Elijah Wood's 'Maniac' Horror Movie Banned In New Zealand For Being Too "Disturbing": Why?

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In a horror movie ruled "injurious to the public good," Elijah Wood plays a murderer with a very specific calling card. Maniac will not be available for release on DVD or in cinemas in New Zealand after censors decreed that the Franck Khalfoun-directed slasher could be "potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong person," as reported by The Daily Mail. Neil Foley, of Australian based distributor Monster Pictures has hit back at the ban via the company's website that "Banning the film beyond festival screenings is an insult to the intelligence of the adult population of New Zealand and does little more than to serve as an open invitation to illegally pirate the film."

Elijah Wood
Nope, Nothing Weird Going On Around Here.

Being banned is necessarily a hindrance for any horror film - it only serves to enhance the film's notoriety and, in the case of A Clockwork Orange which was banned for 27 years, it almost ensures its cult classic status. For films such as 1974's A Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a ban is merely a badge of honour that the film is deserving of his 'horror' genre status.

Anyone who's seen Sin City knows that, far from the plucky, ring-bearing hobbit Frodo Baggins, Elijah Wood is uncannily adept as playing a creepy, murderous bad guy. By the look of the trailer, Maniac will be less about jump-scares and CGI monster nightmares and more about the psychological disturbance of a man who gets his kicks looking for women to scalp, including Safe House's Nora Arzeneder.

Nora Arnezeder
Nora Arnezeder: A Victim Of Serial Killer Lust.

Wood plays Frank Zito, a mentally ill young man who runs a mannequin business after being raised by his prostitute mother and, as a result, is unable to form meaningful relationships with women. Zito stalks, murders and scalps his female victims and attaches their hair to mannequins he keeps in his bedroom.

Watch The Maniac Trailer:

Having just been released in the USA despite premiering at Cannes 2012, the reboot of William Lustig's 1980 movie is looking a bit squishy at 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's strengths as a horror movie lie in its claustrophobic first person POV from Wood's perspective and its development of Zito as a three-dimensional, remorseful character who is compelled by forces stronger than him as well as a buzzing 80s slasher soundtrack. However some reviewers have battled with what they perceive to be relentless "empty brutality", a disorientating POV filming, and over the top sickeningly gruesome violence.


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Tags: Elijah Wood - Nora Arzeneder - Franck Khalfoun

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