Trailer Terrors: Martin (1977)



He could be the boy next door...

I thought that I would end our Romero Week clubhouse contribution with a film that is, without question, Romero's finest cult classic outside of his "Dead" trilogy, Martin (1977).

For whatever reason it has been forgotten, Martin is a quintessential piece of cinema for any horror film to partake, but particularly those more inclined to vampire lore. Utilizing many of the same metaphorical social fears as his undead opus, Martin brilliantly deconstructs the vampire myth only to rebuild it into a modern day psychosis the blurs the line between reality as accepted by society as a whole and a reality based on certain individualized beliefs.

With an almost satirical intellectualism, the film begs the question of what truly defines vampirism: supernatural lore or the humanistic potential for sadism. Unlike today's "torture porn," however, Romero builds a definitive dread from the acts of his main character (Martin) as the story slowly crescendos into a cinematic allegory for human depravity that lurks within our subconscious, essentially denouncing the need for monsters to be anything other than men.

Though the film does have its flaws (most of which are a product of time, talent and money), it does not hinder the viewing experience enough to impeach itself from horrors hallowed halls. In fact many new genre fans and directors could (and most likely have) learn something from the deconstructive narrative that Martin so successfully employs and though the enlightened will realize in the end it is far more of a intellectual slasher film, I believe anyone would be hard-pressed not to feel as though they've seen a true vampire film.





3 comments:

  1. Though the film does have its flaws (most of which are a product of time, talent and money), it does not hinder the viewing experience enough to impeach itself from horrors hallowed halls.

    Well said.

  1. Geof said...:

    Nice write-up SK. When I first saw Martin a long time ago, it was not what I was expecting...and I say that in a good way.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    Thanks guys!

    Yeah I think a lot of people underestimate the film since its not part of Romero's zombie canon, but it really does offer as many interesting tidbits concerning vampirism as Night of the Living Dead did for zombiism.

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