Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Martin

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Dir: George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Diary of the Dead, Survival of the Dead)
Cast: John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest, Elyane Nadeau, George A. Romero
USA, 1977

Seen: November 3, 2009 on DVD

Reason to Review: Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon *

I had zero expectations going into this film, all I knew was it was a vampire film and directed by George A. Romero (aka King of zombie films) which was enough to get me interested. It is certainly one of the most unique vampire films I’ve seen as it acknowledges but distances itself from classic vampire lore, recognizes 'old world’ idea and is set in 70s suburbia. Sound bizarre? It is.

As a vampire film it has a very different feel, there is zero romanticism, but there is a far share of nudity. What's interesting about omitting any romance or seduction from a vampire's bag of tricks is that you are left with the bare bones of the need to feed. Seeing it in this light makes the actions align to that of a stalker, which is what made this film more uncomfortable to watch than expected. The is a harshness of take what you need mentality.
Did I mention that it's from the 70's yet?

I thought the unique take on the lore was clever, and it is address on several levels from the idea of wanting or needing connection to even how vampires are created, but overall I found the distancing and rationalization of the violent acts rather disturbing.


Shannon's Overall View:
I didn't love it
I'd likely watch it one more time
I'd recommend it to for vampire film completists and if you are a fan of both arthouse & thrillers with a slasher sensibility

Return to Film Reviews, See all Vampire Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2009

* Vampathon is a 16 week marathon explore vampire films from Nosferatu (1922) up to the upcoming release of
The Twilight Saga: New Moon

3 comments:

The Film Connoisseur said...

Love this movie, its so subtle, you are never really sure if Martin is nuts, or if he truly is what he says he is.

I enjoyed those conversations that Martin has about vampirism over the radio talk show, its where Romero sets his rules for the movie.

Shocking Ending! Loved it! One of Romero's best.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Good call - you are so right that it is subtle, something we rarely see in vampire films.

The radio show call in's were certainly one of the highlights, not only was it a clever way to work in how he really felt and thought, but also shows very clearing the need for connection.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Yes, Martin is a socially disconnected individual, its interesting how he can communicate just fine through the anonimity of a radio show, but in real life he is a disaster.

I also liked the message the film has about religion and old superstitions. Martins message through out the whole film is "There is no Magic". And his uncle is a religious nut who alienates him.

I thought it was hilarious that George Romero himself plays the priest in the film, and the priest smokes cigarettes and talks about the validity of religious myths.

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