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 »
Philanthropist Paul Lorenz is one of the more public faces in the fight against behavior that spreads the many "social diseases", such as syphilis and gonorrhea. An example of such behavior... See full summary »
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 »
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
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
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 »
When a cat's eyeball is popped out, the cat we see actually only had one eye, and a glass eye had been inserted into the empty socket before filming. It is easy to see it is a ginger cat, used as "stand-in" for Satan, the black cat. See more »
Say, did you see the ?beaut? that come in today.
She's the one that's got the coroner doin' the night work.
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All right, I admit that "Reefer Madness" had continuity one could follow; but after you lose interest in 'counter-culture' naughtiness, that movie does get a little dull quite often.
The thing I like about "Maniac" is that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Although narrative bits and pieces are borrowed from mainstream horror films of that era, and of course from the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, they're never actually woven together in any coherent manner. Nor is there any relationship established between these and the recurrent dictionary definitions of various psychoses that appear on title cards with syrupy strings playing in the background.
And of course none of it's believable in anyway - especially the make-up when the killer 'disguises' himself as the mad scientist.
However, I will say that the pacing here is swift, the dialog hilarious, the acting overwrought to the point of pure self-parody, and, after all, folks - it's only 51 minutes.
And it only cost me $2 - one just has to do one's shopping more carefully.
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