Jun 7, 2022

Martin (1977)

Martin (also known internationally as Wampyr) is a 1977 American psychological horror film written and directed by George A. Romero, and starring John Amplas. Shot in 1976, Martin was Romero's fifth feature film and followed The Crazies (1973). Romero claimed that Martin was the favorite of all his films. The film is also notable as the first collaboration between George Romero and special effects artist Tom Savini. While a prosecution for obscenity did not result, the film was seized and confiscated in the UK under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 during the video nasty panic.

A young man, who believes himself to be a vampire, goes to live with his elderly and hostile cousin in a small Pennsylvania town where he tries to redeem his blood-craving urges.
Freddy and Krasnaya Movie Review

K: This week, thanks to the light hand of Freddie, we got a vampire week. "Martin" was made 10 years before my birth and turned out to be somehow different from all the usual vampire films I have seen. During the whole film, I was asking if Martin was a vampire or just a psychopath who considers himself to be like such. Martin is not a simple vampire: he does not possess magic to enchant his victims, or a bite that puts them to sleep. He does not have any snow-white fangs, and he does not particularly suffer from the sun, and can easily bite on garlic. Nevertheless, Martin's elderly cousin continues to confidently call him NOSFERATU. 

F: Hello Krasnaya. We start our "Old Vampire Movies" week with this movie by the father of the modern Zombie movie genre - George A. Romero. And the big question everyone will be asking after watching this is: is Martin really a vampire? The answer is: I don't know. Martin surely likes to sucky-sucky thy blood, but like you said, we never get to see any supernatural powers from him. That's what makes this "Vampire" movie original and interesting. Martin is a creepy motherfu**er with needles who we can never be certain if he is really a vampire or just a sexual deviant. We get to see some old memories of him, but they might as well be some schizophrenic hallucinations.

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What the hell was this?
K: The movie is surprisingly bloodless, so horror fans probably will be disappointed. The movie is more about Martin's personality and his relationship with society. The actors play well, but the guiding star of the film is John Amplas. In my opinion, he did an excellent job in the role of an outcast, a person who has no place in society because of his addiction. With his look, facial expression, and silence, the character Martin creeps me out.

F: We have to praise the ability of George A. Romero at making compelling stories and visually interesting movies with so little money. When Count Martin 🧛 was out on a hunt, which didn't happen very often during the movie, I was engulfed by the dark environment. The situation becomes tense and scary. I think I would prefer to be attacked by a traditional vampire than by this creepy bastard lurking with his syringes behind the door.

The acting from everyone was OK, sometimes understandably chessy. We also get to see the acting debut of makeup and special effects horror cult personality - Tom Savini. Thanks Savini for the very creative and laughable special effects.

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A little overdramatic no?
F: The movie had a moderate pace; it gave me time to enjoy the scenery from where the filming took place. We are in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and it feels desolate and depressing. The perfect place for a vampire to strike. There was also a curious moment where I said that the policemen that were chasing Martin looked like real policemen. What do you know? They were real local policemen. I also liked the jazz and classical soundtrack by Donald Rubinstein. It contributes to the uniqueness of this movie.

K: Romero ends up with a non-trivial film, with a flavor of authenticity that sets him apart from vampire films. This is a slow psychological drama, so slow that an hour and a half seemed like two to me. I would not rewatch it, but I advise everyone interested in psychopathology to pay attention to it.

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My favorite headshot wound ever.
Freddy's Score: 65/100
Krasnaya's Score: 47/100




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