A medieval reenactment troupe find it increasingly difficult to keep their family-like group together, with pressure from local law enforcement, interest from entertainment agents and a growing sense of delusion from their leader.
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
George Romero does for vampires what he has already done to zombies - an intense and realistic treatment that follows the exploits of Martin, who claims to be 84 years old, and who certainly drinks human blood. The boy arrives in Pittsburg to stay with his uncle, who promises to save Martin's soul and destroy him once he is finished, but Martin's loneliness finds other means of release. Written by
David Carroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Between seminal 'zombie' flicks "Night of the Living Dead", and the follow-up, "Dawn of the Dead", George A. Romero created two of the most overlooked horror movies, not only of the 1970's, but maybe of all time. Four years after the socio-political horror of "The Crazies", he returned with "Martin", a vampire film like no other before or since.
Romero's intelligent movie turns on its head all the things associated with the genre, and presents us with a modern day story of addiction, sexuality, and obsession. Martin is your average gawky teenager, a little boy lost in a chaotic world, with an insatiable appetite for human blood. But, where previously that vampiric bloodlust is a sign of great sexual prowess, and overpowering self-importance, here it is a curse. Martin's world is one of unfulfilled desire and confusion. He is ostracised from family, with few friends - his only confidante is the faceless radio talkshow host - and our sympathies are with him throughout. His attacks are fuelled not by pleasure, but more by a fruitless search for intimacy with his victims, who aren't picked off indiscriminately by uncontrollable urges, but rather chosen. When he finally finds 'the sex thing', his need for blood is overcome. Although gruesome and calculated, his attacks aren't excessively violent, and the opening scene is perfectly written to repulse and reprieve in equal measure. What initially appears to be a brutal rape, is twisted by Romero into an almost tender love scene between attacker and victim.
With brilliant use of locations, and nondescript atmosphere, "Martin" is a horror movie that both disturbs and intrigues. The performances are erratic, and Maazel is way too OTT, spouting "Nosferatu!!" all histrionics and melodrama. But Amplas, as Martin, is genuinely affecting, and steeped in pathos. Unflinchingly original, a horror movie with gore, but plenty of brains to go with it.
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