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  • I Madman [DVD] [1989] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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I Madman [DVD] [1989] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009PY3P
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,248 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By West25 on 10 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Virginia is a clerk in a used bookstore and an aspiring actress, and one of her passions are old horror books. Virginia has recently discovered and liked a book called "Much of Madness, More of Sin". It was the first of only two novels wrote by Malcolm Brand, but she's having trouble trying to find his second book, "I, Madman". She needn't worry about trying to find the book, as the book pretty quickly finds her. Virginia begins reading and discovers that it's about an insane doctor called Alan Kessler, who is rejected by a beautiful actress called Anna. She is so physically repulsed by him, he decides to remove his facial features and graft on the features of those he butchers with his straight edged razor. Virginia soon starts seeing Kessler, and several mutilated bodies show up. Virginia must convince her boyfriend, Richard, who is a Detective, that Kessler has jumped from the pages and thinks Virginia is Anna.

Jenny Wright puts in a pretty good performance, but she's not at her best here and at times she perhaps looks a little uninterested. She still manages to make her character likeable, appealing and vulnerable, but this doesn't come close to matching her performance in the excellent vampire film, Near Dark. I'm not sure what happened to Wright, she seemed to have a very promising career at one point. She had a small role in St. Elmo's Fire, then starred in Near Dark and I, Madman, and soon after she had roles in Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory and The Lawnmower Man. She then kind of disappeared, which is a shame. Clayton Rohner does his best as Richard, he's a very decent actor but I felt he was a little too young looking for his role as Richard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. on 25 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD
This is interesting film that's been tip-off to me. I thought Canadian genre director Tibor Takacs, (more well-known for The Gate ), done a great job with this film. I, MADMAN is a loving salute to the days when movie monsters had hearts. For those who don't know this film is about a second-hand bookstore clerk Virginia Clayton becomes absorbed in the book `I, Madman' by Malcolm Brand. In the book the deranged, deformed Dr Kessler is obsessed with beautiful actress Anna Templar and kills victims, sewing part of each victim's face onto his own. But as Virginia continues to read, someone starts to emulate the killings in the book, targeting the people around her.

Takacs includes some wonderfully grisly scenes in which he injects himself with Novocain and slices off his own facial features with a scalpel to send as love gifts to the heroine and then cuts up the people in her life and reattaches their facial parts to himself. There is a tragic Phantom of the Opera -like to the villain's love, although this doesn't perhaps get as much airing as it should. One would have preferred if Kessler were allowed to speak - what expression such a character would have.

The atmosphere of this film is very good like others has mention here and the moody moments was inviting. The most intriguing aspect of the film is its double-structure, flipping between the plot of the book and the reading heroine's life with both heroines being played by the same actress. It is filled with all manner of fascinating small details - the way a rose knocked over in the book is mirrored in the real world; how when a tea kettle is placed on in the book one starts whistling in the real world even though we never saw Jenny Wright put one on when she entered the apartment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Corey Newcombe on 24 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD
Virginia works at a used book store.

She's really into horror novels and discovers a book called "I, Madman" and it's about an insane doctor who cuts off people's noses, ears, and hair and puts them on his face to please a girl he likes.

Only Virginia discovers that the book is non-fiction, and every time she picks up the book to read it, she sees him.

The insane doctor from the book has escaped the book into our reality...

This is one of those movies that was released back in the late eighties, and as since been forgotten about. And whilst it's not the greatest movie out there, it does have some redeeming features.

Obviously if you work in a used book store, you can afford to live in a very expensive looking pad like Virginia.

Wright is good in her role, but it's no wonder she went into obscurity after films like this, one feels she could have been really big after 'Near Dark'.

the killer looks like he's drifted in from 'The Phantom of the Opera' and does little else than wander around apartment corridors and moaning.

The support is good, and although the film does suffer from Horror clichés (the redhead taking years to get to her apartment) it's cheesy fun, especially with the baffling stop motion creature that dwells around the beginning and the conclusion.
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I had never heard of this movie before untill i saw the trailer a few weeks ago & thought it looked like my kind of movie! Well it was & i cant believe how underrated this movie is & why Jenny wright had to end up quitting acting! I was already a fan of Jennys after seeing her in 'near dark' & various other small roles but this film is definatley hers & she gives a terrific performance! The story revolves around 'Virginia',a book worm who becomes engrossed in a horror book but realises that everytime she picks it up & starts reading,the horrors become reality! A must have movie for lovers of 80s tongue in cheek horror!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 49 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"I'll have your heart one way or another!" 11 Feb. 2005
By cookieman108 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Growing up in the 70's and 80's I was constantly bombarded with television commercials that proclaimed `Reading is Fundamental', or RIF, for short...I suppose it was a concerted effort by some group of well meaning individuals to get us cartoon addicted youngins away from the magic box and into the library...but what they failed to mention is that, besides being fundamental, reading can also have serious detrimental effects to your health, possibly resulting in a slight case of death. Don't believe me? Then I would recommend watching I, Madman aka Hardcover (1989) for conclusive proof...you may be shocked at what you learn...directed by Tibor Takács (The Gate), the film stars Jenny Wright (The Wild Life, Near Dark), Clayton Rohner (Just One of the Guys, April Fool's Day), and Randall William Cook, who worked on all three of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films (not in the capacity of an actor, but as effects artist). Also appearing is Stephanie Hodge, whose face I recognized but couldn't place until I looked up her credits and learned she's not only a comedian, but also appeared on the Fox television show "Unhappily Ever After", along with the amply bosomed Nikki Cox, who does not appear in this film.

Wright plays Virginia, a literate, attractive woman and aspiring actress who makes ends meet by working in a used bookstore, and has an affinity for seedy pulp fiction novels from the 50's, particularly ones penned by an author named Malcolm Brand. The trouble begins as Virginia notices that the horrific events in the novel start to translate into real life, as fiction becomes fact, and she's somehow centered in the middle of it...soon she starts seeing the villain from the story, a skulking, darkly garbed killer (Cook) who wears a mask over the lower part of his face (looking much like The Shadow), is a whiz with the straight edge razor, and seems to have the ability to appear from nowhere. The police are baffled by a recent spate of strange and unexplained murders, but Virginia notices the similarities between the events in the book and those in real life, and believes she can predict the killer's next move. She offers this information to her boyfriend Richard (Rohner), who's a police detective, but Richard and his colleagues are a little skeptical (okay, a lot skeptical) and think her like a Snickers bar, you know, a bit nutty. As the police investigation eventually goes nowhere, they become more inclined to listen to Virginia, but it may be already too late, as the killer's motives and intentions are revealed, along with a few interesting facts about the now deceased author Malcolm Brand.

At a time when slasher films were run of the mill, I, Madman presented a clever and interesting story tinged with a bit of the gothic, but I think it ended up getting lost in the shuffle as the genre grew stale, as studios had bled it to the point of anemia (the lame trailer didn't help any). The movie has the slight feel of a Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) film (the mixing of realities), but director Takács avoids Craven's style as a blueprint. He knows how to set up a scene and creates a level of tension and suspense that kept me drawn into the story throughout. I really liked how he handles the violence in the film, as it wasn't shown very often, but you always knew what was occurring. There is a good deal of violence in the film, but it is rarely shown on screen. An example of this is when Virginia is watching from her apartment window the killer stalking a victim in a building across the way. The killer draws the shades, but the silhouettes of him and his victim are clear, as is the subsequent actions, and the audience is left to fill in the rest in their imagination. There's another scene where a woman is getting attacked in her bathroom, and while we know what is going on, the violence is obscured as the scene is shot from behind the killer, but it's clear what's happening due to the killer's almost exaggerated movements. I really liked the use of color and atmospheric elements throughout the film, as they helped create a feel, a mood that other films in the genre lacked, or tried to develop but failed miserably. Also, his transitioning between time periods (the main character would often imagine herself as part of the stories she read) was flawless. I thought the actors all did very well, most all playing their roles within character, never really hamming it up or going overboard. The makeup on the killer (done by the person who played the role) was exceptional and quite gruesome, giving the character a realistic quality. Were the flaws in the film? There may have been, but I really didn't notice...I feel if the effort is there, and there's enough solid material and decent performances, I find myself willing to overlook certain superficial elements that may work against the movie. I suppose if I were to pick on something it might be the stop motion work. Most parts looked good, but there were one or two moments where it didn't feel entirely lifelike (given the probable limited budget of the film, picking on this would be an easy target). Takács usage of stop motion in his previous film, The Gate (1987), looked much the same as here, but since I liked that story as much as I did this one, it was easy to dismiss any perceived faults.

My only disappointment of this film was in its' lackluster DVD release. Presented is only the fullscreen format. Why MGM couldn't have dug up the original wide screen format and included it also is beyond me. The picture quality is decent, and the vibrant colors come through most of the time. The only extra is the lame theatrical trailer.

Cookieman108
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I ... Liked It! 2 Jan. 2004
By E. Lee Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I, MADMAN is, at best, a guilty pleasure ... with forced camp-ridden dialogue in a forced camp-ridden situation (a stunningly beautiful bookworm shucking her life away at some used book stores stumbles across an author who penned only two 'non-fiction' horror stories magically brings the demented author to life in a very Freddy Krueger-esque fashion) ... and you can't but help enjoy this harmless horror flick despite your best intentions.
Yes, others have made mention of this, but the lead actress (Jenny Wright) is an absolute stunner to look at. Sadly, the film is a bit dated with the wardrobe and hair choices, but, one she slimmed down to the bra and panties it's a very easy gaffe to dismiss. (snicker)
The plot is relatively predictable (the script squeezes out a few surprises), and the premise isn't entirely original ... but the "Nightmare on Elm Street" twist works very well in the limitations of the acting and effects.
What's the real travesty is the fact that I, MADMAN -- if it enjoyed a theatrical release -- is only offered up in standard television ratio. Some of the scenes might've played better given the 'look' of widescreen (especially some of the more suspenseful moments where our lead actress finds herself in the role of a lead actress -- a novel within a novel). The film's 'period piece sequences' are slim, but they arguably would've played out more effectively visually had a widescreen transfer been available.
With an ending too brisk, it's hard to say if a franchise could've been made of the MADMAN. There certainly was potential, and the career of Jenny Wright in constant pursuit of the Madman seeking other victims might be 'the big fish that got away.'
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Faceless Fear 24 April 2002
By Bruce Rux - Published on Amazon.com
I can't believe this gem of a thriller isn't better known.
Reclusive secondhand bookstore shopper Jenny Wright finds an obscure paperback original horror thriller, and loves it so much she hunts down the unknown author's only other title, "I, Madman." Its story is about a psychotic surgeon scorned by the object of his affections, who, in order to please her with the perfect visage, novocains himself, cuts off his own face, and murders other people to steal their features and sew them onto himself. But no sooner does Wright begin reading the story, than a bizarre, masked stalker begins following her around, enacting the story in real-life, killing her friends to steal their features and get closer to her. The author of "I, Madman," it seems, wasn't writing a thriller - he wrote his autobiography.
This one's a beautifully produced low-budget winner, benefiting from solid performances, a good script, gripping suspense and just the right amount of graphic gore. It even has a nice opening and closing surreal special effects sequence, used probably to help diminish the intensity of the film so viewers will be reminded that it's just a story, after all, and not have as many nightmares after watching as they might otherwise.
Definitely not for the faint of heart or squeamish of stomach, but lovers of thrillers and horror flicks will be more than satisfied.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I mad woman like I, Madman. 19 Nov. 2007
By Jenny J.J.I. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is interesting film that's been tip-off to me. I thought Canadian genre director Tibor Takacs, (more well-known for The Gate ), done a great job with this film. I, MADMAN is a loving salute to the days when movie monsters had hearts. For those who don't know this film is about a second-hand bookstore clerk Virginia Clayton becomes absorbed in the book `I, Madman' by Malcolm Brand. In the book the deranged, deformed Dr Kessler is obsessed with beautiful actress Anna Templar and kills victims, sewing part of each victim's face onto his own. But as Virginia continues to read, someone starts to emulate the killings in the book, targeting the people around her.

Takacs includes some wonderfully grisly scenes in which he injects himself with Novocain and slices off his own facial features with a scalpel to send as love gifts to the heroine and then cuts up the people in her life and reattaches their facial parts to himself. There is a tragic Phantom of the Opera -like to the villain's love, although this doesn't perhaps get as much airing as it should. One would have preferred if Kessler were allowed to speak - what expression such a character would have.

The atmosphere of this film is very good like others has mention here and the moody moments was inviting. The most intriguing aspect of the film is its double-structure, flipping between the plot of the book and the reading heroine's life with both heroines being played by the same actress. It is filled with all manner of fascinating small details - the way a rose knocked over in the book is mirrored in the real world; how when a tea kettle is placed on in the book one starts whistling in the real world even though we never saw Jenny Wright put one on when she entered the apartment. And although Kessler is given a nominally rational explanation, by the end of the story we are never entirely certain whether it was Brand or Kessler that has been pursuing the heroine - certainly the explanation that would rely on it being Brand offers no explanation of how the abovementioned incidents of meta-fictional synchronicity occurred.

Less effective is Takacs's cast. Jenny Wright is obviously a sweet heart but seems distant and not really emotionally involved at times. Clayton Rohner lacks any conviction at all, looking hardly old enough to be out of college let alone a seasoned detective. The climax of the film is let down by Randall Cook's unconvincing stop motion animation. Takacs shoots in Canada - like many other Canadians he attempts to give the impression the film is American-made and in one wonderful false move we have a downtown bus that is just labeled `Los Angeles'. Besides that "I, Madman" is worthy of our attention and fear but sadly underrated.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A scary film, but really fun 24 Jun. 2000
By Jeffrey Leach - Published on Amazon.com
You can't go wrong watching this film. _I, Madman_ is a film about a young woman who reads the novels of Malcolm Brand, and begins to have vivid interactions with the main character of the books, the villianous Dr. Kessler. I don't want to spoil the plot for you, but it is sufficient to say that the movie delivers in the chills department.
The whole film has a very pulp fiction/noir feel. The books of Brand and the film merge together and create an upsetting world. The cinematography is top notch as well. Look for the extreme close-up on Kessler in the hallway. I get chills now thinking about it!
Kessler is a serious freak, and when you see his eyes, they will chill you to the bone. His eyes alone are worth the price of the film. I'm not lying! Kessler may be one of the best film villians of all-time. Another scene to look for is in the beginning of the film. Watch for the look Kessler shoots at the desk clerk.
The ending of the film is rather silly, and doesn't make a lot of sense, but it doesn't detract from the rest of the film, either. My only regret is that we won't see Kessler in a sequel.
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