2 and a half stars 
"The new physics professor has a disappearing act that's a real scream."

directed by: Adam Rifkin
starring: Noel Peters, Savannah, Stephanie Blake, Melissa Moore, Clement von Franckenstein, Claudette Rains, Jason Logan, Robert R. Ross Jr., Rod Sweitzer, Eric Champnella, Kalei Shallabarger, Gail Lyon, Debra Lamb, Marilyn Adams, Dana Bentley

choice dialogue:

“She's dead! She's dead! She's got a fire hose wrapped round her neck!”

- panic ensues as the Invisible Maniac goes on the rampage.

slash with panache?
[review by Justin Kerswell]

A film with a name like this is never going to be high art. One part comedy, one part t&a fest and one part slasher, this horror mish-mash is actually a lot more fun than it deserves to be.

It starts going horribly wrong for nerdy little Kevin Dornwinkle when his Mom discovers him spying a comely neighbour's striptease with his telescope (the first of the film's many boob airings). Evidently already slightly damaged (and you would be with a Mother who's an unholy cross between Joan Crawford and Janice Dickinson), the young Dornwinkle is grounded for a year; with Mom's words, “How do you expect to become a scientist if this is how you spend your time!?”. To cap it all off she screams with laughter at him.

Flash forward 20 years, and Dornwinkle has grown into a nerdy adult. Now with illusions of grandeur he's gathered together the world's top scientific minds (or the friends and family of the director in white lab coats), to show them his new “molecular reorganisation serum” (or invisibility juice to you and me). Sadly, things don't go according to plan – and as one unkind boffin points out, “The only thing invisible, Dornwinkle, is your brain!”. Screaming with laughter they shout, “I can still see you, Dr Dornwinkle!”, when he fails to vanish. Reminded of his abusive mother's mirth, Dornwinkle snaps and rampages through the room killing four of the assembled scientists before being carted off to the looney bin.

Within a blink of an eye Dornwinkle has escaped (throwing a guard dog off his trail by simply throwing him a stick to chase!). Shortly afterwards he secures a teaching job at a local high school, after the previous psychics teachers chokes to death on a sandwich. His class is full of those over-aged ne'er-do-wells and busty, gum chewing trollops that populate so many 'teen' horror flicks. Obnoxious and horny, they quickly tire of his attempts to try and teach them, so they attempt to drive him mad (not knowing how close to the edge he already is). This campaign of 'terror' includes an orchestrated mass dropping of text books on the floor (hardly a Machiavellian plot).

With the girls' tight sweaters straining his libido, Dornwinkle is still carrying out his life's work to turn himself invisible. He finally manages to do so, and can't resist wandering around the female showers whilst the girls dance naked, and poking around their bedrooms as they sleep. However, once they push him too far the serum has another unwanted side effect – of making him go loopy-loo and laugh maniacally at regular intervals. Soon he's using his invisibility less for t&a spying and more for wanton slaughter ...

It goes without saying that INVISIBLE MANIAC doesn't exactly take itself particularly seriously. However, thankfully, it doesn't descend into complete farce. Most of the humour is of the sub-PORKYS type – with seemingly endless montages of boobs and butts, and people watching them jiggle through conveniently placed air grates. Some of the humour is (presumably) unintentional, with the school's nympho principal being especially inept at the thespian task at hand. Sadly, director Adam Rifkin can't help but conform to the early 90's stereotype of the wisecracking killer. Having said that, this is matched by some pretty effective chase sequences through the school's deserted corridors and auditoriums. The wisecracking side of things come as no surprise when you realise that the director went on to make the similarly afflicted PSYCHO COP RETURNS (1993) (he also acted in the marginally less tongue-in-cheek slashers BIKINI ISLAND (1991) and LAST DANCE (1992)). One also hopes that the cheesy and pretty shoddy invisible effects (panties flying around the room on bits of nylon) were done that way intentionally!

Other familiar faces include Melissa Moore as the bitchy cheerleader Bunny – she was particularly busy this year, also putting in appearances in SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II and the really fun HARD TO DIE the same year. Also acting under the name Shannon Wilsey as fellow classmate Vicky, was is the tragic porn star to be Savannah (who killed herself a few year after being in this film).

INVISIBLE MANIAC doesn't have much of the red stuff on offer – with most of the deaths being of the absurd, and mostly bloodless, type (everything from death by baguette to strangulation with a hose pipe). Although there's modicum of splatter for those who stick around after the wall-to-wall boobs. Ultimately, it's a cut-rate, ultra cheesy precursor to THE HOLLOW MAN (2000), but there's plenty of fun to be had for the less discerning cinephile among us.


BODYCOUNT 13  bodycount!   female:8 / male:5

       1) Male strangled
       2) Female strangled
       3) Male beaten to death
       4) Female beaten to death
       5) Female stabbed with letter opener
       6) Male choked to death on sandwich
       7) Female strangled with fire hose

       8) Female drowned in fish tank
       9) Female strangled
     10) Female electrocuted
     11) Male fall to his death
     12) Female has her head jumped on
     11) Male has head blown off with shotgun