Sex Madness

Watch Sex Madness

"She sought Big Thrills... and caught Big Trouble!"
  • NR
  • 1938
  • 57 min
  • 2.8  (978)

Sex Madness is a 1938 exploitation film directed by Dwain Esper. The film features a series of vignettes exploring the supposed dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and other immoral behavior. The film presents itself as a cautionary tale, with a narrator warning that the events depicted are true stories, and that viewers should be wary of the temptation to engage in immoral behavior themselves.

The film centers on several different characters, all of whom find themselves caught up in sexual deviance and the consequences that follow. In one vignette, a young couple engages in premarital sex, only to be struck down by syphilis shortly thereafter. In another, a woman becomes a prostitute to support her gambling habit, only to eventually contract gonorrhea. Each of these stories is presented as a warning against promiscuity, and the film goes to great lengths to shock and disgust its viewers with the various horrors that can result from immoral behavior.

One of the more notable aspects of Sex Madness is its incredibly over-the-top acting and melodrama. Characters constantly wring their hands and deliver florid, overwrought lines, as if all the world is ending around them. This is especially true in the film's climax, which features a woman descending into madness after discovering that she has contracted syphilis from her unfaithful husband. Her descent into madness is depicted in a highly stylized, dreamlike sequence that makes use of hallucinatory lighting and bizarre imagery.

The film's visual style is perhaps one of its strongest elements, with director Dwain Esper frequently foregrounding strange, avant-garde imagery alongside more conventional dramatic scenes. The use of extreme close-ups, bizarre camera angles, and disorienting editing techniques all contribute to the film's surreal atmosphere. There is a sense throughout the film that we are being dragged through a nightmare world of sin and depravity, and that the film is constantly pushing against the boundaries of what is acceptable in a mainstream feature film.

The cast of Sex Madness is largely comprised of actors and actresses with limited experience, which only adds to the film's bizarre and amateurish feel. Vivian McGill, who plays one of the film's central characters, is notable for being a former Miss America who was stripped of her title due to "immoral behavior" - a somewhat fitting casting choice, given the film's subject matter. Rose Tapley, who plays one of the film's prostitutes, is similarly over-the-top in her performance, delivering her lines in a breathless, exaggerated style.

Despite its sensational content, Sex Madness was not a particularly successful film upon its initial release. Though it was marketed heavily as a cautionary tale, it was widely criticized by audiences and critics alike for being exploitative and tasteless. However, in the years since its release, the film has become something of a cult classic, prized for its outrageous content and strange visual style.

In conclusion, Sex Madness is a strange and often baffling film that revels in shock and melodrama. While it is certainly not for everyone (and indeed, many modern viewers will be turned off by its blatantly exploitative content), for those who are interested in the history of cinema or the development of exploitation films, it is an invaluable artifact. With its surreal visuals, over-the-top acting, and deeply strange subject matter, the film remains a testament to the power of cinema to shock and disturb.

Sex Madness is a 1938 drama with a runtime of 57 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 2.8.

Sex Madness
Where to Watch Sex Madness
Sex Madness is available to watch free on Plex and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV and FlixFling. Some platforms allow you to rent Sex Madness for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    57 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    2.8  (978)