|Riffers||Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett|
|Date Released||November 25, 2009|
Maniac, also known as Sex Maniac, is a 1934 black-and-white exploitation/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", with references to his "Murders in the Rue Morgue." RiffTrax released their riff in November 2009.
Synopsis and Full Riff
Don Maxwell (William Woods) is a former vaudeville impersonator who is working as the lab assistant to Dr. Meirschultz (Horace B. Carpenter), a mad scientist attempting to bring the dead back to life. When Don kills Meirschultz, he attempts to hide his crime by "becoming" the doctor, taking over his work and copying his appearance and manner. In the process, he slowly goes insane.
The "doctor" treats a mental patient, Buckley (Ted Edwards), but accidentally injects him with adrenaline, which causes him to go into violent fits. Buckley's wife (Phyllis Diller) discovers the body of the real doctor, and blackmails Don into turning her husband into a zombie. The ersatz doctor turns the tables on her by manipulating her into fighting with his estranged wife (Thea Ramsey), a former showgirl. When the cat-breeding neighbor Goof sees what's going on, he calls the police, who stop the fight and, following the sound of Satan the cat, find the body of the real doctor hidden behind a brick wall.
Cast and Crew
- 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
- Released in 1934, Maniac is the oldest piece of material used by RiffTrax, MST3K, or any of their other ancillary riffing projects.
- The Phyllis Diller in this movie is not the much better known comedienne.
- Producer/director Dwain Esper financed the film himself and it was shown on the exploitation roadshow circuit, thus bypassing the Production Code and enabling the film to contain nudity.