10 Most Obscure And Underrated Slasher Horror Movies

7. Maniac

Motel Hell
Analysis Film Releasing Corporation

Maniac might just be the most notorious horror, let alone slasher, that you've never heard of.

The 1980 feature's subject matter was considered to be so shockingly controversial that multiple copies were actually seized by the British police during the moral panic over uncensored video content during the 1980s. The depraved picture's notoriety also led to it being ambitiously adapted for a remake starring Elijah Wood, which was released to mixed to positive reviews in 2012. In sharp contrast to this, when the original debuted it was met with a deluge of horrified critical response, receiving particular criticism for its nauseating depiction of violence.

Maniac's subject matter is disturbing enough to leave even seasoned horror viewers shaking in their boots. The plot tells the tale of Frank Zito, a terribly disturbed man who was utterly neglected by his prostitute mother, resulting in him becoming a serial killer with a penchant for scalping his female victims. Zito's tale does not make for easy viewing in the slightest and is appallingly gory at times. However, despite an overwhelmingly negative critical response at the time, Maniac's unexpected success as a diamond in the rough of the sub-genre is highlighted by the fact that it grossed $10 million at the box office against a measly budget of $350,000.

That was back in 1980, though, and one would be hard pushed to find an average moviegoer who has heard of Frank Zito in 2022.


Law graduate with a newly rediscovered passion for writing, mad about film, television, gaming and mixed martial arts. Can usually be found having some delightful manner of martial arts based violence being inflicted upon him or playing with his golden retriever.