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Notorious film from early exploitation king Dwain Esper, who brought us such classic early titles as "Sex Madness," "Narcotic," "Reefer Madness," "How To Undress In Front Of Your Husband," and "Marihuana." Film's IMDb page:

Maniac, also known as Sex Maniac, is a 1934 black-and-white exploitation film/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 (short story)", with erences to his "Murders in the Rue Morgue".


File:Maniac5.jpgs of Dwain Esper, Maniac contains gratuitous scenes of women lounging around in their lingerie.}}}
  • Bill Woods as Don Maxwell
  • Horace B. Carpenter as Dr. Meirschultz
  • Ted Edwards as Buckley
  • Phyllis Diller as Mrs. Buckley
  • Thea Ramsey as Alice Maxwell
  • Jenny Dark as Maizie
  • Marvel Andre as Marvel
  • Celia McCann as Jo
  • John P. Wade as Embalmer
  • Marian Blackton as Neighbor
;Cast notes
  • Several key cast members in the film are uncredited, most notably the cat-farming neighbor 'Goof,' the detective and Maria Altura, the woman who Dr. Meirschultz brings back to life. The identities of the actress who doubles for Altura for scenes that require nudity has also not been identified.
  • Horace B. Carpenter was a producer, director and actor from the silent film who generally portrayed whitehaired characters in Western film once sound film came in.</>
  • This is only film that Bill Woods performed in. He later became a makeup artist, working in film and television until 1968.<></>
  • Marian Blackton is sometimes reported, incorrectly, as appearing in crossdressing as the neighbor who catches and breeds cats. She plays a female neighbor who is questioned by the detective. The male actor who plays Goof has not been identified. Blackton was the sister of Maniac's assistant director and daughter of J. Stuart Blackton, founder of Vitagraph Studios and the father of American animation.< name=amgover />
  • The actress named Phyllis Diller in this film is no relation to the comedienne Phyllis Diller.
File:Maniac9.jpg Dr. Meirschultz, played by Horace B. Carpenter.}}}


The footage that is superimposed over the scenes where the actor, having shot the mad scientist, is descending into madness, and while he is bricking the mad scientist into the wall, were from the 1920 Swedish film Witchcraft Through the Ages by Benjamin Christensen and Die Nibelungen, a 1923 silent film by Fritz Lang.

See also

  • List of films in the public domain
  • Nudity in film


{{{Category:1934 films
Category:American films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:1930s horror films
Category:Mad scientist films
Category:Films based on horror novels
Category:Exploitation films
Category:Films based on works by Edgar Allan Poe
Category:Films directed by Dwain Esper
Dwain Esper

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