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Martin (Full Screen) [Import]
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
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Top Customer Reviews
John Amplas plays the character of Martin, who may or may not be a vampire. He moves to a poor, dying steel town in Pennsylvania to live with is relative Tata Cuda (Lincoln Maazel). Cuda believes him to be a vampire & has vowed to destroy him to save his soul. Martin works around Cida's store while trying to fit in society. The only ones who treat him fairly is his cousin Christine & an older woman who he has sexual relations with. All the while, Martin seeks out victims to satisfy his sick bloodlust.
This is a forgotten classic that is tragically overlooked by horror film fans. The viewer is left to decide whether Martin is indeed a vampire or a very disturbed young man. What makes this film very disturbing is that he shares a lot of the deranged traits of serial killers. The other thing that makes this film very disturbing is that the storyline itself is very POSSIBLE. With a lot of serial murderers out there who has the same characteristics as Martin has, it's easy to feel uneasy while watching this film.
This is Romero's most personal film. He shot this film on 16 mm, hired unknown actors to make this film on the cheap & delivered a very disturbing horror film. Martin, without the extreme horror, could very well be a teen age film that deals with the everyday angst of being a teen.
Very well done, MARTIN is gem!
I can honestly say i have never seen anything quite like "Martin" before. The opening sequence where Martin claims his victim on a train in the dead of night, is truly disturbing. The entire film gave me a very uneasy feeling~hard to explain really, but then it's a rare thing for a horror film to actually leave an impression on me. I have just seen so many, that i guess i have become jaded to it all. But every once in a while i see a movie that gives me the hibbie-jeebies~and Martin was definitely one of those movies. This movie left me thinking about what i had just seen, long after it was over.
I will say that i found some of the dialogue not only written, but delivered in a more then slightly campy manner~having said that, i think that John Amplas was perfect for the role, and can not picture anyone else being able to pull it off so well.
I guess the most intriguing part of the film, is trying to figure out if Martin truly is a vampire, or just a frighteningly disturbed young man~and i think that leaving the question unanswered is part of the reason i found the movie so unnerving. Not to mention the ending which was both shocking and tragicly sad. And just the mere fact that you actually come to care about a character like Martin, after everything you see him do during the course of the film, is probably the most disturbing thing of all.
Most recent customer reviews
this is a great movie. bought it for my adult son. he loves the old horror movies. I had never seen it so was surprised at how injoyable it was to see. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Cindy Herrick
Awesome movie I highly recommend it for the horror heads, creepy and good strory. George A. Romero did good with this one.Published on April 21 2014 by Sahawi
Still worthy of 5 stars, although all we are left with is the incomplete cut. The original director's cut is seemingly lost for good. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by Arno Parke
The movie stars John Amplas and even has a special appearence
by Legend Makeup effects man Tom Savini (Dawn of Dead, Night Of the Living Dead to name a few). Read more
Martin isn't like other kids his age. He's cunning, smart & conceited (he doesn't care about what others think of him, yet acts as though he thinks people should just get... Read morePublished on June 20 2004 by V. Wiley
Poor, Martin (John Amplas) just happens to be an 84 year old vampire in a shy, teenaged, virgin boy's body. Read morePublished on March 31 2004 by Sheila Chilcote-Collins
Martin is one of the best character studies in cinema history right up there with Taxi Driver. Martin is not just another Horror film but a gritty and thought provoking suspense... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004 by J. Shepherd
Martin is a disturbed young man who comes to the wasting away town of Braddock to live with his elderly cousin Tata Cuda. Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2003 by Chadwick H. Saxelid