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By Christopher Curry | March 3, 2005

For those who’ve seen William Lustig’s “Maniac”, there isn’t much to tell about this all-but-forgotten horror movie. Just transplant antagonist Joe Spinell along with protagonist Caroline Munro from the streets of Manhattan to the Cannes Film Festival in France and
you’ll get the picture. Nevertheless, if you’re not familiar with Lustig’s gore opus then here’s a bit about “Fanatic.”

Vinny Durand (Spinell) is dying to shoot a picture starring his prized Jana Bates (Munro). Bates is an A-List actress and has no earthly idea who Vinny is nor does she care. She just flits about
France posing for photos and doing interviews for the press. Meanwhile, Vinny lumbers about France murdering anyone and everyone who is connected to his coveted starlet. It’s a practical plan of attack. Vinny figures that if he can kill off all of Bates’ directors and producers then she’ll just have to work with him, right? Probably not, but in Vinny’s delusional mind this could work, and so he gives it his all. Naturally he does not succeed and all is well in the end.

“Fanatic” is nowhere near as emotive as “Maniac” nor is it as bleak or oppressive. Still, Caroline Munro is a real looker and Spinell gives his patent queasy yet fantastic performance. You just never know what to expect from this guy in these types of roles. He’s
either gonna hug you, choke you or throw up on you, maybe even all three. This 1982 sleeper is by no means in the same league as “Maniac,” but together they would make for one rousing double feature.

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