Neon Maniacs (1986) - Joseph Mangine


Directed by: Joseph Mangine
Produced by: Christopher Arnold and Steven D. Mackler
Written by: Mark Patrick Carducci
Starring: Leilani Sarelle and Alan Hayes
Music: byKendall Schmidt
Cinematography: Joseph Mangine and Oliver Wood
Edited by: Timothy Snell
Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment, Castle Hill Productions Inc. and Bedford Entertainment Inc.
Release date: November 14, 1986
Running time: 91 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English

This project really takes me into some weird places. I knew going into it I would find some weird stuff. It started with Slime City and Street Trash. Now I am finding stuff like this. Movies that were too low-budget to even stay on the campy cult classic radar. This movie is the epitome of campy cultishness. Just look at the over-the-top effects. They are so much, it appears to resemble a really dark episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

An unfortunate guy happens to find some pictures or trading cards with horrible looking mutants on them. All in various poses with murderous weapons. It's weird. These mutants all live under the Golden Gate Bridge and they happen to be causing havoc for the coastal city. Now the cops have to get involved. It goes down the crime movie path and even has a love story intertwined. 

This movie has a lot of negatives. But it gets some passes from me. Firstly, the movie is based in California. That already gains points with me. It's also extremely low-budget and has some interesting effects. Not great effects. Just interesting ones. The story leaves a lot to be desired and the acting is horrible, but it's expected. You get used to that kind of crap when you watch so many of these things. 

I don't think this movie really had a grasp on its concept. Neon Maniacs is all over the place with a very thin plot. The antagonists are shown quite a bit and it loses suspense because of it. Something just isn't very scary when you see it gleefully driving a the BART. The movie also goes on for far too long. It may only be ninety minuets but it feels like a four hour borefest. 

The music is horrible. It doesn't convey any sort of terror or fear. It is completely devoid of suspense or fright. It's bad. The main theme sounds like it was lifted from a supermarket jingle. I wouldn't worry about losing sleep over this one. In fact all of these elements kind of make the movie pointless to watch unless you are a hardcore movie watcher like myself. There are better bad movies than this one.