FREEWAY MANIAC (director: Paul Winters; screenwriter: Gahan Wilson; cinematographer: Ronald Vidor; editor: David Marsh; music: Greg Stewart; cast: Loren Winters ( Linda Kenney), James Courtney (Arthur ), Shepherd Sanders (Burt Overman), Wayne Armstrong (Roscoe), Donald Hotton (Steven Day), Jeff Morris (Ray), Robert Bruce (Terry), Frank Jasper (Mannie); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Loren and Paul Winters; Media Home Entertainment (Cannon Films); 1989)
“Its best trait is that it’s unintentionally funny.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A cult thriller, with a misleading title. It’s directed without great insight by Paul Winters (“Red Blood”/”Cowboy Zombies”/”Nate and the Colonel“) as a spoof on the making of low-budget sci-fi films. It’s written in a tongue and cheek manner by Gahan Wilson.
It opens with a kid spying on mom making love with her lover on the kitchen table. When mom catches him and yells at him for being a pervert, he slays mom and lover-boy with a kitchen knife. Sentenced to a long prison term in an asylum Arthur (James Courtney), he escapes, a number of years later, by overwhelming a new orderly and killing him and then kills other staff who get in his way. When the car of aspiring actress Linda Kenney (Loren Winters) breaks down on a desert road while she’s on her way to a casting call for a sci-fi flick, she encounters Arthur in a garage and overcomes him. Arthur is sent back to the institution. Meanwhile, because of the good publicity over the capture, the movie producer decides to cash in on her newly gained fame by hiring her for a lead part. But it doesn’t end there, as the crazed Arthur is seeking revenge and escapes again. He finds the desert set of Linda’s film and begins killing off both cast and crew.
What’s a hoot is that this rubbish low-budget flick has the gall to mock low-budget flicks without looking at itself in the mirror.
Its best trait is that it’s unintentionally funny.
REVIEWED ON 4/9/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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