Spotlight on William Lustig: Maniac
A Halloween double feature from the dirty fingernails of one of horror’s finest practitioners: director William Lustig. The influence of his 1980 suspense/horror film Maniac is still sending shockwaves through the world of exploitation cinema. The movie’s poster alone—a painting featuring a bloody, severed scalp clutched by the titular figure at waist height as if it’s dangling from his belt—has the impact of a soiled-with-DNA ransom note; this image was responsible for the MPAA stepping in to give ratings to posters. (It would likely have got an X rating retroactively.) Joe Spinell co-wrote the film and stars as Frank, a loner who stalks and scalps victims; he gives the film its grungy, uncalculated obsessive quality and doesn’t invite you to like Frank but dares you to look away. Lustig’s direction has an equally intense quality.
Bing Theater | FAQs | Followed by a Q&A with director William Lustig.
$10 for the general public, $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID | Price includes both films in double-bill. | Tickets available Thursday, September 27 at 5 pm. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.
$5 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club, and New York Times Film Club members | Price includes both films in double-bill. Pre-sale tickets available Thursday, September 20 at 5 pm. | Members of these groups will be required to show proof of membership when retrieving their tickets. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.