Martin [DVD] 
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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.
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.
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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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutly fasntastic DVD. Not much more one can say about Arrow Video that hasn't already been said. They're one of the best DVD and Blu Ray companies out there. Read morePublished 5 months ago by P. Farvour
Was this Romero's finest hour? Amplas is superb in the title role (as is Romero himself as the creepy, trendy priest). Read morePublished 10 months ago by A.J.Bradley
it was a very good film and i enjoyed the film from malcolm hicklinPublished 13 months ago by malcolm hicklin
Martin is a young man, however he says he is 84, he is also someone who kills people and drinks their blood, but after moving in with his elder cousin he tries to subdue his blood... Read morePublished 14 months ago by L.J.F.64
REVIEWED VERSION: Umbrella Australian DVD (Release date unknown)
Director: George A. Romero
Cast: John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest, Tom Savini,... Read more
Good quality picture and awesome presentation of the edition. The seller very fast. ExcelentPublished 24 months ago by Joe Page
good quality and played well with no problems. i had no issues of any kind when i used this productPublished on 21 Jan. 2014 by adam miller