Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Barracuda! Maniac!

Speaking of barracudas, does anyone remember this JAWS wannabee from 1978 called Barracuda? Chemicals spill into the ocean and, well, you can guess the rest. But look at the poster art! Two very cool one sheets for one very dumb movie.

For those of you too young to remember, even bad movies back in the old days had great poster art, unlike today where every crappy movie has an equally crappy poster to ensure 100% total crap overload.

But here’s a really nice poster for a cool movie called The Maniac (1963) which also just so happens to be premiering on TCM late late tonight. The eerie, complex script for Hammer / Columbia was penned by the great Jimmy Sangster and concerns a murderous psychopath whose weapon of choice is a blow torch. Stars Kerwin Mathews and Nadia Gray.

Click HERE for more info and times in your area.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

NICE ART ON THE BARRACUDA POSTERS BUT I AGREE, TERRIBLE MOVIE. I WATCHED ABOUT HALF OF IT A FEW MONTHS AGO ON MONSTERS HD AND COULDN'T MAKE IT TO THE END.

DEFINITELY GOING TO WATCH THE MANIAC TONIGHT THOUGH, THANKS FOR THE NEWS!

Karswell said...

Barracuda is bad, but not as bad as Tentacles. Of all the Jaws rip-offs the only ones with any real redeeming value are Pirahna and Orca. And if you want to count Alligator and Grizzly those ain't bad either. In fact, if we're talking about any derivative of Jaws that's not filmed in the ocean then I'd say the best Jaws rip-off of them all is The Car (1977.)

Anonymous said...

the car rules!! would humanoids from the deep count as a jaws rip? rules too

The Vicar of VHS said...

You know, I'd never thought of "The Car" as a Jaws-ripoff, but I can totally see it now! Man, my brother and I used to watch The Car every time they replayed it on TV (back in the old 3-channels-plus-PBS days...anyone else here remember those?), and it struck a chord with us...maybe because, while we were nowhere near an ocean, we did ride our bikes every day and could totally see getting run down by a horror car. And the "face" in the flames at the end...it was chilling to a pre-adolescent, let me tell you.

I seem to remember that "Orca" had the "THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL!" theme going on, but I can't recall if it was before or after Jaws 3. Still, since Killer Whales are mammals, I somehow find their holding a grudge more believable. Is that weird?

I've never seen this Maniac (I've seen the Joe Spinell one, of course), but it sounds pretty wild. Wish I still had satellite...

The Vicar of VHS said...

And forgot to mention--that second Barracuda poster is fantastic! Better than the film, I'm sure. I wish they still put this much effort into the one-sheets. I'm so sick of floating heads and computer-generated crap. Bring back the painted posters!

Karswell said...

>would humanoids from the deep count as a jaws rip?

Yeah, I think so... half Jaws half Alien.

>never thought of "The Car" as a Jaws-ripoff, but I can totally see it now!

You could also argue that The Car is very much like a spaghetti western with it's dusty desert setting, sheriff protecting the isolated town from the seemingly unstoppable black "intruder", the climatic confrontational showdown, etc... The Car got heavily snubbed by the critics back in the day but it's probably still THE BEST possessed car movie of all time. It's definitely better than Christine.

>Bring back the painted posters!

I totally agree. But the current logic with some of the producers I've worked with on our own movie releases believe that today's more "sophisticated" movie goer might get confused and think a movie with a painted poster is a cartoon.

Ahhhh, sophistication...

The Vicar of VHS said...

But can "The Car" compete with...

KILLDOZER?

Now there's a "vs." movie I'd pay to see!

Karswell said...

Killdozer is another film that gets hammered by critics, all the while forgetting that movies are made for ENTERTAINMENT purposes. I mean, if a meteor can somehow bring a bulldozer to murderous life then that my friend is entertaining me, ALOT. Killdozer wouldn't get knocked so hard if it was a pre code ACG story, so why knock the concept as a movie?

Horror pariah said...

Bad as they are,i have a soft-spot for killer fish flicks,and since i like barracudas,i might check it out.as for MANIAC,yeah its probably Hammmers best "Hitchcockian" film next to NIGHTMARE.

The Vicar of VHS said...

>>Killdozer wouldn't get knocked so hard if it was a pre code ACG story, so why knock the concept as a movie?

Not pre-code, but...

Karswell said...

Wow! I never knew that's where Killdozer originated! Awesome... must get that issue.

The Vicar of VHS said...

Even more Killdozer! As usual, looks like the cover is the best bit. :)

Karswell said...

I actually have this comic. I totally forgot Sturgeon even wrote this... I was reading a bunch of his stories in a collection not long ago too (no Killdozer though.)

The Vicar of VHS said...

Holy Crap! Life imitates art!

I was alive in 2004...how is this the first time I'm hearing of this? It seems like this would be the biggest news story EVER.

Okay, Killdozer overload. I'm going to have to track down the movie now. :)

Karswell said...

>seems like this would be the biggest news story EVER.

It sounds vaguely familiar to me, but I'm sure it was kept sort of hush to avoid copycat bulldozings.

>Killdozer overload. I'm going to have to track down the movie now.

I have it on vhs if you'd like to borrow it.

Andre Rivas said...

The Maniac (1963) was not bad - I found it on DVD from aghosthouse Prods.
Looked like a VHS rip though.
I'd been wanting to see it for ages because of the awesome VHS package art. The original one-sheet is also nice, but the VHS package art made it look really intense. In the end, it wasn't half as creepy as I'd imagined, but does manage a nice twist.
You should check out the blog: http://sickssicksix.blogspot.com/
You'd probably dig it.