Critic Consensus: George A. Romero's contribution to vampire lore contains the expected gore and social satire -- but it's also surprisingly thoughtful, and boasts a whopper of a final act.
Nearly a decade after George A. Romero changed the face of modern horror films with Night of the Living Dead -- and following the less successful projects Season of the Witch and The Crazies -- the Pittsburgh-based auteur returned to top form with this superb vampire tale. Set in a rapidly crumbling steeltown suburb, the story focuses on shy, moody Martin (John Amplas), a teenager of East European descent who may or may not be a vampire. Though he possesses no fangs or supernatural powers and has no aversions to either crucifixes or garlic, Martin is nevertheless compelled to drug pretty young women, slash them with razor blades, and consume their blood. His motivations seem purely psychological -- as revealed to a call-in radio talk show where Martin has become an anonymous celebrity -- but the notion of a family vampire curse is fostered by Martin's stoic uncle Cuda Lincoln Maazel, who is convinced that he must destroy the boy by hammering a stake through his heart. Romero's superb script keeps the film's supernatural questions ambiguous, focusing instead on the characters' inner turmoil as modern-day attitudes and values clash with vanishing Old World traditions. Filmed on an extremely low budget, Martin benefits from its gritty, kitchen-sink realism, making the outbursts of graphic horror even more surreal and disturbing and creating a sense of doom that builds to a tragically ironic climax. … More
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Critic Reviews for Martin
George A. Romero is still limited by apparently low budgets. But he has inserted some sepia-toned flashback scenes of Martin in Rumania that are extraordinarily evocative.
Romero makes stunning use of his Pittsburgh locations to create a desolate suburban wasteland, and at its best it is rivetingly raw-edged.
A surprisingly tender, ambiguous, and sexy film in which Romero's penchant for social satire is for once restricted to local and modest proportions.
A neglected minor masterpiece from cult horror director George A Romero about a disturbed teenager who may or may not be a vampire.
It's rough around the edges (variable acting and flaky FX abound) yet it still intrigues, still disgusts and -- important, this -- still disturbs.
Audience Reviews for Martin
George A. Romero has once again departed from the zombie genre with Martin and created a memorable and classic vampire film in the process. This is a very well acted film that relies on basic ingredients to create the tension on-screen. This is a well crafted horror yarn that is in my opinion a forgotten vampire gem in the genre. Usually horror fans tend to focus more on films like Salem's Lot, Fright Night, The Lost Boys and Near Dark whenever they think of classic vampire films. George Romero's Martin seems to always get lost in the fold, and I think it's a shame because it is a very different film in the genre, and it is also a change of pace for Romero. This is a great film, and one that is sure to delight genre fans looking for an overlooked vampire film. George Romero has made quite an impact in the genre, but with Martin he has created something different. This is a very entertaining film from start to finish and it certainly delivers from genuine scares. If you love Romero's work, you'll certainly love this one. This is among the best vampire films in the genre and it is definitely a classic. You owe it to yourself to give Martin a viewing, and it ranks up there as one of the most memorable vampire features in the genre. Romero has always done some wonderful work, and he keeps up with that with this different film. As a fan of vampire films, I thoroughly enjoyed Romero's take on this classic tale, and he crafts a classic in the process. Martin is a well crafted film, and one that horror fans should definitely check out.
George Romero's Martin is my favorite vampire movie. Set in 1970's Pittsburgh. At times gruesome and at times extremely thoughtful. Also a great soundtrack and a superb final scene. The thinking man's vampire movie.
One of my favourite vampire movies, this one if from Romero, who is more famous for his zombie movies, but does a fantastic job in any horror genre, I think. This movie has interesting characters, a story which is pretty realistic for a vampire movie, and an unexpected ending. I love it.
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