Neon Maniacs – USA, 1984 – reviews

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Neon Maniacs – aka Evil Dead Warriors – is 1984 American science fiction action horror film directed by Joseph Mangine (cinematographer on Alligator and Alone in the Dark) from a screenplay by Mark Patrick Carducci (Pumpkinhead; Buried Alive). It was released in 1986.

Cast:

Clyde Hayes (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), Leilani Sarelle, Alan Hayes, Andrew Divoff, P.R. Paul, Victor Brandt, Marta Kober (Friday the 13th, Part 2), Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, John Lafayette, Solly Marx (Silent Madness).

Plot teaser:

In the heart of San Francisco, the legions of the damned lay waiting beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. As night falls, they are unleashed upon the city to carve terror into the souls of the innocent. But when one young woman named Natalie (Leilani Sarelle) escapes a bloody teen slaughter, she cannot convince anyone that a rampaging army of psychotic ‘monsters’ has mutilated her friends. Now haunted, hunted and having a hard time in high school, Natalie must arm herself and her classmates for one final bizarre battle against the horror of the neon maniacs…

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Review:

“Some sequences work beautifully and some of the action set pieces are exciting, but the disjointed nature of the film and lack of focus are painfully obvious resulting in a movie that is made all the more worse in that the script had an enormous amount of possibilities. It’s definitely a time capsule movie in that it there is no way anyone would mistake it being made in any time period but the 1980’s. The entire movie reeks of the decade from the clothes to the music. Not necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on ones point of view.” Cool Ass Cinema 

“Boasting a strange ambiance from start to finish, Neon Maniacs is like no film I have ever seen before. Everything from the staging of the murders to the dramatic pacing seemed off somehow. Chalk it up to sheer incompetence or a total lack of inexperience on the part of the filmmakers, but whatever they did, it repeatedly ended up being the correct course of action. For example, the decision to use that sinister sounding synthesizer flourish whenever the Maniacs would appear on-screen was the epitome of correctness.” House of Self-Indulgence

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“Now, on to the negative. That would include the direction, writing, editing, music, sound, most of the acting and pretty much everything else … The mutants are just there without purpose or reason; killing people, again, for no reason. Seeing how they went to great lengths to make each of the mutant designs so distinctive and elaborate, you’d figure they’d set aside a minute or two to provide them with an origin, an explanation or a mythology to make them, you know, actually interesting.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

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“If Alejandro Jodorowsky somehow wound up working on a movie for New World Pictures in the 80s, this is probably what would have happened. I can’t for certain credit artistic ineptitude, or even the interference of censors or the studio for this film’s end result. All I know is that watching this must be very close to experiencing brain damage by way of fever dream. Is something missing, or am I missing something?” Joe Dropout, VHS Summer

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Wikipedia | IMDb | Image credits: The Bloody Pit of Horror

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2 Comments on “Neon Maniacs – USA, 1984 – reviews”

  1. I really dug the creatures in this but I couldn’t get on board with it. I remember one of the “maniacs”, that I now know is called Slash from the video cover up there, looked sort of like chatterer cenobite and C.H.U.D.s love child. Lulled in by the title and let down by the contents: it happens too often with those eighties film that truly stood out on the shelf in the video shop – cover artists back then where the grandmasters of spin.

  2. For me the only interesting thing about this film (well, the pataphysical explanation for the creatures is interesting) was the belief amongst many that the plucky little girl Horrror fan was in fact Nicola Bryant from Doctor Who. A quick check of dates and ages of course shows that to not be the case. The other rumor was that they were sisters. Again, not true. Strkingly similar faces, but they were not related.

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