Maniac (1934) - Dwain Esper

Maniac (aka. Sex Maniac) from 1934 is a grindhouse pre-code exploitation film that really pushes the boundaries of decency in the early days of film. It has nudity and vulgarity done in the best possible way. This is the first example of modern horror. Done years ahead of its time. The film is, of course, very independent and has its charms. However, that is also it's biggest downfall. The lack of funds is apparent from the start. It drags down a lot of things including the acting. It should be something that you expect when your watching these types of pictures. One thing is clear throughout this flick, Dwain Esper is fucking weird. 

The plot revolves around a mad scientist that figures out a way to bring dead corpses back to life. He brings a young woman back to life for... reasons. However, he is murdered by his assistant who is the unwilling recipient of a reanimated heart-in-a-jar. The assistant assumes the mad scientists identity by putting on a beard and glasses. Then goes insane himself. Oh, it's quite boring. 

If your looking for something scary then keep on moving. This is more of a novelty than an actual horror film. I find this kind of thing very interesting and it keeps me interested. It was fun watching with a large group of friends. We all had witty comments and made the movie much better than it actually was. The Sierra Nevada helped out too. This is a comical movie that serves as a test to see what someone could get away with in Hollywood during that time. Important to fans of Exploitation and Grindhouse films. 

Tell me what you think

  • Believe it or not this is apparently based on an Edgar Allan Poe story. Loosely based.

  • Starring some actress named Phyllis Diller that isn't the comedian. Another person named Phyllis Diller. Nuts.

  • This movie if full of scenes from Haxan (1922)