You might be thinking that I’ve reviewed Maniac already. Well, I did review a Grindhouse classic from 1980 by the same name, but this Maniac is a black-and-white exploitation film from 1934. Being independently produced, this Maniac was not chained to the Hays Code standards to which the studios were enslaved. It also lacked the studios’ wealth of talent. Some of the actors didn’t receive screen credit. Others were gathered from the vaudeville circuit and apparently realized a chance for an oversized performance on film. Maniac is extremely weird. You can see it as either humorously bad on an epic scale, or as a brilliant work surreally delivered. It seems at times to diagnose itself as schizophrenic. Following the premise of Maniac is like trying to follow a bean in a carnival shell trick. I finally settled on the definition, “It’s so bizarrely awful, it’s entertaining.” And you have to wonder if an independent sex exploitation film from the ‘30s can pass the Bechdel Test, what’s keeping modern Hollywood from reaching the same high bar?
The Bechdel Test
1 1. Has to have at least two women.
2 2. Who talk to each other.
3 3. About something other than a man.
I promised you photos from the pumpkin carving contest last week. Here they are:
And below is my pumpkin.
And how it looks at night.