Neon Maniacs is literally an unfinished film. Some of the maniacs are played by two different performers, as financial difficulties shut the movie down for three months and some actors had to be rehired. Plus, a lower budget meant that the ending of the film was scrapped, which resulting in an ending that comes out of nowhere and resolves nothing. And because of bitter feelings and bad memories, no copies of the original script exist and the people who made it either don’t know or don’t remember why the creatures exist and what their motivations were! Yet I found myself loving this sloppy movie.
Under the Golden Gate Bridge, in scenes obviously shot with no permit, the legions of the dead lay in wait for the night. Then, they can attack teenagers stupid enough to park their van and have sex. Only Natalie survives their initial assault, losing friends dumb enough to give head and smoke weed in the Neon Maniacs’ domain.
Those Neon Maniacs look awesome yet have no connective reason to be a group. There’s a surgeon (Andrew Divoff from Wishmaster!), a cop, a samurai and even one that looks like a furry cyclops dinosaur. The only thing that can stop them is water, so of course, they choose to live right next to San Francisco Bay because the 80’s.
There’s also Paula, a girl who is supposed to be the horror loving geek next to the supposedly gorgeous Natalie, but who outshines her in every scene, even wearing a hat that looks suspiciously like it came from the USCSS Nostromo. That said, it’s hard to know whether Paula is either 14 or 22, so having a crush on her is problematic. That said, she’s totally gonna end up with Tommy Jarvis when she grows up.
If you also like movies that suddenly become more about a battle of the bands than looming supernatural evil, Neon Maniacs also has you covered.
Joe Mangine directed this and while he didn’t direct many films, he was the cinematographer for Alligator, Alone in the Dark and I Drink Your Blood. You can watch it on Amazon Prime or buy it on DVD from Kino Lober and do what I did: imagine the film this could have been. Who is with me to Kickstart a new one?