William Lustig was born on February 1, 1955 in Bronx, New York. During his teenage years, Lustig avidly watched a huge volume of lowdown trashy exploitation fare at numerous 42nd Street grind house theaters in Manhattan and also worked as a movie theater usher in Fort Lee, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, he took a few film classes at New York University.
Lustig began his film career in his mid to late teens, working behind-the-scenes in various minor production capacities on a handful of hardcore X-rated porno pictures as well as a production assistant on both THE SEVEN UPS and DEATH WISH. He made his debut as a director, producer and editor with the hardcore porn features HOT HONEY and THE VIOLATION OF CLAUDIA. Lustig directed both of these movies under the alias Billy Bagg.
In 1980, Lustig found himself at the center of a storm of controversy when he made the grim, gory and disturbing slasher sleaze splatter landmark MANIAC, which boasts an incredibly… read more
Pretty much what you'd expect from a William Lustig-Larry Cohen holiday slasher joint. Lots of director-to-video-style horror cheese that doesn't take itself too seriously, but doesn't quite establish itself as anything all that special either. Gets an extra half star for Isaac Hayes.
*little spoiler* This could have been the BEST psychological zombie film of the 90's, only if Uncle Sam was an actual zombie (i.e. Joe Dante's Homecoming) instead of going into slasher film territory, but that happens during the last 30 or-so minutes when he starts to wake up and kill people... The first hour is fantastic!