In Dwain Esper’s 1934 Maniac, a man eats a cat eyeball, while commenting, “Why, not unlike an oyster or a grape,” another man deals in cat pelts, there is a bunch of montage, possibly intentionally or possibly not, suggesting that women are cats, random nudity (probably has something to do with the cats), countless hodgepodge Poe references, one of the strangest Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde transformations ever committed to celluloid, and a bunch of other stuff I am fairly sure I have failed to mention. I will not try to give a plot summary of the film, but exploitation historian Eric Schaefer does, and after doing so writes, “The ‘story’ of Maniac may sound odd, but a synopsis of the film cannot begin to convey the disjointed, confusing experience of an actual viewing of it.”1
Basically, this is a great slice of entertainment to put on at the office while you are taking lunch today.
- Schaefer, Eric. “Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!”. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 1999. ↩