Rapper KiD CuDi has always found himself exploring the darker side of life through hip-hop, using his moody and morose music to delve into his own thoughts of chaos, addiction and suicide. And in his latest film, a short inspired by the Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager record, “Maniac,” the talented Mr. Rager goes deeper into the darkness than he’s ever gone before, presenting a gruesome horror tale of two maniacal killers on a wild spree of havoc and terror.
Previewed earlier this year before its eventual release on Halloween, Maniac was directed by actor Shia LaBeouf and co-stars Chris Palko aka Cage, who raps alongside CuDi on “Maniac.” Opening with a scene of two men walking away from a burning house, the film follows two killers (CuDi and Cage) who are being followed by a film crew (which includes LaBeouf asa camera man) as they wreak havoc at night in Detroit, Michigan.
The two killers, who strangely speak French two each while out amongst the world, are seen calmly devising a plot to kill over a dozen people before the night is through and as the cameras role, the audience watches as the killers travel throughout the snowy city streets, gruesomely killing strangers without any apparent rhyme or reason. And as the film comes to a close, viewers witness just how coldblooded the seemingly natural born killers really are.
The Cudder recently spoke with Complex about the film and though many would expect that the horror story was the brainchild of the dark rapper himself, he explained that it was LaBeouf who decided to turn his song in a film.
“Shia reached out to Cage — a good buddy of mine — and told him, ‘Hey, I wanna do a video for ‘Maniac.’ ’’ Cage hit me up and told me and I was like, ‘Oh, word. That’s crazy. Tell him to hit me up.’ So we talked about it and he gave me his idea and I loved it. I was like, ‘Whoa. This is so intense,’” said CuDi, who admits that he was fearful of playing such a dark role, but was convinced by LaBeouf to trust in his vision.
“This is a big step for me to be something completely different from Domingo Dean or my personal self and really show people what I can do on camera. At first, I was nervous about how people would respond to it but then I talked to Shia about it,” said CuDi. “We’re artists in our own right and this is our way of doing our artistry as far as acting goes and this is his way of doing something different as far as directing stuff. Shia’s really passionate about doing that. So it worked out well for the both of us.”
CuDi, who funded the film himself along with LaBeouf, explained the creation of his character and shares that he wanted viewers to believe that he was a true killer.
“It was me creating the back story for this person in my mind. What you see just seems like senseless acts of crime happening but in my character’s mind it was always justified. When you watch it, it’s like, ‘Why are these things happening?’ You want answers but there’s no answers really given. When I was in character, it was always justified for me,” said CuDi, adding, “I’m into horror films. I love horror movies and I wanted people to see my range as an actor. I wanted people to understand that I’m definitely taking this very seriously and I can deliver. I can really put myself in the mind frame of a character and be that character and deliver a real raw performance.”
What are your thoughts on CuDi and LaBeouf’s Maniac film? –nicholas robinson