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1986 / Horror
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7.7 / 10
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Directed by Joseph Mangine
Written by Mark Patrick Carducci
Starring Clyde Hayes, Leilani Sarelle, Donna Locke and Victor Brandt

A group of teenagers in San Francisco discover a nest of homicidal monsters living in a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, but when they try to tell authorities, no one believes them.

The following tags are associated with this movie: Slasher
Extra content related to Neon Maniacs

Movie Discussion
Neon Maniacs (1986)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

7 / 10
This is an unusual, unique movie as it's a hybrid monster and slasher movie with a wide range of characters. Most of the maniacs are forgettable and some suffer from very limited screen time, so we never really get to know the characters well enough to really fall in love with them, but there are a few that stand out. Andrew Divoff, who is most affectionately known as the Djinn from Wishmaster, he plays one of the maniacs but you wouldn't know it by the appearance of his character.

To my understanding, there were a lot of production issues when this movie was being made, and it's quite evident in the final product. The music is okay but seems chopped in and out of scenes, some characters look good and some look like they ran out of money to spend on. While the premise is interesting, the movie as a whole feels undercooked and didn't quite reach its potential.

Neon Maniacs is not a particularly good slasher movie or monster movie, but spliced together it makes for an interesting view and really takes you back to the enjoyable days of cheesy 80's horror flicks. I think this would actually be a good candidate for a remake.
Neon Maniacs (1986)
Review by Michael Mahoney

9 / 10
I'll be forthcoming and admit that I didn't go into this one with high expectations. Truthfully, I was thinking that I'd rather dislike it. But as it turns out, not only did I enjoy it, but despite some very glaring problems, I actually rather loved it.

I want to talk about the big problem with the film first before I go into praising it incessantly. We never find out what exactly the monsters are, or where they come from, or what they want, or why they want it. They seem to come out at night to kill, and that's about all we know about them. Some of their designs are a bit off, but for most of the main ones, I thought they were decent (such as the one with ropes). Also, it could be argued that the film doesn't have much coherency.

All of that said, though, I had a great time with this.

In a somewhat unique choice, Neon Maniacs plays itself pretty straight for most of the film. With a title like it has, you'd expect endless camp and maybe silly comedy (think Troma), but aside from a few funny lines (and the scene at the turnstiles), the movie's nothing like that (which goes a long way to explain why I enjoyed it more). The characters know they're in danger, and there's a pretty somber tone throughout, especially toward the end (speaking of which, that final line is fantastic).

There's a lot of great scenes here, such as the really cool pool sequence and much of the battle of the bands finale. That battle of the bands was fun especially because I actually really liked that first song, 'Baby Lied.' It was catchy and totally my jam. Even ignoring the fun music, though, when it randomly cut to Donna Locke's character sitting atop the speakers and cheering, dressed as a vampire, I couldn't help but laugh.

Donna Locke is perhaps the number one reason I loved this film. Her character's utterly adorable, and is a lot more interesting and proactive than the actual main character of the film (played by Leilani Sarelle). She directs low-budget horror films, fights off a few monsters single-handedly, goes to investigate and videotape the monsters, and consistently tries to hook up with Sarelle in order to fight against them. Donna Locke's character is utterly badass, and it's a damn shame that Locke has never appeared in anything else. I really liked her character, and cheered whenever she was onscreen.

Clyde Hayes and Leilani Sarelle do well too, they're just not nearly as memorable. Hayes previously appeared in the fourth Friday the 13th, but he was more prominent here, which worked well, as he was decently action-oriented. The scenes in which Hayes, Sarelle, and Locke worked together in order to fight off the monsters were all rather fun, so props to that.

Neon Maniacs surprised me. It has pretty good special effects, some effectively atmospheric sequences (such as Locke traveling in the fog), memorable characters, decent deaths, and enjoyable music, all tied together with a would-be campy plot played generally straight. I will admit to being taken aback, but that was my mistake. A really enjoyable movie, despite the origins of the monsters never being made clear. 8.5/10 (rounded up to 9/10 to fit site's format).
Other Slasher movies that you may enjoy

Child's Play (1988)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Stage Fright (2014)

Sorority Row (2009)
More releases from 1986 for you to check out

Sorority House Massacre (1986)

Aliens (1986)

Rawhead Rex (1986)

Body Count (1986)

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