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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Martin is being sent to his granduncle, an elderly Catholic shopowner who lives with his granddaughter, and who intends to save Martin's soul before destroying him, as if the boy were a drug-addict undergoing cold turkey. As he did with his classic zombie films, Romero takes a horror myth long made ridiculous by parody and camp, and firmly fixes it in the contemporary world, through which prism is presented a satiric view of modern captalism, consumerism, the media, gender, racial and class politics, work, families, a culture of confession etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my favorite movie. John amplas is moving and adorable. And it has a that Romero charmPublished 1 month ago by cheesy
A classic vampire film with an unusual twist by the zombie master Romero. Impossible to find streaming or through iTunes these days, the DVD is worth every penny. Read morePublished 10 months ago by TheHappyGentleman
I think this over time this has become my favorite vampire film. We've now spent almost two decades is the "Beautiful Vampire" depiction of blood suckers. Read morePublished on December 18, 2013 by michael moodgroove
Bloody parts were grose.
There's no suspense... just a crazy nut who thinks he's a vampire and drugs his victims with a needle so he can take them out. Read more
This is one of those movies that you either love or hate and unfortunately I don't love it. I wanted to love it but, as much as I am into cult classics, it just didn't appeal to... Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by Foul Pet
Martin qualifies as a classic twist on the vampire take but leaves the audience asking for more with a disappointing ending.Published on August 22, 2013 by Hwang
Saw this in the theater and I fell in love with it waaaaaay back. Even after all the modern vampire hoopla, this will remain my fave fang flick. Love George Romero. Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Shadowfaxxts
This is like a great example of low budget independent film making. Interesting story line. Was that George A. Romero playing the priest?Published on March 22, 2013 by carl d thordarson