Alright kiddies, settle down and let The Wizard tell you all a little story about the Neon Maniacs! This gem from 1986 is one of my absolute favorites and is watched quite often here at the Castle. The plot is 100% pure 80's cheddar. The Neon Maniacs are a group of 12 monsters that live in the Golden Gate Bridge (You'd think that between 12 of them, they could have afforded a nice townhouse) coming out at night to prey on the locals. I'm not exactly sure why they call themselves The Neon Maniacs....they don't glow....but they do sometimes leave behind a bright green/yellow slime substance. My guess is it was '86 and they were just trying to be hip.
Though Neon Maniacs is a pretty friggin great titlefor a movie (C'mon, NOTHING screams 80's more than NEON!), the film was released in the Phillipines under the ultra cool title Evil Dead Warriors. Wicked! The US release was distributed by the awesome Vestron Video.
The story revolves around our three protagonists, Natalie, Steven and Paula.
Let's meet Natalie (Leilani Sarelle), a high school chica who survives an onslaught by the Maniacs that claims the lives of all her friends as they party in the park. Some good kills in this opening scene, including a fellacio beheading.....yipes! Natalie, being the clever final girl type hid in the van until the monsters vanish. Some police show up in the morning (presumably because worried parents called after thier kids didn't come home) and rescue her. She tells the police what happened, but naturally they scoff at her claims of monsters attacking them.
Next up, say hello to Steven (Clyde Hayes), love interest and 80's New Wave musician extraordinaire! Steve delivers groceries for his parent's market, and while delivering Natalie's groceries, musters up the balls to ask her out to the movies.....with of course the stipulation that they don't go to a horror movie.....
And last, but certainly not least, a warm welcome for Paula, the youngest of the bunch and a huge horror film buff. She is kinda the driving force behind the trio trying to solve the riddle of the Maniacs. Why do they kill? What do they want? Why don't they come out when it rains? Well, I've got nothin' on the first two, but apparently the evil dozen has quite the aversion to H20, as is discovered by young Paula.
Now lets take a look at the Maniacs (In diabolical order, as the trailer suggests!):
Doc - He's decked out in surgeon scrubs. Interesting note: Doc was played by Andrew Divoff (The Djinn from Wishmaster I & II)...which was his big screen debut.
Archer - Ugly mofo with a mean crossbow. I think he might be related to Samurai...they look kinda alike.
Decapitator - Likes to chop of heads with a large blade.
Stringbean - I don't even know quite what to say about this dude. He's a.....er....thing. One eyed thing.
Samurai - Archer lookalike with a sword!
Slasher - Nasty, goopy lookin' dude. Wears plaid.
Biker - He's a biker. Likes to strangle people with a length of chain
Juice - Robot/Cyborg dude who likes to electricute folks
Mohawk - Seriously pissed off Native American dude with a serious nose problem
Axe - Nuther beauty pagent winner with a big ol axe!
Ape - He's....uh...an Ape. Man. Thing.
Hangman - Carries around his noose looking for fresh victims....
If you love 80's schlock as much as I do, then you cannot afford to miss this delightful scoop of velveeta. It's got everything a bad movie should. Bad acting? Check. Whacked out plot? Yuppers. Weird monster? Try TWELVE of them! Awesomely bad 80's music? That's a big 10-4 good buddy. As a matter of fact, close to the climax of the film takes place at a battle of the bands taking place at the high school. And what a battle it is. Steven's New Wave band versus a crazy Metal Band. each performs one song, and both of them are absolutely awesomely bad. To make it even better, the battle of the bands scene is also the only scene that has any neon in it (at least, that I can remember.....)
I really can't recommend this movie enough. If you have not delved into the deliriously, deliciously diabolical world of Neon Maniacs, then do so immediately! You won't be disappointed!