Posted: 05/08/2003

 

Maniacts

(2001)

by Del Harvey



Just a couple of crazy kids in love. Oh, they’re certifiable, all right. And they make this fun little film one to watch.


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Joe and Beth, two serial killers, meet at Edgemare, a corrupt institution for the criminally insane. Despite their unusual circumstances, Joe (Jeff Fahey - The Lawnmower Man, Wyatt Earp) and Beth (Kelly Waymire - TV’s Six Feet Under, NYPD Blue) develop a strong relationship as only two crazy kids can. When a kindly guard allows Joe to escape from the institution, Beth is stuck inside. Confused and somewhat a misfit, Joe goes back to the apartment he lived his whole life in, trying to put the pieces back together; but it’s pretty obvious he is nothing without his nutty girlfriend.
While he is away, the harsh headmistress (Leslie Easterbrook - the Police Academy series) and her staff at Edgemare torture Beth, trying to find out how Joe escaped and where he might be. But Joe has a mission - to get his beloved back. With purposed comes plan, and thus Joe is able to find a way to sneak back into the institution and, along with Beth and the other inmates, they go on a rampage, freeing all the patients and having their revenge upon the more cruel guards.

Joe and Beth leave Edgemare and search for a place where they can start life fresh and get away from all of the stuff that drove them crazy to begin with. They find an old farmer named Boley who’s a cross between a throwback and a psychic, hanging on to his memories and the old ways of life in the face of the encroaching city and the money-hungry real estate speculators. Accepted as part of a vision Boley had, Joe and Beth settle in at the farm. It seems as though they might live happily ever…but something always has to stir things up, doesn’t it?

Maniacts is not your typical slasher pic. It really is the story of two crazies crazy in love. Of course, it’s all good tongue-in-cheek fun and there is plenty of dark humor throughout. Fahey and Waymire are excellent in their roles as the passionate nutjobs. There aren’t many other recognizable faces, but it really doesn’t matter. This is pure fun and a nice little twist on the overdone psycho killer genre. And they even manage to squeeze in a message or two.

Released by MTI Home Video, Maniacts is available at video stores everywhere.

Del Harvey is a writer and the founder of Film Monthly. He is a devout Chicago Bears fan, and recently taught screenwriting at Columbia College for giggles.



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