If Only – Maniac Killer (1987)

If one were to think of a strange horror movie, Maniac Killer is just that. It finds some men torturing women, trying to free them of sin because women are always the sinful ones when it comes to horror films and it sees another man trying to save the world through science. Eventually, these two worlds come into contact and all of it thanks to the village idiot who is not as stupid as he seems.

Starring classic actors Chuck Connors, Robert Ginty and Bo Svenson, three men audiences will have seen in many a film and television show without perhaps knowing who they actually are but such as it is, though they might have been the most famous of names in the movie, it would be François Greze as Matthieu who would stand out. That being said, standing out in a movie such as this may not be as hard to do as one might expect when the surroundings are as shoddy. Even so, Greze gives it his all as the mentally challenged gopher who captures all the animals that Professor Osborne needs for his experiments. If there is one man that can give John Carradine a run for his money, it is Greze who bumbles his way through the film better than most could.

As for the horror, there is not a lot of it, director Andrea Bianchi obviously working on a budget as there is very little in the way of blood or violence throughout. What blood the audience does see ends up being a little spatter on the shirts of the various victims who get shot in the movie, with it almost always being a gutshot. As for the torture that takes place, there is a little bit of whipping and a bit of nudity involved but most of it and everything else takes place off-screen much to the dismay of those hoping for a little more. Due to this fact perhaps or simply because the story was not all that great, the film tended to drag a little, the pace a bit too slow and thus a lot of the material fairly uninteresting.

Suffice it to say, the ingredients were all present but Bianchi would fail to use them right, instead giving the audience a slightly ridiculous picture that wanted to feature both a kind of cult and its crazy leader as well as a mad scientist who was not all that mad. A weird outing for sure.

2 out of 5

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