Maniac (1934)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

After accidentally killing a mad scientist, a man begins to assume the researcher's psychotic persona, including his desire to resurrect the dead. One of the earliest exploitation films, this demented thriller was considered shockingly risque at the time of its release.

Rating: R
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Allan Poe IV, Hildagarde Esper, Hildegarde Stadie
In Theaters:



as Don Maxwell

as Dr. Meirschultz

as Buckley

as Mrs. Buckley

as Alice Maxwell

as Mike, Morgue Attend...
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Critic Reviews for Maniac

All Critics (9)

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

Full Review… | October 17, 2011
Goatdog's Movies

A true trash masterpiece.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010

Dwain Esper's stupefying parody

Full Review… | March 13, 2010

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

Full Review… | January 7, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

Full Review… | February 24, 2003

Whoa! Even seeing it isn't believing!

December 1, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for 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.

Christopher Heim
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.

Anthony Lawrie

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.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

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