly psychologically horrific. Even the pre title shocker was, well, a shocking homage to the late 70’s slasher genre.

You may have found Hostel and The Human Centipede quite extreme but for me they are just an excuse to be graphic and push the audience’s buttons, you know what to expect when you watch them. Maniac doesn’t do that.. you walk into a nightmare of a disturbed mind.

These films have somehow become watered down by-the-numbers gore films that have become predictable in recycling different variations of bloodshed and considering the heritage has moved away from internalising the putrid stench of a diseased mind.

Filmmakers are fixated on the bloodshed and not the psychological dysfunction of the character involved. If you can stomach it, watch the film and see something truly sickening.

The Crying Game Revisited

People remember The Crying Game as a footnote in cinematic history but it should be reassessed to all budding filmmakers on how much passion and trauma it takes to get a film made and what some people are willing to risk to realise their dreams.

Palace Pictures was the big brash British Indie Producer/ Distributer during the 80’s, run by Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley which released and innovatively marketed seminal classics like The Evil Dead but ultimately died due to bad financial management. This was their last hit film. Eccentrically this film that could have saved them was sold off to Miramax who raked off the profits and let Palace die.

This low budget film directed by Neil Jordan was only kept going by the Producer Stephen Woolley using his credit card so filming could be completed. It was this bloody mindedness and suicidal attitude that stopped the film being an unfinished masterpiece. Remember the rule, NEVER PUT YOUR OWN MONEY IN FILMS but sometimes passion does weird things.

Nobody know that the film was going to be a cultural phenomenon until Harvey Weinsten marketed it with the tantalising ‘twist’ element otherwise it would have been a glorified tv movie.

I wouldn’t recommend doing such a thing but read The Egos have Landed by Angus Finney is a must read to get the full story.

What happened to Stephen Woolley? Neil Jordan brought him on as a producer on Interview with a Vampire and currently runs Number 9 Films.