Maniac is a 1980 American cult slasher film directed by William Lustig and co-written by known character actor Joe Spinell. It is mostly notable for Spinell's portrayal of a psychotic serial killer Frank Zito as well as incredible special make-up effects by genre guru Tom Savini and neo-noir dark romantic depiction of New York, all these while not being stripped of social content and sense. With a minuscule budget, many scenes in the film were shot guerrilla style. Originally considered an exploitation film, Maniac later had success as a cult film. The Hollywood Reporter called it "something of a grubby touchstone among genre fans".

A sequel, Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie was partially filmed in 1986 but abandoned and eventually not completed after Spinnel's death in 1989. Another half-abandoned idea was the crossover with Maniac Cop franchise (though, Maniac Cop 2 still has a similar character portrayed by Leo Rossi, as well as being dedicated to Spinell who is nicknamed "Maniac" in the end credits). Also in 1989, movie was unofficially remade in Greece as The Sigrou Street Strangler.

In 2012 an official remake (produced by Lustig) starring Elijah Wood as Frank Zito premiered in Cannes, followed by successful theatrical and video releases in 2013.

The following melee weapons were used in the movie Maniac:


Argentina M1891 BayonetEdit

Argentinian M1891 Bayonet is used by Zito in the scene, where he chases nurse (Kelly Piper) in the subway station and then killing her in station's toilet with this bayonet in her back. It may be identified as M1891 rather then identical M1909 (or M1909/47) because of distinctive aluminum grip.


Argentina M1891 Bayonet. Note aluminum grip.


Bayonet on the table.


Bayonet just before it used to kill the nurse.


Zito killing nurse in front of the mirror.


Zito with bloody bayonet after killing the nurse.


Zito with his bayonet watching himself in the mirror after killing nurse.


Zito washing his bayonet after killing the nurse.


U.S. M1942 MacheteEdit

One of Frank Zito's weapons in the film is rarely used U.S. M1942 Machete. In the film it is mostly seen on the table until hallucination scene, where it's picked up from the violin case (same one used to held the double-barreled shotgun) by one of the mannequins of killed girls (Kelly Piper) with her scalps on it, and then used to cut out Zito's arm. Interesting fact, that it was the same prop machete, that was used by Tom Savini in Dawn of the Dead (1978) as motorcycle rider named Blades.


U.S. M1942 Machete.

Machete screen used

Screen-used U.S. M1942 Machete with Tom Savini autograph on it. Original prop used in "Maniac" and Dawn of the Dead (1978). Note that it rusted a little bit because of fake blood (real blood is also terribly effective rust agent). Also note duct taped handle due to frequent and productive use.


Machete held by one of the mannequin girls.


Zito's arm cut by his own machete.

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Machete visible on the table.

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Violin case directly before machete is taken from it.


Italian Style SwitchbladeEdit

Italian Style Switchblade typical for 70s and 80s can be seen as one of Zito's main weapons - he kills Rita (Abigail Clayton under pseudonym Gail Lawrence) with it.

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Frank taking his switchblade from his pocket.

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Frank with his switchblade.

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Frank scares (though he don't want actually to do something bad - he's a psychotic tortured soul) Rita with his switchblade.

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Another disturbing picture with a little bit of twisted erotica in it.

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Gory close-up.

Violin case3

Switchblade visible on the table.


Knife on the table.

Unidentified Kitchen KnifeEdit

An mysterious and unidentified kitchen knife with a wooden grip can be glimpsed on Zito's table, probably a usual tool in his killing escapades.


Knife on the table (on the left).

Poster KnifeEdit

Depicted on the iconic poster is the knife that doesn't appear anywhere in the movie yet exists in reality (an absolutely similar is used in the movie Mean Guns and also, identical blade design is is shown on the poster of Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers).

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Theatrical poster.

Improvised WeaponsEdit

Wire GarotteEdit

In the beginning of the film, Frank murders a man with logged sticks by wrapping a wire-made garrote around his neck, causing his neck to bleed to death.


Frank uses Boxcutter of an unknown manufacture to scalp hooker (Rita Montone) he strangled (possibly accidentally) in a hotel room.

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Frank retracts the blade of his boxcutter.

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Frank scalps hooker with his boxcutter. One of the most famous (and notorious) scenes of this movie among with shotgun-to-the-head one.


Anna D'Antoni (Caroline Munro) uses showel as a weapon to wound Frank's arm in the cemetery when his gruesome serial killer's secrets revealed and she's about to find her and kill.

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Anna with the showel...

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...which can be a deadly weapon or at least wound BADLY.

Links to Other Data BasesEdit

IMDb (Internet Movie Database) IMFDB (Interent Movie Firearms Data Base) IMCDB (Internet Movie Cars Data Base)