MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 9,150 this week

Maniac (1934)

3.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 3.4/10 from 1,385 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 29 critic

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

Director:

Writer:

(story)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

Editors' Spotlight

Favorites of FantasticFest 2014

FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 10 Apr 2011
 
list image
a list of 43 titles
created 09 May 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 246 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Maniac" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Maniac (1934)

Maniac (1934) on IMDb 3.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Maniac.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Narcotic (1933)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

As the opening scroll tells us, Narcotic was "presented in the hope that the public may become aware of the terrific struggle to rid the world of drug addiction." The movie itself is a ... See full summary »

Directors: Dwain Esper, Vival Sodar't
Stars: Harry Cording, Joan Dix, Patricia Farley
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Mad scientist injects his enemies with acromegaly virus, causing them to become hideously deformed.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: J. Carrol Naish, Ralph Morgan, Tala Birell
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 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
Dead Men Walk (1943)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

The twin of a kindly small-town physician returns from the grave for vengeance against his brother, who secretly killed him because the twin served Satan.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: George Zucco, Mary Carlisle, Nedrick Young
Certificate: Passed Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A scientist, aided by an old hag & her two sons - a malicious dwarf and a brutish moron, kills virgin brides, steals their bodies, & extracts gland fluid to keep his ancient wife alive and young.

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Luana Walters, Tristram Coffin
Maniac (1980)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in NYC, kills young women and takes their scalps as trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in photographer Anna, and end his killing spree?

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton
Marihuana I (1936)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A young girl slowly becomes a dope pusher.

Director: Dwain Esper
Stars: Harley Wood, Hugh McArthur, Pat Carlyle
Certificate: Passed Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

People in an old dark house on a stormy night are menaced by a killer ape.

Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: Rex Lease, Vera Reynolds, Sheldon Lewis
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.1/10 X  

A mad scientist changes his simple-minded handyman into a werewolf in order to prove his supposedly crazy scientific theories - and exact revenge.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: Johnny Downs, George Zucco, Anne Nagel
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A district attorney and a reporter try to find the killer of a D.A. who uncovered a massive stock fraud.

Director: Christy Cabanne
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Evelyn Brent, Neil Hamilton
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Pat Morgan and Ted Kord are rival newspaper reporters always trying to outscoop each other. They join together to solve a series of murders being committed in an apartment building.

Director: Albert Ray
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, Harvey Clark
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A "Peeping Tom" likes to look through windows at women undressing. We see him as he sneaks a peek at two "subjects". His first one, a young woman who apparently has a major lingerie fetish,... See full summary »

Director: Dwain Esper
Stars: Elaine Barrie, Trixie Friganza, Hal Richardson
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

He menaced women with weird desires! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 September 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sex Maniac  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$5,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Marian 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 »

Goofs

A crew member's shadow can be seen on Maxwell as he stands up in the first scene. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Buckley: I think we speak the same language. I am right?
Maxwell: I don't get what you mean. Same language?
See more »

Connections

Features Maciste in Hell (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cooca Rocha
Sung by Thea Ramsey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very bad...but still light-years ahead of its time!
11 February 2005 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

This film is, in one word, DEMENTED! No matter how you try to look at it – either an early underdeveloped educative docu or an ambitious exploitation pioneer, you can only come to the conclusion that this is a masterpiece of awfulness! How else would you describe a movie that features images of fighting women in a basement (with baseball bats!) or a dude munching a cat's eye (which, by the way, has just been squished out)? The whole point of "Maniac" is giving some sort of anthology about all the possible mental illnesses through the adventures of a science assistant. Maxwell helps his employer with stealing bodies from the morgue and re-animating the dead tissue for the cause of science. When his boss (Dr. Meirschultz) becomes a little too obsessed, Maxwell kills him and replaces him in performing the art of mad science. In order to give the story an Edgar Allen Poe twist, he walls up the corpse and a black cat accidentally gets buried along. "Maniac" is one giant incoherent mess! Amateurish pacing, ridiculous dialogue and downright atrocious acting make it almost impossible to sit through this film even though it only lasts only a good 50 minutes. Bill Woods and Horace B. Carpenter overact terribly and especially their diabolical laughter is pathetic. And yet…I had a great time watching it and I have a great deal of respect for director Dwain Esper's risky and ahead-of-their-time ideas. Being a massive fan of eccentric exploitation and bizarre cult-films, I'm convinced that could have enjoyed a much more positive reputation by now if it only had been made in the period of sleaze-deities like Jess Franco or Jean Rollin. The editing of silent German expressionism highlights into the film is quite eerie definitely well attempted. Maniac also contains a lot of gore and even nudity, which is quite spectacular for a 1934 film. So, if you're not too easily disgusted (either by kitsch or awfulness) I recommend tracking this deranged early horror film down! I sincerely hope everyone involved in this production ended up in a mental asylum and lived happily ever after.


14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Phyllis Diller Burylman
MST3K version jeffeastwood2000
Husker Du! RobtheWebGuy
You have to love SilentOne92
What happened to Mr. Buckley and the zombie chick? jrpelt
Watch and Download Maniac (1934) for free here mspaintnerd00
Discuss Maniac (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?