According to movieweb, Elijah Wood has been signed as the lead in the remake of the Bill Lusting horror classic, Maniac.  The 1980 original starring the great Joe Spinell is a horror staple and probably showcases some of Tom Savini’s best work. It was Spinell’s Rocky, with him writing and executive producing it.

It is completely beyond me why they would cast Elijah Wood in such a role because if you are a fan of the original, you know by this casting they must be doing a complete rewrite. Internet rumors abound that he will be now trolling online for his victims, and will be an antique mannequin dealer.

Spinell’s killer is a loner who because of his abuse as a child at the hands of his mother turns to killing hookers, club-goers and any other women he can find on his late night travels around New York City. He proceeds to scalps them and takes their clothes, which he then brings back to his small studio apartment and dresses up mannequins and nails the scalps to their heads. Spinell has some of the best monologues in horror film history here as he insanely tries to rationalize to himself and the sickly-looking mannequins that keep him company why he is doing this. His insanity almost becomes the audience’s sympathy for him. The fact that he was a normal looking, middle-aged, average man played into the charm of the serial killer being the guy next door. He wasn’t a pretty-boy; he was the guy driving your bus or collecting your garbage. Not some good looking “American Psycho” type.

Frank Khalfoun will direct the reboot penned by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, the men who brought us High Tension (2005), The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and the forgettable Mirrors (2008).

With the onslaught of remakes we’ve been subjected to in recent years:  House of Wax, Last House on the Left, Halloween I and II, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre(‘s), When a Stranger Calls, to just name a few, I already hold little hope out for this project. A shame really.