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Martin


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Product Details

  • Actors: John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest, Elyane Nadeau, Tom Savini
  • Directors: George A. Romero
  • Writers: George A. Romero
  • Producers: Ben Barenholtz, Patricia Bernesser, Ray Schmaus, Richard P. Rubinstein
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: June 20, 2000
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305808090
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,143 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Martin" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Martin (John Amplas) is a modern sort of vampire--he gains his victims' cooperation with the use of a hypodermic needle instead of hypnotism, and uses razors in the place of fangs. "There's no real magic," he says. "There's no real magic, ever." He says this to his elderly Romanian cousin, Tati Cuda (Lincoln Maazel), a true believer in the old religion, and self-appointed keeper of Martin, who threatens to do away with the boy if the vampirism doesn't stop. According to Cuda, the boy is actually 85 years old--young for a vampire. Truly, the supernatural element of the film is always at odds with psychological explanations that make Martin out to be a sexually disturbed teen, not an ancient bloodsucker. Martin's vampiric episodes are intercut with sepia footage of similar exploits from some gothic era, which may either be Martin's memories or his imagination; take your pick. Garlic, sunlight, mirrors--these are devices of Hollywood, and have no effect on a hypo-toting vampire like Martin, as he explains the rules in his role of frequent call-in guest on a radio talk show where he's known as "The Count." These ambiguities are left teasingly unresolved by the film, which is more interested in establishing the relationship between the traditional vampire and the modern-day psycho. Along with the film's narrative economy, these ambiguities make Martin Romero's midnight-movie masterpiece.

At the very end Romero borrows an image from Carl Theodore Dreyer's classic silent film Ordet, ratifying a moment of religious ritual. Knowing this as you watch the film only deepens the chill. --Jim Gay

Customer Reviews

This is George Romero's best film.
George Carabetsos
Sadly, the film loses some momentum after this central scene, but it doesn't ever become boring or drag itself out too long.
General Zombie
In reality, his psychosis has much to do with the rather normal desires of sexual intimacy and companionship.
Internal Abbatoir

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael R Gates VINE VOICE on November 13, 2004
Format: DVD
"Heir to the Blood Lust"

Horror master George Romero's 1976 film MARTIN is one of those studies in ambiguity where the edges of reality get pretty fuzzy. John Amplas delivers an engaging and affecting performance as the titular character, a young man who believes himself to be the victim of a family curse in which one member is every so often born as Nosferatu (i.e., a vampire). Romero's script, however, abandons traditional vampire lore--Martin isn't bothered too much by sunlight or Christian crosses, he eats garlic, and instead of fangs, he uses razor blades to access the precious crimson fluid of his victims. So is Martin actually a vampire, or just a severely disturbed young man? What, really, is the distinction? After all, he IS killing people and he IS drinking his victims' blood--so what if he doesn't have fangs? And his elderly cousin, steeped in the ways of the old country, definitely believes, and HE is determined to save Martin's soul or else destroy him.

Films like this don't come along too often, and they rarely come out of Hollywood. Produced a few years before DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978), the first sequel to his magnum opus NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968), MARTIN is one of Romero's more thoughtful and thought-provoking works. Characters stripped of cinematic romanticism, gritty on-location shooting in Pennsylvania suburbs, and brilliant use of grainy black-and-white footage for flashback sequences--actually, are they flashbacks, or has Martin blurred reality with sequences from his favorite films?--help to create a moving and realistic portrait of a young man who, in spite of his murderous habit, is both sympathetic and genuine.

The influence of this film on later indie filmmakers is obvious, most notably on the relative newbie Larry Fessenden.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By General Zombie on November 29, 2004
Format: DVD
Martin seems to be by far the most praised film directed by George Romero outside of his zombie films, but I never was all that excited about seeing it. As much as I like the Dead trilogy, the whole setup for this film just didn't sound all that exciting. However, I recently got around to viewing Two Evil Eyes and The Crazies, both of which surpassed my expectations. So I finally got around to seeing Martin, and it surpassed my expectations as well. I would dare say this film is pretty much on the same level as Night and Dawn,(though it is obviously very different from either of those films. which already aren't like each other at all) and is certainly mandatory viewing for anyone seriously interested in Horror films.

The titular Martin is a 17 year old living in modern America (well, the 70's anyway) who believes himself to be an 84 year old vampire. He's just crazy, naturally, and doesn't have any apparent physical powers or the vulnerabilities associated with vampires. He just kills people, has sex with them and drinks their blood and whatnot. Despite being very low-budget(I think Romero said it was about a quarter million) the performances are quite strong, most notably John Amplas as Martin, who is pretty much perfect. Well, his delivery of the lines occasionally leaves a bit to be desired, but his whole look and his body language are absolutely perfect. They couldn't conceivably cast someone better than him for the role, even w/o their budget and resource constraints. Martin is nicely characterized as well, as Romero doesn't try to hard to make us like him, and doesn't excuse what he does.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Adam P. Lounsbery on May 16, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
George A. Romero's "Martin" is a nearly perfect film. While firmly rooted in the postmodern, "Martin" also gives the attentive viewer a good idea of how vampire myths may have originated; with the hysterical superstitions of old Europe trying to come to grips with a serial murderer like the eponymous Martin, played convincingly and sympathetically by John Amplas. Filmed in an economically depressed steel town in Pennsylvania, this film echoes "Nosferatu" (1922) in its depiction of a moribund city devoid of youth and life. Shot in 16mm, "Martin" is strangely beautiful, and a perfect visual documentation of the mid-1970s. Amplas makes one of the most memorable vampire protagonists in the history of film. Even in a tight yellow t-shirt, blue jeans, and tennis shoes, he exhibits as much sinister grace as Christopher Lee, Delphine Seyrig, or Max Schreck. "Martin" is easily one of the best and most strangely moving vampire films of all time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James H. Marshall on October 4, 2004
Format: DVD
George Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead) wrote and directed this very dark and brooding vampire film.

Martin (played by John Amplas) is a teenage boy who may or may not be one of the notorious vampire monsters of yesteryear, but he sure doesn't have the powers. He drugs women, makes love to them and then slits their wrists and drinks their blood, leaving the victim to look like they committed suicide. He wishes he didn't have to drink their blood, Martin admits to a radio talk show host that he is a frequent guest on. He wishes it could only be the "sexy stuff". But if he there was any proof of his killings, his cousin and caretaker would kill him off quicker than you can say "Nosferatu!".

George Romero truly shows off his talents as a filmmaker, writer, and actor in Martin (appearing as the local priest). The movie drudges through waves of dread, and you feel as if you were watching a trainwreck occuring right in front of you; You can't remove your eyes away as you watch in horror of what befalls Martin and his victims. Romero also shows very vivid look at city life, especially the slums. He also has some interesting uses of space, form and placement within the frame.

This is my favorite vampire film, hands down. Fans of Interview with the Vampire and Near Dark will find Martin to be a wonderful purchase and a lovely addition to their dvd collection.
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