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Maniac (1934)

3.4
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Ratings: 3.4/10 from 1,401 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 29 critic

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

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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)
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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:

What Are the Dangers of Desire? See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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

When the wall is broken down, the actor playing "immured dead body" on the other side can be seen pushing the bricks apart. See more »

Quotes

Blonde: Hay, Mazie! We know you're hard boiled. You don't have to stay in the water thirty minutes to prove it.
Mazie: Oh, lemme alone. I may not be decent, but I'm sure gonna be clean!
See more »

Connections

Features Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cooca Rocha
Sung by Thea Ramsey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In The Tradition Of Awful Movies...
8 September 2006 | by (Manitoba, Canada) – See all my reviews

In the tradition of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS, this turkey manages to earn four stars because it's so utterly, completely, bizarrely and amazingly awful. After murdering his boss, a doctor, an aspiring actor uses makeup to take his place. The rest of the movie is pretty much incomprehensible as the fake doc goes berserk. Women catfight with syringes, a topless woman is kidnapped and, most famously, our protagonist, for reasons known only to him, pops out and eagerly consumes a cat's eye.

One presumes that MANIAC, to some degree at least, was supposed to be this bad. It was released in 1934 as a "roadshow" movie, meaning perpetrators of what was then intolerable filth traveled from one town to the next with its reel, showing it in shady burlesque houses. By today's standards, it's probably not even an "R" film; other than the brief nudity, it's extremely tame. MANIAC will appeal to fans of terrible movies. In fact, this may very well be the very first "good bad" flick. It will also interest those curious to see what was deemed as immoral artistic expression all those years ago.


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