Movies => Bad Movies => Topic started by: trekgeezer on March 18, 2006, 08:43:30 PM

Title: Maniac (1934)
Post by: trekgeezer on March 18, 2006, 08:43:30 PM
Maniac (1934) - Directed by Dwain Espers, who also did "Narcotic" and "Marijuana, Weed with Roots in Hell, turns in one twisted, demented, exploitive, psychotic, helluva hoot of a movie.  I almost missed this on the $1 DVD rack at Big Lots. I'm glad I didn't, man this is a combination  of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and 70's sexploitation.

This movie follows the misadventures of the cackling mad Dr. Meirschultz and his assistant, ex-Vaudeville impersonator Don Maxwell, as they steal and re-animate corpses.

It's hard to believe this was made in the 30's.

Here are some of the events that transpire:

One young lady brought back to life.

A corpse and cat get bricked up in a wall.

A patient who thinks he is the orangutan from the Rue Morgue gets an injection that makes him literally go ape.

A fine example of B&W nudity and sexploitation.

A cat gets his eye plucked out and then eaten by a cackling madman.  

Here are some things I learned:

Be very careful not to get the syringe filled with water mixed up with the one containing super-adrenaline, the results can be quite surprising.

Phyllis Diller was not always as skinny as a rail.

Raising housecats for their fur was evidently not illegal in the 30's . "rats eat raw meat--you know, cat the rats eat the cats, the cats eat the rats, and I get the skins!"

Each act in the movie is prefaced by the definition of mental condition such as paranoia or manic depressive disorder.

This is one sick movie, but knowing you guys, you'll love it!

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: peter johnson on March 19, 2006, 02:11:23 AM
Oh, Vermin and I have had this one on our shelves for years.
We only show it to our pre-pubescent nieces and nephews --
I especially love the editing in this -- talk about your leaping camera!!
peter johnson/crane's denny

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: plan9superfan on March 19, 2006, 05:45:26 AM
Sounds like a rip-off of "Re-Animator"...

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: Mr_Vindictive on March 19, 2006, 07:29:38 AM
plan9superfan Wrote:
> Sounds like a rip-off of "Re-Animator"...

The stupidity of that comment is mind numbing.

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: The Burgomaster on March 19, 2006, 08:23:18 AM
I posted a thread about this movie a couple of months ago after I discovered it in my HORROR CLASSICS 50 MOVIE PACK.  I agree, it certainly is a sight to behold.

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: odinn7 on March 19, 2006, 10:23:20 AM
plan9superfan Wrote:
> Sounds like a rip-off of "Re-Animator"...


Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: Andrew on March 19, 2006, 10:58:26 PM
Good stuff.  I love some of the old exploitation and shock films that were made way back.  "Ship of Shame" might well be my favorite, but "Maniac," "Test Tube Babies," and "Assassin of Youth" and others are also great fun.

The first time I saw this the scene with the cat caught me off guard.  It was only later (DVD commentary maybe?) that I found out the cat had a glass eye and the guy actually squeezed it out on screen.  Just the fact that they found a cat with a glass eye, to make that scene, is impressive.

When the crazy assistant turned doctor locks the two women together in the room and they go at it I was pretty impressed.  Okay, it was silly and everything else a classic cat fight scene is, but there was a valid message about what fear does to people.

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: trekgeezer on March 20, 2006, 07:30:18 PM
Hey Andrew, the DVD I have called  Maniac an "educational" melodrama. I guess the bits for the psychiatric glossary between acts classifies it as "educational".

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: Scott on March 20, 2006, 11:56:16 PM
This is an interesting film because of the times and all the facts everyone already posted. Nice little piece of a "shocking" film of earlier days. The most shocking part of the film was the doctor. He was just about the worst actor ever. : )

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: trekgeezer on March 21, 2006, 08:14:12 AM
You didn't enjoy the maniacal cackling? And which Doctor? The real one or the fake one?

They were both pretty bad. I also got a laugh out of the neighbor lady sweeping her stoop and talking to the cop about the "queer" goings on at the Doctors.

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: Flangepart on March 21, 2006, 12:10:00 PM
And let us not forget the Cat/Rat conversation.

Title: Re: Maniac (1934)
Post by: Scott on March 21, 2006, 08:51:57 PM
If I'm not mistaken TrekGeezer I think it was the original doctor that was the worst actor of the two.