Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Neon Maniacs (1986)

NEON MANIACS is a slice of B-Movie greatness that is overlooked far too often. It offers all of the 80s Horror cliches that many fans grew up loving in its corny teen characters, synthesized electric score, and abundant latex monster designs. A lone teen survives a brutal attack by a group of mutant freaks beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and she must convince two unlikely friends to help protect her when the monsters return to finish the job! The film is clearly a fan-made fantasy Horror effort that was used as an excuse to showcase the creative make-up and gore FX. Unfortunately, the concept was just too large for the script or director to handle. There are constant struggles with pacing as the plot meanders between a teen drama and full-blooded monster flick. The actionless exposition serves as nothing more than filler between the killings, stifled by throwaway characters and empty dialogue. Once the creeps hit the scene, though, it is all mindless murder and gratuitous gore, but these bloody moments are few and far between. Though it is a small film, it is given a large feel as the mutants take to the streets and subway in pursuit of the teens. This creates the impression of a city overrun by monsters in just a few short scenes. The maniacs themselves show an array of unique and interesting designs, creating a group not unlike the inhabitants of Midian from Clive Barker's NIGHTBREED, though lacking the mythical qualities and lore inherent in Barker's conceptions. In the end, NEON MANIACS is a mixed bag. It is awesomely entertaining at times, while mercilessly boring at others, but even in its worst moments, it remains a nostalgic look back at the height of 80s cheese.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.
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6 comments:

  1. You reviewed the lame cover art awhile back right? I wouldn't have thought something with that bad a cover could have that high a rating.

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  2. My favorite bit was the scene immediately following the big kill scene. We cut to our heroine lounging in her pool in a bikini. Way to keep it casual after the murder of people you knew!

    I also liked The Doctor, but he really only got one scene- which is also in the trailer. Instead, we have numerous scenes with the Indian, who is kind of cool too.

    I'll say this: if you're still on the fence, watch the trailer. It will make or break the film for you.

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  3. Believe me, I wouldnt have either TS, which is why I never bought the disc when it was still in print. I really enjoy this one though, and Alec nailed it, there are just so many awkward out of place scenes that only add to the insanity and 80s cheesefest

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  4. I dunno... I caught this one years and years ago, so my memory might be a lil cloudy... but, imo, I thought it was one of the worst b-movies I had seen...
    I mean, I love 80's b-horror... but this one seemed way too 2 dimensional and too nonsensical for my tastes. The baddies were less Nightbreed (as stated by the review) and more "hey, what do kids like now a days? samurai? okie, lets make on of them!" or the FX guy just playin round w/ concepts.

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  5. I cant dispute that, I agree that the script does seem like it was written around the FX, I think there was a good idea in there somewhere that got derailed, but for a film outside of the studio system, a D seems fitting for what they did get right =D

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  6. The title of a film says a lot about a film. If this was given one of those generic horror titles like 'Night of Death' or 'The Crypt,' it would be terrible...

    ...but the movie is called 'Neon Maniacas'. Everything about it- from the Samurai monster to the 12 year old detective character- is ridiculous and fits the name it was given.

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