Maniac (1934)

Not Rated  |   |  Horror  |  11 September 1934 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 3.4/10 from 1,529 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 33 critic

A former vaudevillian gifted at impersonation assists a mad scientist in reanimating corpses and soon goes mad himself.



(story) (as Hildagarde Stadie)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

White Zombie (1932)
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiance, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A stripper is horribly disfigured in a car accident. A brilliant scientist develops a treatment that restores her beauty and falls in love with her. To preserve her appearance the doctor ... See full summary »

Director: Anton Giulio Majano
Stars: Alberto Lupo, Susanne Loret, Sergio Fantoni
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
Bedlam (1946)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, Billy House
Marihuana I (1936)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A young girl slowly becomes a dope pusher.

Director: Dwain Esper
Stars: Harley Wood, Hugh McArthur, Pat Carlyle
Truck Turner (1974)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Truck is a bounty hunter who gets a job to track down a guy named Gator. When he and his partner find him, a chase ensues and Gator is killed. This makes Gator's woman, Dorinda, very angry ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto, Alan Weeks
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

Director: John S. Robertson
Stars: John Barrymore, Martha Mansfield, Brandon Hurst
Raw Deal (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt
Evilspeak (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A military cadet who happens to be a social outcast taps into a way to summon demons and cast spells on his tormentors through his computer.

Director: Eric Weston
Stars: Clint Howard, R.G. Armstrong, Joe Cortese
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A frustrated and talentless artist finds acclaim for a plaster covered dead cat that is mistaken as a skillful statuette. Soon the desire for more praise leads to an increasingly deadly series of works.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

Director: Herk Harvey
Stars: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the garden, a man asks his friends to do something silly for him to record on film.

Director: Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince
Stars: Annie Hartley, Adolphe Le Prince, Joseph Whitley


Cast overview:
Bill Woods ...
Horace B. Carpenter ...
Dr. Meirschultz (as Horace Carpenter)
Ted Edwards ...
Phyllis Diller ...
Mrs. Buckley
Theo Ramsey ...
Alice Maxwell
Jenny Dark ...
Marvelle Andre ...
Marvel (as Marvel Andre)
Celia McCann ...
John P. Wade ...
Embalmer Mike (as J.P. Wade)
Marian Constance Blackton ...
Neighbor (as Marion Blackton)


Don Maxwell is an ex-vaudeville ham, wanted by police, who has now found himself as the unlikely assistant to Dr. Meirschultz, a mad scientist in the business of reanimating corpses. Maxwell's gift of impersonation gets him and Meirschultz past the guards and into a morgue where they use a special serum to revive the corpse of a pretty young woman. But that's nothing. Dr. Meirschultz has a heart beating in a jar of solution and is eager to put it into a corpse that really needs it. Meirschultz gives his assistant a gun and advises him to commit suicide, so that he can put the heart in him, but Maxwell shoots and kills the scientist instead and hides the body. People will miss Meirschultz, Maxwell quickly realizes, but no one will miss his lowly assistant; and so Maxwell dons eyeglasses and a fake beard to become his onetime benefactor. The trouble is, he impersonates the mad doctor too well and goes crazy himself. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Truth About Love Fearlessly Told See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 September 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sex Maniac  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$5,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Marian Constance Blackton is sometimes reported, incorrectly, as appearing in male drag as the neighbor who catches and breeds cats. She plays a female neighbor who is questioned by the detective. See more »


Various times throughout the movie, the "corpses" are visibly breathing. See more »


Maxwell: It was in Miersholtz' eyes when he wanted to murder me. It was in Mrs. Buckley's eyes when she wanted to murder her husband. Alice had the gleam in her eye when she wanted to find me. She'd murder me! I must get rid of her. How? Mrs. Buckley! She will help. She must help!
See more »


Featured in Exploitation Classics (1985) See more »


La Cooca Rocha
Sung by Thea Ramsey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

For fans of wacko film making an absolute must see!
5 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember the first time I sat down to watch CITIZEN KANE many years ago. That movie had the reputation of being perhaps the greatest American film of all time, and I was sure I was going to be disappointed. I wasn't. It's a brilliant piece of film making that I've enjoyed again and again over the years, and one of the few times I remember thinking that a much-hyped film had actually exceeded its publicity. Last night I had a similar experience: I watched Dwaine Esper's classic MANIAC. We may be talking about the other end of the cinematic scale here but my reaction was similar: here was a movie I'd read about for years which not only lived up to the hype but surpassed it. MANIAC is a work of demented genius. I can't remember seeing another film that was more assuredly the product of a man unhampered by matters of good taste or conventional film making technique. It's one of the most consistently watchable and entertaining features I've seen, with an atmosphere more reminiscent of an old underground movie that a Hollywood production. The over the top acting, ludicrous but somehow clever dialogue, and nightmarish imagery (raving madmen superimposed over footage from silent horror classics, way ahead of its time gratuitous nudity, people being shot up with hypodermics the size of harpoons, and a killer catfight between two ferocious and seemingly indestructible women) all combine into a unique and surreal viewing experience. And yet the most shocking thing about this movie is the flashes of actual talent it displays (albiet sparingly). The sets and photography are occasionally quite atmospheric, and some of the dialogue, if competently delivered, would have seemed quite clever and original, foreshadowing the "postmodern" exchanges of people like Tarantino. All in all a movie that defines by example the word "unique" and an experience not to be missed.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Phyllis Diller Burylman
What happened to Mr. Buckley and the zombie chick? jrpelt
Husker Du! RobtheWebGuy
You have to love SilentOne92 rama24-217-573354
Discuss Maniac (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: