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Maniac

Maniac(1934)

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In addition to Edgar Allan Poe's 1841 story "Murders in the Rue Morgue," which is referred to in the dialogue of the film, elements of Poe's 1843 story "The Black Cat" were included in the plot. The viewed print of this film included a lengthy foreword and several title cards interspersed throughout the picture, in which various mental conditions are described and are connected to criminal behavior. No contemporary reviews of this film were located. According to a January 1936 Film Daily news item, the film was the first "adults only" picture to play in New Orleans since the "advent of the Legion of Decency." The news item noted that the New Orleans Times-Picayune refused to run ads for the film, which had been re-titled Sex Maniac, after two issues. The film contains a few brief shots of bare-breasted women. Modern sources list the distribution company as Hollywood Producers & Distributors, and give the running time as 67 minutes. Director Dwain Esper superimposed footage from Benjamin Christensen's 1920 Swedish film, Witchcraft Through the Ages, and Fritz Lang's 1923 silent German film, Siegfried, over shots of the raving "Maxwell," according to modern sources.