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Martin [DVD] [1977]

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest, Elyane Nadeau, Tom Savini
  • Directors: George A. Romero
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Sept. 2003
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AOWOF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,079 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Set in the desolate surburban wasteland of Pittsburgh, George A. Romero's modern vampire story juggles traditional myths and legends with contemporary medical science, in this study of a modern teenager who believes he needs to suck blood to survive and sets about doing so wielding razors and syringes.

Review

Still intrigues, still disgusts still disturbs --Total Film<br /><br />Gory thriller that makes fun of the vampire myth before the hammer blow of a truly shocking climax --Empire

Gory thriller that makes fun of the vampire myth before the hammer blow of a truly shocking climax --Empire --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Having revolutionised the horror genre with Night of the Living Dead in 1969, it was perhaps inevitable both that Romero would turn to a vampire film and that it would be unlike any other. Although less well-known, Martin remains his greatest achievement...
Martin [John Amplas] is a troubled young man with a craving for blood. He moves to live with his old cousin Cuda [Lincoln Maazel], who feels compelled to house him due to the "family shame". Cuda believes Martin to be an 84-year-old vampire, not the first in their family, while his daughter Christina [Christine Forrest] sees Martin as mentally ill and requiring care.
Romero strikes an existential note through the film, never explaining Martin's condition. The opening sequence shows him break into a woman's train compartment, syringe of sedative clutched in his mouth like surrogate fangs, slicing her wrist with razor blades. This is clearly no supernatural vampire of the old myths, but neither is Martin insane for his murders are meticulously calculated. Cuda addresses Martin as "Nosferatu" and takes on a Van Helsing-esque role as protector, his house filled with garlic and crucifixes, seeming unable to grasp the fact that these have no effect on Martin. "You see? You see!? It isn't magic. Even I know that." explains Martin, biting into a clove of garlic.
Christina (actress Christine Forrest would later become Romero's wife) offers the alternative view that Martin simply requires mental help, and indeed feels that Cuda's actions simply fuel Martin's dillusions, worsening the problem. Martin himself just describes a his condition as a mundane sickness. The shocking portrayals of Martin's attacks heavily contrast the meek and brilliantly underplayed performance from Amplas, leading us to feel such sympathy that we want him to escape.
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Format: DVD
I consider Martin to be one of Romero's greatest films and so was excited when this 2 disc edition came out however, whilst there is nothing wrong with this release, it promises more than it gives.

The picture quality on the feature disc is excellent, very well cleaned up although I'm not sure if the widescreen ratio cuts off some of the original framing (I believe that to be the case). When you consider how low budget the original feature was the image quality they've managed to get is commendable. I noticed an improvement over the previous Arrow Films release, anyway.

Where the package falls down is with the second disc. There is a good recounting documentary featuring key players which is interesting to watch, but this only lasts about 20 minutes. The other extras are theatrical trailers, TV spots, radio spots etc. Basically, my main gripe is that when you advertise something as a 2 disc special edition, you expect the second disc to include more than just some extras that could have easily been included on one disc and that don't really expand on the previous one disc version released a year or two earlier by the same company (apart from the 20 minute documentary). I'm not sure whether the audio commentary on the main feature is new or not, but that too is very interesting to hear for fans of the film.

When push comes to shove, you are buying a fine copy of a fantastic movie with this purchase, just don't expect quite as many bonuses as you would imagine a two disc special to contain.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When young Martin(John Amplas) goes to stay with his elder cousin Tada Cuza(Lincoln Maazel), he is immediately greeted with crosses on the wall, garlic pinned to the bedroom doors and a hiostile rasping cry of 'Nosferatu!' from his cousin. Martin himself believes that he is an 84 year old vampire, but laughs at Cuda's clumsy attempts to test him with the sign of the cross and the sudden unveiling of a mirror. Martin gets a job working at Cuda's delicatessen, but seems uninterested, only coming alive at night. Another cousin, Christina(Christine Forrest) who is staying at Cuda's house, believes Martin to be mentally ill, and balks at Cuda's old time beliefs. One thing is for sure, and that is Martin has a craving for blood, a craving that is never far from the surface.
This superb horror from 1977 does a great job in debunking some of the romantic notions of vampirism, and is one of the first films to show the vampire as suffering from a sexual perversion, with arousal heightened by the letting of blood. Interstingly, 'Martin' owes a lot to the great surreal horror from the early 1930's, Carl Dreyer's 'Vampyr'. This is especially evident during the black and white 'flashbacks'. So it both a film ahead of its time and one grounded in the past, so you could say it represents both the characters of Martin and Cuda, one adapting to the modern world(Martin uses a radio talk show to talk about his affliction), the other unable to break free from the old world of family curses and hackneyed symbolism. It could be argued of course, that Cuda too has been afflicted with the family 'curse'.
One of my favourite scenes is when Cuda, clearly terrified, is pursued through a fog shrouded park by a caped Martin. He hits out in terror as Martin opens his mouth to reveal sharp fangs.
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