Film Review: Martin (1978)

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Everyone associates George Romero with his zombie flicks, but if you ask the director, he’ll say the dark character study Martin is his favorite work. Martin is a young man (John Amplas) who believes he must drink blood in order to live. Early in the movie, Martin moves in with his cousin (Lincoln Maazel), a superstitious old man who wholeheartedly believes Martin is ‘nosferatu,’ despite Martin’s argument that no magic is involved — that he just has “a condition.”

Amplas is very good in the nearly mute title role, portraying qualities you might not expect from a serial killer — things like gentleness, nervousness, and regret. There’s an early scene where Martin drugs a woman, then crawls into bed with her naked body before drinking her blood. It could have been a straight-forward rape and murder scene, but Amplas and Romero layer in some unexpected tenderness.

The result is a movie that succeeds very well in humanizing a monster and making us, against our better judgment, feel for him. Look for makeup guru Tom Savini in a supporting role.

Rating: 3.75/5 ★★★¾☆ 

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About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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