CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Public Domain Horror Maniac?...or Sex Maniac?

"Maniac" is the most amatateur looking movie released in this collection. The lead actors are extremely hammy, while the fifth business players who are extremely self concious.

The Mad Scientist Meirschultz (Horance B. Capenter) has a fetish for organ transplants, so he had multiple organs strewn accross his laboratory. Things get more bizarre when the bad doctor sends his assitant (Bill Woods) on a mission to retreive a "shattered" heart from a local morgue. During this failed heist, the aisstant is frightened by cats and dogs fighting each other. (Filmed in 1934, before animal protection laws were written). Thematically, there is a payoff during "Maniac" climax in which two bitches combat each other.

Like the auteur Ed Wood, "Maniac" makes an effort to educate. The film opens with a title card that discusses the taboo topic of mental illness. After a character is shot, another title card is posted that explains what "dementia praecox" is. After the vocabulary word is defined, the film returns to the scene of the shooting.

At one point, the assitant takes over the professor's practice. The assistant injects a serum into man, who becomes a maniac. The maniac abducts a woman (who seems to be into a trance, until she puts her arm around the actor's neck) and carries her off. Later in the forrest, the grunting maiac takes off his victim's top. Yes Joe Bob Briggs, there are naked breasts.
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