Film Review: Mania (1986)

SYNOPSIS:

“See No Evil”
This episode is about an accountant who witnesses through his window the murder of the call girl he just finished a transaction with. The killer turns around and is seen by the accountant. The killer stashes the murder weapon in the accountant’s apartment and the accountant is tried for the murder. It’s all smooth sailing until the accountant realizes the judge and the man the accountant saw outside of the window are the same man.

“Intruder”
Mr. and Mrs. Benson have a burglar in their neighborhood so Mrs. Benson is adamant about getting a guard dog. A Rottweiler. Mr. Benson is deathly afraid of dogs. So much so that when Mrs. Benson is out of town he poisons their Rottweiler. When he sees the dying dog on the kitchen floor he is beside himself with grief. He takes the dog to the vet, telling him “whatever it takes…just save him.” When he gets home the phone rings as he notices the untouched poisoned steak in the dog bowl. He answers the phone and it is the vet saying the dog wasn’t poisoned after all – he was choking on two human fingers.

“Have a Nice Day”
Kelly and her daughter Hilary are having a typical mother/daughter morning, fussing about Hilary going to school. Kelly wins the battle and sends Hilary on her way. Shortly thereafter, Kelly gets a phone call from a creepy stranger who tells Kelly that they have her daughter. If Kelly does as she is told, Hilary will not be in harm’s way. At the kidnapper’s direction, she goes to the bank to get the priceless jewelry left to her by her grandmother and forfeits them to the abductor. After twenty minutes, Hilary finally arrives home, after an exhilarating day…at school.

“The Good Samaritan”
After having a couple drinks with a colleague from work, Dan Weston witnesses an attack by a thief/rapist on a beautiful young woman and intervenes. He and the victim, Julie Summers, escape, but are followed, to Dan’s home. He needs to check all the windows and doors while she calls the cops. The attacker attempts to get in but is presumably scared away with threats that the cops are on the way. The attacker returns, however, via a basement window. A struggle ensues, during which the attacker is stabbed by Julie. It is then Dan realizes that Julie was the attacker and the other man the victim.

REVIEW:

Mania: (TV – 1986)
Written by Peter R. Simpson and John Sheppard
Directed by Paul Lynch, David M. Robertson
Starring: Wayne Robson, Deryck Hazel, David Peterson

Mania is the name of what appears to be a movie made for television featuring a series of vignettes, a la, “Creepshow”, or “Cat’s Eye”. Though the production value is more akin to “Tales from the Crypt”, or “Tales from the Darkside”, the overall effect is similar to all the aforementioned. Every episode takes an ordinary person and places them into an extraordinary situation, often leading to an unexpected conclusion.

This formula never gets tired for me. I still enjoy trying to figure out the ending before it happens, and I super enjoy it when I do just that. The endings for these episodes were predictable but nifty and I enjoyed watching all four of them. What proceeds are the synopses for each of the four parts of the film. I didn’t even attempt to keep myself from dropping spoilers throughout, though I highly doubt you will be able to rent these at your local Redbox, so I doubt that it matters.

Mania (1986)

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