Despite her wholesome appearance, Hildegarde Stadie led a colorful, bizarre and unpredictable life. She was the niece of a patent medicine peddler, and as a little girl, she traveled with him all over the United States, selling their cure-all, Tiger Fat. Part of the presentation involved a pre-teen Hildegarde, appearing fully nude, with a python draped around her shoulders. Though she did not draw upon this particular anecdote, her experience with her uncle greatly influenced her script for Narcotic (1933). She married Dwain Esper in 1920, who would later become a notorious exploitation film producer. Read more... studio facility in Los Angeles, California in 1930, they began producing films from scripts which she wrote. The couple cranked out several low-budget pictures. Some of them, such as Maniac (1934) and Marihuana (1936), remain so bizarre and prurient that it is hard to imagine a husband and wife with two children producing them. In addition to making films for the exploitation market, Hildegarde and Dwain imported and reissued older films, such as Tod Browning's cult-classic Freaks (1932) and the Danish film Man's Way with Women. Hildegarde usually managed relations with state censorship boards when their films came under criticism from the local morality squad, something she undoubtedly regarded as a necessary irritation. Surviving regional censorship documents are sometimes addressed to a Mr. Hildegarde Esper!