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Maniac

21 customer reviews

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$5.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Horace Carpenter. A psychopath impersonates a surgeon with grisly results. Famous for its graphic violence, surreal images and nudity. 1934/b&w/54 min/NR.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Marcel Andr, Jennie Dark, Ted Edwards, Celia McGann, Thea Ramsey
  • Directors: Dwain Esper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000639EK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,097 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 1, 2004
Format: DVD
Ladies and gentlemen, the search is over. I have discovered the worst film ever made. This atrocity from 1934 is only 51 minutes long, but there is so, so much to talk about I hardly know where to begin. The sheer impossibility of this film actually makes it important, however. Maniac is essentially the grand-daddy of all exploitation movies, but this goes way beyond simple exploitation. It is paramount that we assign the blame for this movie where it is due: producer/director Dwayne Esper. palmed this film off as an actual study of mental illness-throughout the movie, we are occasionally presented with place cards detailing the types of mental illness our educational movie is about to illustrate. I can't believe this was actually released in the 1930s; there's even some partial nudity in this thing (though, of course, no glimpse of the evil belly button forbade by the infamous Hayes Code). Apparently, Esper made his educational entertainment films outside of Hollywood and thus avoided the type of censorship being practiced in Tinsel Town.
The movie begins in the lab of Dr. Meirshultz (Horace Carpenter), a mad scientist obsessed with restoring life to corpses. He needs a dead body, of course, and he orders his assistant Don Maxwell (Bill Woods) to get him into the morgue. Maxwell is a former vaudeville entertainer and impersonator, so he passes himself off as the coroner and gets the good doctor inside the morgue (somehow fooling two incompetent and quite possibly inebriated morgue workers). Doc gives the lucky, female stiff a couple of jabs from his huge hypo, and after a few minutes of intense arm rubbing, she begins to stir. The boys hurry home gleefully with their prize.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Miller on May 10, 2003
Format: DVD
If you are looking at this review you probably already know the story of the fim, Maniac. A film you have to see to believe. A sampling of the things that happen in this 1933 film: A woman is brought back to life, an unemployed actor kills an insane scientist, a man plucks out a cat's eyeball then eats it, a crazy man is injected with Super Adreniline, a man rapes the woman who was brought back from the dead, there is nudity, there are misspelled words in the pseudo scientific inter-titles, a man is walled up ala Poe's the Black Cat, etc. AND, this all happens in 51 minutes!
Alpha's release is not great, but watchable. If you are curious about this title, then spend the $.... If you like it, then wait and perhaps some company will release a nice print. As I suspect this will be unlikely, go ahead and take a gamble on the Alpha release. There are no extras on the disk and is contains only 4 chapter stops. Hey, what do you expect for $...?
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By frankenberry on May 14, 2000
Format: DVD
This double-feature DVD features 2 early 1930's exploitation films from Dwain Esper. Although maybe tame by today's standards, just try to imagine seeing people shoot up heroin in a movie back in the 30's! It's all very high camp now, of course, and if you like antique sleaze, this may be your thing. Esper was definitely no Kubrick, but he has his own strange and absurd style...inserting shots that have no point, suddenly cutting away to show animals fighting each other, superimposing stock footage, etc. Could he be the precursor to Ed Wood? Anyway, some highlights of the 2 films include a real shot of a cesarian birth of a baby, a snake eating another snake, a cat's eyeball poked out (and then eaten by the maniac), a couple of real sideshow freaks, some brief nudity as a psycho carries off a woman to ravish her, and of course lots of over-the-top acting. Both movies tried to get around the censoring codes of the time by pretending to have a message (narcotics are bad), but the movies are strictly exploitative. The prints used for this DVD are scratchy and have some jumps here and there, but considering the age and that no major studio was behind these films, this may be the best materials available. Also on the DVD is the trailer for "Maniac", some letters from the censor at the time, an excerpt from a silent italian film "Maciste in Hell" that footage was superimposed in "Maniac", and audio commentary by an author-expert on Esper and such films. A worthy purchase if you like stuff like "Reefer Madness", etc., but don't expect any scalpings in "Maniac" ---it's actually a loose re-telling of "The Black Cat".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mart Sander on July 11, 2003
Format: DVD
This one truly is an unforgettable mishmash... really enjoyable bad film with lots of laughs in the store for the one who dares. But: this release as depicted above (red cover) is using incredibly poor source material. Amazon.com also sells another version: Navarre Corporation/Reel Values Triple Feature Horror Classics Volume 9 (wow! sounds like a British address!) features The Maniac which looks much better. It's almost as cheap, but it comes with two other flicks which are mediocre but quite watchable. Recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Landsberg VINE VOICE on March 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This one is a real find... I initially rented it at the video store because I love cult films, but this one is a keeper, so I am adding it to my Amazon shopping cart. - Its an orgy of overacting, bad acting, sublime spookiness and just plane goofiness that despite its short legnth goes WAY OVER THE WALL beyond any other film of the cult/horror/exploitation/camp genre ever made. This is Rocky Horror meets Plan 9... Ed Wood and John Waters outdone before their time... You will want to watch some of the scenes over and over again - - and will probably annoy your friends by laying some of the lines on them. And theres nudity too... If anyone can name a film as OUT THERE yet FUNNY as this, please tell me... my appendix will burst watching it.
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