Thursday, September 27, 2012

Short Shear Terror: Mr. Robbie: Maniac II (1986)

Mr. Robbie: Maniac 2 (1986) 
Rating: ***1/2
starring: Joe Spinell

Buddy Giovinazzo, the director of the Troma classic Combat Shock, loved Joe Spinell in Maniac, so much so he was willing to help Mr. Spinell fulfill his mission to follow up the title that made him controversial with an idea of an avenging madman who kills for abused children. Spinell was happy, Giovinazzo was happy, we would have been happy. But alas, it was not meant to be.

The film was shot as a promo at first, hoping to get funded for a full feature but eventually cancelled due to Joe's untimely passing, Mr. Robbie: Maniac 2 was a psuedo-remake of a 1970s under-heard slasher title Psychopath (1975), a movie with a similar premise and theme. Never the less, Robbie was plotted by Zito after all the negative views of concerned women concerning Maniac. Being a sensitive guy as Giovinazzo put it, Spinell pictured Mr. Robbie to be the contrasting image of Maniac, in which the killer was supposed to side with children, murdering abusive (or suspected abusive) parents instead of random women.

The short had the titular character, halfway in his make-up before his show, reading letters from children who are crying for his help. That night, he joins his comrades in a bar, where he meets up with a dope sniffing cook, who probably was the abusive father of a boy from one of the letters. He joins the man in the kitchen and then brutally murders the cook before going home.

The film pretty much speaks for itself; it's a slasher movie that fits itself in seven measly minutes, with blood, grue and grit paced perfectly to keep it satisfying despite it's running time. Crude as it is, it's a treasured gem for the fans and a cult dream if there is such a thing. If there is a star vehicle for horror, this is one of them and if you love Maniac, or the lovable tub that is Mr. Spinell, then you could treat yourself to one last viewing of the legend.

Let me just say, God rest Spinell, and long live Maniac and its legacy.

1 male face scalded in boiling water, kitchen knife top the eye
total: 1

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