The Last Horror Film (1982): Deep Cuts #15

As stated before, I am a huge boutique horror collector, and when I came across a film being released by Severin named Maniac 2, I was instantly intrigued. I knew that Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie was planned, and a promotional trailer was shot, but due to Joe Spinnell dying, the film was never made. Was it possible that somehow, I was wrong? It turns out this was nothing more than an alternate cover to an unrelated film known as The Last Horror Film. I passed on buying it, only to see that about two months after it sold out, it is going for over $160 bucks on Ebay. I feel stupid now. 

Critics loved the horror and comedy aspects as well as the meta-approach with the film-within-a-film aspect, a full 24 years before Wes Craven struck it big with Scream. The film within a film is called Scream, which just adds to the whole meta thing going on. There’s also a movie named Stab on a marquee, so take that for what you will. 


A New York taxi driver stalks a beautiful actress attending the Cannes Film Festival, which coincides with a series of violent killings of the lady’s friends. 

IMDb: 5.6 

Rotten Tomatoes: 56% 

Tagline: Babes are dying to be in his movie! 

Full disclosure: I’m a Joe Spinnell mark and I’m in love with Caroline Munro. Not 74-year-old current Caroline Munro, but 40 years ago Caroline Munro. I’m not a weirdo or anything, geesh! 

Caroline is like 33 here, and while she is still beautiful, she has this weird hair color thing going on, where it looks like she’s got a white streak in her hair, appearing to be much older. She also has a deep dark tan, and I’m a little disappointed, to be honest. She looks old. And tired. And wrinkly. And a little leather purse-ish. 

I can only imagine the insanity and depravity that descends upon the French Riviera during the Cannes Film Festival. I think I will try and avoid that scene for the rest of my life. It’s fun to see on film, but I hate people, and I think the crowds and their stupidity might just send me into full on Joe Spinell mode. 

People get killed, and the gore is truly fantastic. There are also a lot of boobs and booties in this film, and the girls are rude and bitchy, all deserving to be killed by Joe.  

It’s definitely uneven, with scenes of humor, scenes of gore and violence, and scenes of real Cannes footage. It’s truly all over the place. But the performance from Joe really pulls it together. His wimpy presence, his loser character, it really resonates. He is so good at playing that pathetic guy that has rage bubbling under the surface, mental illness in his heart, and murder in his hands. Anyone else in that role would flounder. It wouldn’t work. But he holds it down.  

As for calling it Maniac 2, it couldn’t be farther from that film. Sure, same actors, and Joe’s character here is very similar to that character in that he’s obviously mentally deranged, but the two movies couldn’t be any more different. The grimy NYC atmosphere is as much a character in Maniac as anyone is. And here, Cannes is as much a character as anyone is. But the two settings are vastly different. One is perfect for deranged murder. The other is perfect for fun in the sun, offsetting the violence in front of the camera. It’s not nearly as dark and demented. Tonally, they’re two different films, and merely a rip-off in name only, much like the films that claim to be sequels to Demons. 

But once again, it works. A fantastic gore fest ripping with violence and darkness. The contrast of fun and happiness with darkness and murder is done perfectly. Oh, and did I mention there’s a hell of a twist at the end? Cuz there is. One that I didn’t see coming. I must own this film. But I refuse to pay 160 dollars for that damn alternate slipcover……or do I? 

8.0/10 Stab Wounds 


About RetRo(n) 61 Articles
I like the 80s, slasher films, Italian directors, Evil Ed, Trash and Nancy, Ripley and Private First Class Hudson, retro crap but not SyFy crap, old school skin, Freddy and Savini, Spinell and Coscarelli, Andre Toulon, and last, but not least, Linda Blair.