Martin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Martin Reviews

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January 22, 2017
The most underrated of all George Romero films, and one of the best. A must watch for any fans of Romero, or those who want to check out a solid movie.
October 15, 2016
Nice period piece from the clothes to the music. Also has a good psycological aspect to Martin's vampirisim and a solid ending.
July 14, 2016
Low budgets have never stopped Romero from making succesful and entertaining horror movies, and this is one of his best ones, even Romero himself has actually considered this his best work. It's a thoughful vampire film, and it's also a horror fan's dream, cause it's written and directed by Romero and the cheesy gore effects are done by Tom Savini, who actually also appears in the flick. Everything about this movie is campy exploitation stuff. Recommended !!
October 26, 2015
It's a shame Romero got stuck in the black hole of "...Of The Dead" movies. This early film in his career, a purposely unique and grounded take on vampires, is an unnerving and surreal outing that shows real originality for a guy perpetually making zombie flicks. Fantastic camera framing, effective jumps in time, and the minutiae of everyday existence create an awesome experience that makes you question even the mundane people you stand next to at the grocery store.
½ October 14, 2015
A fresh and unique take on the Vampire lare that benefits from it's original story.
Super Reviewer
September 1, 2015
An interesting vampire drama from George A Romero with a shocker of an ending that comes completely out of left field.
August 15, 2015
A horror movie which is the best I have seen in my 24 year old life
½ July 21, 2015
Of all his own films this is George A. Romero's favourite. John Amplas is excellent in this as the killer / possible vampire Martin sadly he has never topped this performance. This was truly original at the time and still stands up to this day. Tom Savini provides the gore.
January 17, 2015
A strange take on the vampire concept by George A Romero. Reminded me more of A Clockwork Orange than a vampire flick, what with the ultra violent teenage rapist and the 70s modernist home decor and all. Tom Savini did special effects and appears in a cameo. It's a surreal movie that reminded me of those psychedelic anti drug PSAs from the same era. Hard to believe Romero made Dawn of the Dead only a year after this.
December 24, 2014
Not as much a vampire flick as an artsy study of suburban ennui.
December 22, 2014
i know romero considers this his favorite film, but its definitely not mine, a lot of things arent ever explained, its poorly edited, the fake blood is laughably fake, you never know what martins motivations are as his actions are inconsistent, i admit it has a good score and theres a few good scenes but not much beyond that, also its tom savinis first movie so theres that
½ October 29, 2014
It's like a vampiric Taxi Driver.
October 27, 2014
This is definitely creepy, it's also definitely an uncomfortable watch but it's also a little dull. Fall's into the 'worth a watch' category but not much more really.
July 6, 2014
It's a great vampire film.
½ March 23, 2014
Martin (Geroge Romero, 1977)
[originally posted 5Nov2001]

George Romero's debut film, Night of the Living Dead, is a Hollywood legend, a movie that over thirty years of release has grossed over a hundred thousand times its cost and turned into a bona fide wordwide phenomenon. Romero was widely hailed (when not being described as Satan incarnate or scaring folks so badly they introduced the MPAA ratings system) as America's next big thing, the filmmaker who would change the face of Hollywood-now that they realized he existed.

Then came a string of films for which "unwatchable" is the kindest possible term-two (There's Always Vanilla and Jack's Wife) stock seventies melodramas so bad that they faded into obscurity in about ten minutes apiece, and one (The Crazies) attempt to return to the horror genre that lacks, well, horror. For nine long years, it looked as if Romero were suffering through a neverending sophomore slump.

Then someone got a brilliant idea-why not combine Peyton Place-style melodrama and elements of horror? Hey, Cronenberg did it in 1975 with Shivers and got a half-decent audience response, right?

The result was Martin, Romero's fifth film and the beginning of the career that should have started just after Night of the Living Dead was released. It was a long, long time after this before Romero released another bad movie (and some say he still hasn't; all depends on your opinion of The Dark Half). Romero took the same approach with Martin that he did with Night of the Living Dead: cast a whole lot of unknowns, shoot on the cheapest possible film, make the movie as far outside the confines of Hollywood as possible. And it worked, and it worked tremendously.

Martin is the story of, depending on who you believe, either a conflicted teen who's been brainwashed by his family or an eighty-plus-year-old vampire intent on terrorizing his family (in either case, it's John Amplas in his screen debut). Martin has just moved to Pittsburgh from Indiana to live with his grandfather/cousin (again, depending on to whom you listen), Cuda (Lincoln Maazel, Lorin's father, in his only screen appearance) and cousin/niece, etc., Christina (Christine Forrest). Upon arrival, Cuda makes no bones about his belief that Martin is a vampire and relegates him to the same outcast status enjoyed by Christina. Eventually, though, the family feeling of the neighborhood wins out, and Martin starts developing friendships, even a sexual relationship with a lonely housewife, Mrs. Santini (Elizabeth Nadeau). He also becomes a regular caller to a late night talk show under the moniker "The Count," and he and the host try to work out some of the family neuroses that plague Martin throughout the movie.

What stands out about the film, aside from Romero's direction and the naturalness of the actors (there's a reason casting unknowns is a popular trend for independent directors), is the exceptional subtlety in the script. Martin is so befuddled by his family he really doesn't know if he's a vampire or not; neither do we. His relationships point to both social and sexual virginity, though we're well aware that Martin is neither (the original cut of the film was X-rated; Romero was forced to cut a grand total of two seconds to achieve the R), and the way the various characters sympathetic to him allow Martin to start to flower as a person is touching-something unexpected, to say the least, in a horror film. For lack of a better word, the whole thing is quite nice, and would have been a minor, obscure coming-of-age flick if not for Martin's alternately horrifying and humorous attempts to live up to his supposed birthright and his grandfather's head popping up now and again and hissing "nosssssferaaaatuuuuuuuu!" at him.

A wonderful movie. While it didn't live up to the changing-the-face-of-American-film thing, Romero had already done that with Night of the Living Dead; looked at by itself, Martin is a remarkable little movie, and one that deserves a wider audience. **** 1/2
½ February 23, 2014
"Martin" is a film about a young man who thinks he is a vampire, even though he has no real vampiric powers or even fangs...this is why his attempts at getting blood are very difficult. It is a solid horror effort from George A. Romero, the man who brought the dead to life in "Night of the Living Dead". Martin is a genuine creep, who drugs woman in order to more easily extract their blood, although he fantasizes in black and white that it all goes much smoother than it ever actually does. I enjoyed "Martin", I thought it was a good horror effort, and anyone who enjoys a good 70s horror flick and liked Romero's zombies films will probably like this as well.
½ January 27, 2014
Meh. Disturbing premise, some overall good ideas, creative camera angles, but terribly crappy acting, amateur direction, sloppy low budget feel, and ridiculous technicolor blood all add up to a completely unique Romero-styled movie.
This is no Dawn of the Dead, tho it has the dated 70s markings that all his Dead movies hold, but lacks the magic of it's premise until the last third w Martins phone calls.
My fav part is in the extras - interviews w the ever congenial Romero and here the fascinating Savini.
These guys bring a quaintness, and
a perspective of familiarity that draws you into their mess and somehow you root for them as you would a little brothers homemade-looking project at the science fair.
January 25, 2014
Bizarre and original. Which is saying something even in 1976. Leaves you with more questions than answers.
½ October 31, 2013
One of George Romero's few departures from the zombie genre, "Martin" is also one of his best films. Thoughtful, engaging, and character-driven, it's further proof that you don't need a lot of money to tell a good story and make a great film.
½ October 19, 2013
A dark and understated movie about a teenage boy who has been made to believe that he is a vampire, and thus acts out as one.
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