Wednesday, January 5, 2011

MANIAC - Stanley Black - "That's Life" (1963)

This is going to be a weird year, I can just feel it, and "MANIAC" kinda just sets the scene! It's a Hammer Movie that is much more thriller than horror, and it's still put together by Hammer stalwarts, writer/producer Jimmy Sangster, and director Michael Carreras, but the real difference lies in the music! Most classic Hammer films were devoid of any quasi-mandatory club scene that made the composers stand up and swing, sure, there was almost always a pub scene with a little piano, or a rowdy drunken sing along, but most Hammer horror music was quite classically orchestrated! But over on the other side, the music by Stanley Black in "Maniac" swings like the best of Ron Stein, and is really cool for a 1963 Hammer production, I guarantee!

Forgive my ignorance, but I really didn't realize that France looked like Texas, but I guess they've got this place called "The Camargue" out there in Southern France! Paris, Texas doesn't seem like such an obscure concept anymore!

The old "Camargue" where men are men, and livestock and little girls aren't safe!

Ya'll shouldn't of had done that to my daughter!!!

Probably the stupidest thing a member of the human race could possibly do, would be to rape the daughter of a maniacal French welder! Darwin award winner circa 1963! Listen for the scream!

Enter man about town, the suave and debonair, Kerwin Matthews as Paul Farrell! I did not count them, but if you take out the time when Kerwin was smoking a cigarette, this movie would be about 15 or 20 minutes long!

About the time Kerwin is smoking his second cigarette, he goes into the local "Bar Camarguais" where he meets up with the rape victim all growed up now, Liliane Brousse as Annette Beynat. Liliane also had the role of Françoise in another Hammer Freddie Francis classic from the same year, "Paranoiac!"

Right about the time Kerwin has his third coffin nail, Annette's Mom shows up, and it's none other than Nadia Gray as Eve Beynat!! Among all the parts this Russian-Romanian beauty has had, she will always be remembered most for her small role toward the end of Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" as a bored and wealthy socialite who celebrates her divorce, by performing a mink-coated striptease.

This rig looks like one part jukebox, one part R2D2, and one part space heater, and it blasts out some hot music by Stanley Black for the locals to rock out to! Stanley's been in these pages 3 times before for his outstanding work on "The Crawling Eye," "The Day The Earth Caught Fire," and "War Gods Of The Deep!" Stanley was one of Britain's most famous bandleaders, and sometimes worked using his real name, Solomon Schwartz!

Annette finds a couple of free seconds in between smokes to ask Paul to dance!

"Well, they got a new dance and it goes like this......."

Have you ever seen a finer lookin' bar crowd than this?? Yeehaw!!

"Won't you please crawl out your window, use your arms and legs, it won't ruin you!" - Bobby Dylan

Hell, what better time to have another smoke and get to know Annette a little better!!

Damn, Mom showed up!!

Guess a guy's got no other choice, Mom, daughter, or another cigarette?

Later, at dinner, just to break things up a bit, Paul has a cigarello!!

Even though he was gay, Kerwin Matthews still had more women than all the straight guys!

Kerwin gets conned into helping Nadia's husband escape from the mental hospital!!

Time to reflect, was it worth it, was ANY of it really worth it, how do I get myself into situations like this?? WTF!???

So instead of guns, French cowboys carry mop handles, is that correct Tom?

"Tell Saint Peter at the Golden Gate, that you hates to make him wait, but you just gotta have another cigarette!" - Merle Travis

Must be nice to have places like this at your disposal! "Maniac" is a smokin' hot killer thriller with a kickin' score for all fans of the genre, and Kerwin Mathews puts in another fine performance. It won't scare you out of your seat, but it should at least keep you in suspense for a while!


TABONGA! said...

MEGASCOPE is a word to be believed!

Prof. Grewbeard said...

this looks like one weird movie!

Greg Goodsell said...

This nifty thriller is included in the Hammer "Icons of Suspense" set! "These Are the Damned," with its theme song "Black Leather Rock" is also included in the set, and is a natural for this Web site!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Weird and nifty, "These Are The Damned" has been already scheduled for sometime in the not so distant future!

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