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Maniac (Sex Maniac)

Maniac (Sex Maniac) (1934)

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Release Date: Jan 1, 1934 Wide

audience

33

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 848

My Rating

Movie Info

Produced and directed by exploitation specialist Dwain Esper and written by Mrs. Esper, Hildegarde Stade, this ultra low-budget "educational" melodrama not only defied logic but broke virtually every rule of narrative film-making. That would not necessarily be a detriment to a film ostensibly warning about the dangers of untreated insanity, but Maniac is so badly handled in an obvious attempt to both horrify and titillate that it defies description. Vaguely based on Poe's The Black Cat and

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All Critics (9) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (1) | DVD (3)

A truly wretched film that I enjoyed, partly because of and partly in spite of its excessive excrescence.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

A true trash masterpiece.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Dwain Esper's stupefying parody

March 13, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

It's a campy shocker that is so bad that it might just appeal for that very undeniable reason.

January 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's impressive how every new player brings their own bad acting technique to the picture

February 24, 2003 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Whoa! Even seeing it isn't believing!

December 1, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Maniac (Sex Maniac)

The earliest example of a trashy horror/exploitation flick. This movie, like 'Plan 9 from Outer Space', is so bad that it is rather good. The acting is hilariously over-the-top, the 'educational' slides for mental illness are weirdly phrased, and plenty of entertainingly surreal moments (like a scene where the scientist eats a cat's eye). A truly outrageous schlocky horror flick that is worth seeing because of how consistently laughable it is throughout.
July 8, 2012
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

So bad it's...really quite good! I have to admit that among the awful acting, laughable 'Science' and odd descriptions of mental health issues (with wonderful upbeat accompanying music) there is so much to admire. It was made in 1934 and yet, I feel I've seen much of this before, that is how influential it has been over the years. The blueprint to many a horror/exploitation film, I can't help but find myself immediately fond of it.
December 8, 2010
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Sometimes I liked this movie, and sometimes I hated this movie. First of all, I love cats! Second, this movie is really outrageous, over the top, and somewhat funny, and that's what I liked about it. Third, this movie feels like an experimental film at times, for example, the superimposed devils. I didn't like the experimental feel it had, it could have been a great horror movie, but it tries too hard to define what the word maniac means, it even quotes experts. It's an interesting movie to watch, but I don't recommend it.
September 21, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

An on-the-lam vaudevillian kills and impersonates his mad scientist employer and is suddenly afflicted by every psychosis in the book, which leads him to accidentally create an orangutan-man rapist, eat cat eyeballs, and lock women in his basement to fight with syringes. 1934 audiences looking for sleaziness had their appetite sated by the shocks and pre-Code nudity, but today it's admired for the deranged performances and the insane inventiveness of the plot; the result is a jaw-dropping oddity that must be seen to be believed.
August 22, 2010
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Maniac (1934) (DE)
  • Maniac (1934) (UK)
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