NEON MANIACS is a slasher film with strong concepts that hint at bigger ideas that should be explored in further sequels. Sadly there are none. The movie presents these creatures that are never fully explained. A narrator at the beginning gives a vague voice over about the world becoming violent which brings the Neon Maniacs. That is all we are given. Each Maniac has his own unique look or occupation. We have a samurai, a surgeon, an archer, a hangman, stabby guy, an ax wielding psycho, a biker, a soldier and one guy that looks like he has scimitars for hands! There are more but I must move on. To accompany them are these one eyed dwarf lizard people that collect and drag back the murdered victims of the Neon Maniacs with meat hooks leaving no bodies. We are left intrigued and we want to know more. What are these guys? Where do they come from? What do they do with the bodies? Did these guys invent cosplay? The answers are left to our imaginations. Some guy at the beginning of the film finds a cow skull with tarot like cards that each has a picture of a Neon Maniac. Then the guy gets axed. Does the movie go back and explain the significance of these cards? Heck, no.
There is a good sized body count and some fun gory moments to keep the audience from realizing that there really isn't much story or plot to THE NEON MANIACS and the dialogue isn't as clever as it thinks it is. Still the movie has a strong spooky atmosphere when the night comes and the fog rolls in and the Neon Maniacs emerge from underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. I wouldn't want to be there when that happens. Another interesting thing is that the Neon Maniacs have a strong aversion to water. It makes them melt. I think it is their only weakness. Now I know that sounds dumb. Somehow the movie makes it work. For instance one of the main characters is a young girl who wants to make monster movies. She really is into monsters. She takes it upon herself to figure out how to kill the Maniacs. She uses crosses and garlic but when she uses "holy" water the monster attacking her dies. I thought that was a clever way of figuring out their weakness. Who would have thought that water would be so effective? Also I like that a girl was cast in the part of the monster enthusiast. Most of the time a boy would be written for that role. Way to be ahead of the times, NEON MANIACS.
I saw on THE FACEBOOK that there was a page for NEON MANIACS 2. Hopefully someone is out there trying to make that happen. I would love to see a sequel to answer the questions brought up in the first one and maybe give us even more questions to ignite our imaginations. A good horror movie inspires the imaginations of it's audience. That is exactly what the first one accomplishes. THE NEON MANIACS, despite being cheesy and flawed, is a terrific film that should be seen by every fan of eighties horror movies. I will guarantee after watching NEON MANIACS you will do what I do and keep a fully loaded Super Soaker in your car at all times just in case you have a run in with some cosplay weirdos that just may not be from your dimension. You never know.
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