3.7/10
2,075
78 user 43 critic

Maniac (1934)

Not Rated | | Horror | 11 September 1934 (USA)
Trailer
2:51 | Trailer
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)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Edit

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)
Learn more

More Like This 

Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A doctor experimenting with transplant techniques keeps his girlfriend's head alive when she is decapitated in a car crash, then goes hunting for a new body.

Director: Joseph Green
Stars: Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Anthony La Penna
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An insurance investigator arrives at a creepy mansion to protect a millionaire who has had death threats made against him.

Director: Frank McDonald
Stars: Jack Haley, Jean Parker, Bela Lugosi
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

On an isolated island, a small group of people are terrorized by giant voracious shrews in the midst of a hurricane.

Director: Ray Kellogg
Stars: James Best, Ingrid Goude, Ken Curtis
White Zombie (1932)
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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

Director: Victor Halperin
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A giant lizard terrorizes a rural Texas community and a heroic teenager attempts to destroy the creature.

Director: Ray Kellogg
Stars: Don Sullivan, Fred Graham, Lisa Simone
Horror | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the first story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of himself, his fiancee ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Salkow
Stars: Vincent Price, Sebastian Cabot, Brett Halsey
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A group of hippies wreak havoc on a small town and a young boy, whose grandfather and sister were attacked by them, decides to get even, with deadly results.

Director: David E. Durston
Stars: Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, Jadin Wong, Rhonda Fultz
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An airplane exposed to radiation lands, and blood drinking zombies emerge armed with knives, guns and teeth! They go on a rampage slicing, dicing, and biting their way across the Italian countryside.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Hugo Stiglitz, Laura Trotter, Maria Rosaria Omaggio
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
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

An atomic scientist claims he was abducted by aliens after being injured in a plane crash.

Director: W. Lee Wilder
Stars: Peter Graves, James Seay, Steve Pendleton
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Six friends in a theatrical troupe dig up a corpse on an abandoned island to use in a mock Satanic ritual. It backfires with deadly consequences.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeff Gillen
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An archaeology professor discovers an ancient crypt which contains living dead corpses. The zombies go on a rampage and attack a group of people which the professor had invited to celebrate his discovery.

Director: Andrea Bianchi
Stars: Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli
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:

True and Authentic/Nothing Withheld See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Author and historian Bret Wood has posited that the backyard cat farm seen in the film was a real, illegal operation in somebody's backyard in a Los Angeles suburb. He also suggests that some of the sets for the film, namely the morgue, were found or rented rather than being built by the filmmakers. See more »

Goofs

The fighting cats at the undertaker's and the dog and cat fighting on the street, have been tied together with string that can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Buckley: Doctor! He seems to be getting worse instead of better!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sex and Buttered Popcorn (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Blazing a Trail for Ed Wood...
4 August 2004 | by jbacks3See all my reviews

I'd venture to guess that HBO could come up with a decent series about gypsy movie producers skirting the Hays Office of the 1930's... guys like Dwain Esper running all over Depression-Era America showing T&A "sex education" flicks in fraternal lodges and burlesque houses... it's just too bad that the movies they made stink (maybe that's their appeal). MANIAC is patently awful... Framed within chapters straight out of a pre-war DSM manual, MANIAC has so much to mention, all of it bad. Bill Woods is deserves particular notice for his relentless over- errh, I hate to call it 'acting' but in the Land of Hams, he would be King of Pork. Rivaling Woods is the uniquely bad Horace B. Carpenter. Everything in MANIAC screams for something better. Actresses appear and vanish (and in one case change altogether) for no discernible reason (although I suspect one probably balked at being topless). There's a couple of gratuitous topless shots--- one of which makes absolutely no sense and Esper has spliced in some (probably, no undoubtedly better) silent movie into the scene where Maxwell goes nutzoid at the end. THE INTERESTING THING: The "cinematographer" William C. Thompson deserves special notice: his work REALLY sucks. Camera movements are terrible, the lighting is horrible and there's a jerky feeling in every scene (lots of shots of cats and rats)... but wait! Thompson would later go on to become ED WOOD'S cinematographer (look... goosebumps!) and would obviously never truly get any real grip on his craft. I suspect Thompson was played by the ubiquitous Norman Alden in Tim Burton's homage to the antithesis of cinematic greatness, 1994's ED WOOD (4-stars!), but his character is unnamed. MANIAC has historic interest as a footnote showing how stupid an independent producer/director could get with a camera and what looks like a $400 budget. Rumor has it that Esper was a prosperous slumlord who obtained an abandoned movie camera and editing equipment from a tenant. Esper must've turned a buck on these things because he was able to keep grinding them out... but Maniac makes the worst drivel spewed out by Educational Films and PRC look like art. NO STARS!


12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 78 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sex Maniac See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Roadshow Attractions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed