Monday, 6 February 2012

I watch movies so you don't have to #10 - Neon Maniacs (1986)

Neon Maniacs (1986)
Directed by: Joseph Mangine
Starring: Clyde Hayes, Leilani Sarelle, Donna Locke

Oh dear...where do I start with this one? A film I just wanted to watch because of the title. Oh yes, I am a sucker for stupid titles...and Neon Maniacs sounds like it could be fun, right? But, oh no...this is just weird...and not in a good way, just in a what-the-fuck-is-going-on-and-this-is-stupid kinda way. I'm not really sure who the audience is meant to be. It's too ridiculous and cheesy to be aimed at adult horror fans, but too violent (but not really) to be a "family horror".

Anyway, what is it all about? I guess I'll just get right down to it.

It opens with a dramatic voice-over...

"When the world is ruled by violence and the soul of mankind fades...the children's path shall be the shadows of the neon maniacs"

Seriously...I was tempted to switch off just there and then, but I had to stick with it. It was only film I had with me that was short enough to watch on my train journey to Birmingham. But, come on...that is a terrible opening.

A fisherman finds some sort of animal skull down in the San Fransisco harbour.

Inside the skull are a bunch of pictures of some freaky looking people...the Neon Maniacs! They're not pretty.

But before he even has a chance to take in what he's seeing, the nice old chap is chopped down with an axe!

And it's title screen time!!

After this weird opening that doesn't really tell us anything, we're thrown into familiar horror territory. A group of youngsters are out driving around in their van.

One of them, Natalie, is celebrating her birthday...

...and we're introduced to Steven, a nice guy (with a bit of a thing for Natalie) who's out jogging with his dog

We're also quickly introduced to Paula, our third main character...a kid obsessed with monster make-up and horror movies.

Our gang of teens drive to a nearby park to have a couple of beers and fool around.

"I bet you're the last virgin in San Fransisco" teases one of Natalie's now we know that she'll survive this movie. That's just the way these things work.

But, for the's just about sex, sex, sex...

They head off looking for some privacy...

...but there's something lurking in the bushes...and whatever/whoever it is, he's armed with a harpoon gun!

"Did you hear that sick sound?"

"Yeah, it was creepy. Probably your mom howling out her anti-sex warning!"

It all gets a bit messy. One of the guys is getting a blowjob...when his girlfriend is beheaded.

So...who's doing all this? Could it be?


Told you they were ugly.

There's alot of killing...and screaming.

Soon, Natalie's the only person left...and she's scared. Wouldn't you be if a bunch of neon maniacs killed off all your friends?

She's hiding in the van, but they're coming for her...smashing the windshield...

...trying to tip the van over...

But, then...thunder strikes...

...and they all disappear!

Or do they?

There's a knock on the van door...but it's just some friendly cops.

"You got a problem here, miss?"

Yes, in fact...Natalie has a problem...a very specific one that is kind of difficult to explain to the police. She's taken in for questioning, but nobody believes her stories of monsters in stupid outfits with harpoon guns and speards.

The police might not be buying her story, but there's no denying the fact that a bunch of kids are missing.

Natalie heads back home to unwind and think about her evening. She decides to have a swim in her pool.

BUT! Someone is watching her in the bushes!

It's a neon maniac! Haha...sorry...but, I just can't stop calling them that. They're never actually referred to as that in the film.

Natalie jumps into the pool and she doesn't even notice that he is there...

He tries to grab her...but misses...and gets furious.

But, why doesn't he just jump in after her, you say? Oh...wait a second...thunder and they disappear...a pool and he can't follow her. A-HA! They must be scared of water! It's all really being spelled out for us.

Natalie takes a little nap...

...and has a pretty disturbing dream...

...where it starts raining blood!

Here I started thinking that maybe there's hope for the film, cause that was actually pretty disturbing.

But, no...downhill again.

Next day and the police are investigating the park.

They find some slime...neon slime! See, neon...from the neon maniacs!

"What is that?"

"Guk, slime? Nobody knows yet"

OK...remember Paula, the younger girl who was briefly introduced earlier? She has now found out about the mysterious things going on in the park.

Meanwhile, Natalie is attacked by a girl in school. Nobody is buying her story about monsters killing all these kids.

Steven is on hand to protect her, though. Phew.

Paula is out with some friends shooting a horror movie in the cemetary...

...and then she does a bit of investigating on her own.

Steven works as a delivery boy and later on he's delivering some groceries to Natalie's house.

Some quick bikini shots to wake up the male crowd.

She invites him in and offers him a beer.

And he asks her out on a date.

"One thing, though. No horror movies"

Meanwhile, Paula is still investigating....

She finds a bunch of dead birds outside a big spooky door.

And she's quite a clever cookie...she immediately figures out that because of the strange things going on and the dead birds, whoever's responsible must be inside the spooky door, right?


So she heads back that evening and finds the maniacs!

It starts to rain and Paula even manages to film what happens when these guys come into contact with water!

Steven and Natalie are on their way back from the cinema. Their subway train is deserted.

Apart from...

Neon maniacs!

One of them is even driving the train!

They manage to get off the train, up to the surface and onto a bus.

Phew, you're thinking. Surely those maniacs can't manage to get onto a moving bus?


One of them is hanging onto the bus window and grabs Steven's head.

Quick-thinking Natalie closes the window...with such force that the guy's arm comes off.

And smoke starts coming out of it. Hmmmmm.

That night, Paula has a nasty surprise. There's a neon maniac in her room. Being a kid, knowing what she knows, she takes a squirt gun...

In your face, maniac!

She gets in touch with Natalie, who finally is willing to listen to her. The whole gang goes out to the spooky door to investigate.

It turns out that Steven is in a band and that they're playing that evening at some fancy dress party. And now they have a plan!

"If we can get enough squirt guns to the dance, it'll be the safest place to be!"

Steven's band, The Outlaws, are just as terrible as their name.

And how are you gonna spot a neon maniac in this crowd?

Paula is dressed as Dracula.

But, rest assured...the neon maniacs are on their way to the dance. One of them is even an evil surgeon. He saws off the arm of a security guard so that the maniac buddy who lost his arm in the bus accident can have a new one.

Bored now...anyway, the shit goes down. The maniacs arrive and start shooting loads of kids. Mayhem! Limbs flying everywhere.

Paula grabs the fire hose.


Steven and Natalie hides.

"I'm not gonna let anything happen to you"

The police shows up and are finally willing to listen.

They all head out to the spooky door, bringing a fire engine along for some added water power.

But, there are no maniacs to be seen, which everyone gets a bit annoyed about.

They all leave, except the police chief, who wants to take a final look.

There's a suspicious looking van.


Dinner time!


But, our gang is long gone by that time.

"You still got your squirt guns?"

"Keep'em. This rain won't last forever."


Yup, that's how it ends. The Neon Maniacs survive, I guess. Or that weird lizard thing anyway.

Utter rubbish and a complete waste of time. It's not funny...not even's not even badly acted...the actors are actually alright. It's the whole's just bad.

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