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Maniac (1934)

Not Rated | | Horror | 11 September 1934 (USA)
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A former vaudevillian gifted at impersonation assists a mad scientist in reanimating corpses and soon goes mad himself.

Director:

Dwain Esper

Writer:

Hildegarde Stadie (story and continuity) (as Hildagarde Stadie)
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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dwain Esper's Maniac See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Roadshow Attractions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film contains intertitles, a few comment on the action in the film as they were used in silent films, but the majority, five of them, comment on the then prevailing descriptions of various mental illnesses: Dementia Praecox (now called Schizophrenia), Paresis (here used to refer to the latter stages of syphilis), Paranoia (actually listed as a noun "Paranoiac"), Manic-depressive Psychoses (now usually referred to as Bipolar Disorder), and Manias. See more »

Goofs

When Buckley grabs the sleepwalking Maria Altura, the boom microphone pole's shadow is visible on the wall, to the right of the scene. See more »

Quotes

Maxwell: Not only do I look like Meirschultz, I am Meirschultz!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Reefer Madness (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cucaracha
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Thea Ramsey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
one hell of a Disjointed viewing experience!
31 October 2000 | by czar-10See all my reviews

This film has no cohesive story, go figure it's an exploitation film, and as a true exploitation film it provides an abundance of spectacle. Maniac is about a......well a maniac. Throughout the film intertitles appear that define aberrant mental states (dementia, praecox, paranoia, etc..). Spectacle is furnished scenes such as a man popping a cats eye out of it's head and eating it, two women lounge about in their underwear, two women fighting with syringes!! Finally the last two scenes are nudie strip scenes, and are inserted for titillation sake only! Suicide recovery, cat chasing mouses, mad scientists, and a guy ranting "rats eat raw meat--you know, cat carcasses...so the rats eat the cats, the cats eat the rats, and I get the skins", are all part of this disjointed viewing experience everyone should see!!


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