Franck Khalfoun’s first-person remake of William Lustig’s notorious slasher starred Wood as the titular psychopath, and recieved generally very strong reviews (including our own). However, THR reports that the Office of Film and Literature Legislation has given it a rating which means it can only be shown at film festivals. It will not be screened at cinemas, and it will not be released on home video.
Ant Timpson, who is showing the film as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival, explains “the POV nature of the film mixed with the psychopathic behavior of actor Elijah Wood is more than disturbing; it’s potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong person – that is, a non-festival-goer.”
The site also reported a statement from Australian distributors Monster Pictures’ Neil Foley, who said “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. We will explore every option to have the banning revoked, but at this stage it [isn’t] looking good,” he added.
Our UK readers can buy Maniac on Blu-ray for £12.99 at Amazon.co.uk.