Monday, July 29, 2013

Maniac Review Murder LA Would Just Be About This Guy If He Was Real

A breakdown of LA culture with meta jokes. This came with my screening of Maniac running late due to trendy LA types staying to wrap up "How To Make Money Selling Drugs". For a film about the process of selling drugs to make money there was a sold-out turn out of people as conceited and the stereotypical standard of "LA people" in the film Maniac. Be it the women who stood next to me in line not seemingly understanding that I was in line, than complaining about the line to me, ( a couple was in front of us) then going on her phone to complain about the line. Later, at the same line, a woman joking to her friend about someone losing their house and then laughing about it. What great people.. ehh.

The group that did join me for the first night of Maniac at the Downtown Independent, who waited with me in the lobby and really didn't care for How To Make Money Selling Drugs were not the trendy people of the first showing of "Selling Drugs". Some had crazy haircuts, some were couples in for a night of romantic carnage and none of them were as distasteful to listen to as the previous crowd who rudely stayed in the lobby schmoozing (drinking heavily) while we we're trying to watch Maniac.

Oh, how Maniac filled me with chaotic joy. A startling film that brings the psycho slasher 70's films back to the modern realm with Elijah Wood in the starring role as our insane psycho. The backdrop of the real LA, made on the streets and off the sound stages with some gruesome special effects and first-person visuals make this a film to spill your guts over.


The film takes place in LA and our friendly neighborhood psycho Frank played by Elijah Wood can't find true love. He looks for it all over the city, but when he finds a girl he does like he takes her out. Not on a date, but in a horrible manner resulting in their painful demise. His version of love is a bit unconventional as it does kill who grabs his affection. It's not always affection that catches up with him, there signs of real trauma in his head including a mother who at best reminds you of what whores truly are.

Frank's main love an artist trying to make it in LA, so cliché, but true is the perfect stalk victim of the genre and the warning signs of Frank owning and running a creepy mannequin store don't ever make here think something could be wrong. Frank slowly builds a relationship with Anna played by the beautiful Nora Arnezeder and  hat relationship is dashed to pieces when he finds out some disturbing news about her. This leads to a final breakdown of their relationship which is painful to both parties.

To get from that painful end, much blood is lost by a bevy of LA girls in many different murderous fashions all, all different and all done in first person perspectives that make us as guilty as Frank. Frank whose eyes we can see out of and we see some wonderful shots not just of murders, which are by far some of the most gruesome I've seen in recent horror memory, but his psychoses. Psychoses such as unreal stares, his mother doing it in front of him and of course mannequin's talking to him.

Seeing the events unfold in LA was surreal. At one point the street I walked to the theater to was driven past. It didn't make getting to my car late at night too easy, always looking over my shoulder. Many iconic downtown locations or a place you yourself may have walked down and add realism to the film.

Elija Wood's performance and the work of the director Franck Khalfoun should be celebrated for bring back the slasher genre with a modern feel. It's creepy and it will have girls double thinking about dating the shy guy here in LA.

It's still playing as of the time this review goes up at the Downtown Independent


Monday, July 29th: 9:15pm*
Tuesday, July 30th: 7:15pm*
Wednesday, July 31st: 9pm
Thursday, August 1st: 11pm

*The Screenings are in our 16-Seat Mikro Kino!