Maniac (1934)

Maniac (1934)

Maniac, also known as Sex Maniac, is a 1934 black-and-white exploitation/horror film, directed by Dwain Esper and written by Hildegarde Stadie, Esper’s wife, as a loose adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe story “The Black Cat”, with references to his “Murders in the Rue Morgue”.[1] Esper and Stadie also made the 1936 exploitation film Marihuana.

The film, which was advertised with the tagline “He menaced women with his weird desires!”, is in the public domain. A restored version was made available in 1999, as part of a double feature with another Dwain Esper film, Narcotic! (1933).

Maniac (1934)

A full length RiffTrax for the movie was released on November 25, 2009, with commentary by Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame. John Wilson, the founder of the Golden Raspberry Award, named Maniac as one of the “100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made” in his book The Official Razzies Movie Guide.

Don Maxwell (William Woods) is a former vaudeville impersonator who is working as the lab assistant to Dr. Meirschultz (Horace Carpenter), a mad scientist attempting to bring the dead back to life. When Don kills Meirschultz, he attempts to hide his crime by “becoming” the doctor, taking over his work and copying his appearance and manner. In the process, he slowly goes insane.

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