She’s a “Maniac” Maniac

Back when the world was still open and indoor movie theaters were a thing, I had the pleasure of hosting a variety of films at the San Francisco Alamo Drafthouse theater for their Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday horror and cult cinema specialty nights. Over the years the Alamo has welcomed a very special visiting guest: producer, director and distributor William Lustig, maker of such titles as Vigilante, Uncle Sam, Relentless, and the Maniac Cop series.

The first time I “met” Mr. Lustig was during the rerelease of his seminal 1980 classic Maniac, starring the late Joe Spinell — one of my all time favorite horror films!

Even though he was appearing via Skype, we hit it off and became fast chums.

Tiny me interviewing William Lustig via Skype about his horror masterpiece Maniac.

We continued gabbing about cinema when Lustig made his way back to the Bay Area several more times to promote other films released through his distribution company , Blue Underground (

William Lustig and I after talking onstage about Lucio Fulci ‘s New York Ripper.

On his last visit promoting the Lucio Fulci film rerelease House By the Cemetery, I made him a present of appreciation: a little Joe Spinell figure from Maniac, Croshamed in all of his yarny, gory glory.

He warned you not to go out tonight!

One day soon I hope to reunite with this splatter movie maestro, but in the meantime I’m so proud that my little maniac has a good home with his friend Bill Lustig!


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