Special Horrorhound Weekend Report: My Wife Is a Maniac!

Hey everyone. I was so busy at Horrorhound I didn’t have time to get around to everything I would have liked to, but thanks to my dear wife, I get to hear all about the screening and Q & A held by Maniac director William Lustig. Not only that, but she also stood in line to get my DVD autographed for me. If there’s ever any question as to why I adore my wife so much, please direct yourself back to the beginning of this paragraph. Well since she had so much to share with me, I wanted her to share it with you folks too.
William Lustig take Questions from the audience after a screening of Maniac.

Here’s a really good question. How can a bunch of people watch Maniac at 12:00 in the afternoon? This question was posed on Saturday afternoon at Horrorhound Cincinnati as William Lustig sat down for a showing of his film. I had seen Manic before, but this was my first immersive experience with the movie. I don’t mind saying, some things are just creepier in the dark. First of all, I have always been afraid of mannequins. My husband likes to blame this on Kim Cattrell, but the truth is anything that looks that much like a human and with interchangeable parts, well, it’s suspect at best. By the time Joe Spinell was staple gunning his victim’s scalps to the lifeless heads I had the heebie jeebies. If I had been at home, this would have been the point were I kissed my lovely husband on the head and went to the other room to work on songs.

However as the movie progressed, I could look past my phobia and appreciate the complexity of the story.  Frank Zito warrants no sympathy at first glance but as the movie unfolds I was torn between villain and victim. When asked if Zito was based on a particular serial killer Mr. Lustig responded that he was more of a composite of several of the popular killers of the late ‘70‘s and went on the muse,” whatever happened to those guys?” I had never really thought about it before, but it does seem to be a higher percentage of a crazed killers on Meth now rather than in the '70's when dogs bossed killers around.  In a way it seems that Maniac captures a particular time in American crime history.

 I also found it very interesting with the high female body count in the film, the truly gory deaths were saved for the male. I really did mean to ask if this was intentional or not, but the combination of time restraint and my fear of public speaking would not allow it. The absolute weirdest thing to me about the screening was comparing the audience reaction to mine. More than once there was a disconcerting amount of giggling, only some of which could have been attributable to nerves, and add to that the crying of children that were bought to take in Maniac. On the same hand I have to admit that I am not the bravest viewer of horror films, and Lustig’s film skirted the threshold of what won’t give me nightmares.

Lustig called Manaic “lightning a bottle I don’t think I ever could or would do it again.” It seemed incredible that it was even possible to have made such a daring film on the resources he had.  Every story sounded like  the crew had to push the envelope to get what they needed for the shot. When asked if he had worked from storyboards, he simply said “No.”, and then went on to talk about the scene in the subway. They only had permission to go the gates of the turnstile and no further. It was all shot on the fly, and I found that to be really impressive as it was one of the most beautiful moments in the film.

   As he spoke, I got the impression William Lustig was a really good guy who just happened to make films. He never seemed self important. In fact, about half way through he took a call, waited patiently for room to talk after saying hi and in a calm voice say, “Honey, I'm doing a panel in front of 100 or so people, I’ll have to call you back. “ I don’t mind saying that this was the first time I had the opportunity to watch a film and then hear the director discuss it, and thanks to William Lustig it was another great Horrorhound weekend.

I Could Not Resist Putting Up One Shot of the Horrorhound Weekend Cincy 2010 Crew: Night of the Living Podcast, Movie Meltdown, Family Movie Night,The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense, Chuck Norris Ate My Baby, The Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema, and Paracinema Magazine all representing along with me, the ever loving blue eyed Bugg,  my lovely wife, "cruise director" Randy (though the quotes are there for Christine), and the man who "paid $14.00 and he's going to take it all" Vishnu!


  1. oliver syngen-molluscNovember 21, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Was "Jervaise Brooke Hamster" there?.

  2. Based on your site's focus, I thought you might like to know about the Club. I'm writing you today to let you know about the "A Trip To The Moon" Blog-A-Thon happening at on the week of November 29th, in honour of the re-launch of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Blog Club.

    Whether you want to join the Film Club, merely want to participate in the reviewing of George Méliès' "A Trip To The Moon" (1902) aka Le voyage dans la lune, or just read and discuss, feel free to swing by and learn more about the event.

    As for the club itself, the address is simple:

  3. Lovely post! First, it was such a pleasure to meet both of you. Second, Zach is wrong: mannequins are evil, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with Kim Cattrell. Sure, that's one more reason, but seriously...they're frightening.

    And I would agree on Lustig. He's not necessarily a master filmmaker, but he does some really interesing work and never comes anywhere near pretention. I mean, the guy wrote a movie about a Killer Uncle Sam!

  4. Great, everybody's posting pics of how much fun I missed. This is great! :)

  5. ty Emily. I had lots of fun doing this, even though i felt like a party crasher. the panel was a bunch of fun.

  6. We were so glad to have you there Kathy!


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