Martin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Martin Reviews

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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.
½ October 13, 2013
A truly original take on the vampire genre, the question remains about the title character... is he or isn't he a vampire? Even though it's a little lacking in the dialogue and performances, the premise and pacing is top-notch. If you are a fan at all of vampire flicks this is a must watch, even if only to watch Romero bust all the conventions brilliantly.
½ September 15, 2013
Martin is an interesting take on the vampire genre (even if might not really deal with vampires). With some amateurish acting (Maazel aside) Martin is only as good as it shocking low budget effects.
August 23, 2013
What a surprise this was. When I saw who directed it I expected the worse to be honest, I'm not really a fan of stupid zombie movies. For him to make a film which is about a vampire kid struggling to cope in a modern world is more shocking than any of his movies themselves. This is a very original idea and it works quite well. I can't see it being a big hit with the die hard horror fans but I liked it for being so different.
August 17, 2013
Couldn't wait for this to be over.
June 22, 2013
This movie is great! If you haven't seen watch it.
May 19, 2013
Odd with an abrupt and shocking ending
½ April 13, 2013
Not content with revolutionizing one horror staple: almost a decade on from 'Night of the Living Dead', George Romero tackles the vampire myth in his own, idiosyncratic way. The beaming red blood splattered across his movies often disguises a sharp, socio-political sensibility and a keen eye for compositional style, and 'Martin' is a personal favourite of the director.

Ferociously and admirably independent, Romero shunned any attempts at breaking into Hollywood, choosing to film in his native Pittsburgh; the drab industrial surroundings of which give 'Martin' a great deal of its gritty atmosphere. After the commercial failure of 'The Crazies' and 'Season of the Witch' (both 1973), the production of 'Martin' was almost shut down. Romero dug his heels in for the sake of his backers. His integrity was rewarded as 'Dawn of The Dead' hit big the same year, and served to pay off his debtors.

The story concerns the titular teen - who suspects himself to be a vampire - moving to Pittsburgh to stay with his uncle. The uncle turns, Tateh Cuda, is a suspicious, strict Catholic with whom he regularly clashes.

John Amplas' Martin is a fascinating creation, a shy, credibly troubled teen imbued with a good deal of pathos. So impressed was Romero with an Amplas stage performance he re-wrote his entire character (Martin was initially much older) to fit him in to the production. Lincoln Maazel as his uncle provides a good foil, generally treating Martin like an olde worlde vampire in the time-honoured tradition (including pestering him with garlic) and taunting him with the legend "Nosferatu!"

'Martin' also sparks several comparisons of the protagonist's vampiric state to drug addiction, long before the notion became an overbaked horror cliché. His frantic use of hypodermic needles before claiming his victims and his hapless stumbling upon a drug dealer's lair serve to embellish this thought. Indeed, as the Police conduct a brutal, heavy-handed raid on said drug den, Romero suggests that the (possibly) supernatural horror of Martin's actions is nothing compared to the everyday horrors of reality.

Whereas 'Night of the Living Dead' was concerned with issues of society (with hints of race) and 'Dawn of the Dead' expands this to target the effect of modern consumerism, 'Martin' tackles existentialism and the outsider (as Martin struggles to integrate into his new surroundings) and thinks outside of the box on matters of faith. In inviting sympathy with the modern atheist (Martin) over the aging, traditionalist zealot (Cuda), Romero turns the usual horror configurations upside down. A scene where Martin breaks up his uncle's anti-vampire paraphernalia, laughs him down and bluntly states "There is no magic" is bracing and evocative of this argument.

Romero also nods to the history of the cinema vampire in interludes depicting Martin (in historical attire) chased by an angry, torch-waving mob. These scenes are displayed in black and white and apparently, the original cut was entirely monochrome and nearly three hours long. Romero leaves it to the viewer to decide whether these visions are flashbacks, or mere fantasies from Martin's subconscious.

The grim and realistic special effects are from regular Romero cohort and former Vietnam combat photographer Tom Savini, who also has a supporting role.

Unglamourized and unsettling - and really rather thoughtful - I'd love to see what the awkward Martin would make of today's asinine 'Twilight' teen vampires. Romero's film also highlights the difficulties inherent in putting on a pair of Converse while in an immense hurry.
March 21, 2013
i found it utterly boring, a wannabe vampire with acceptance issues and an identity crisis.
March 9, 2013
I didn't like it - don't get the appeal.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2013
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.
½ January 19, 2013
I'm not a big fan of a vampire movies, but then again, this is not a typical vampire movie - more of a character study. Set against the backdrop of social and cultural decay, it's somewhat reminiscent of typical 70's movie atmosphere.
January 15, 2013
A different kind of vampire movie from George Romero that is interesting and something of a classic. Martin is a messed up young man who may or may not be a modern vampire. Good gore and tension along with effective deranged performances makes Martin pretty good.
½ December 18, 2012
What's missing from "Martin" is director Romero's signature social commentary. It is a poorly acted film in some spots. But the strength of "Martin" lies in the execution of its story. The question of whether or not the title character is an actual vampire is never fully answered, and that leaves the viewer with a thought-provoking, gory, and highly orginal vampire movie unlike any other. Is it George Romero's best film? Certainly not; "Night of the Living Dead" still holds that title. But is it one of his most interesting ones? It certainly is.
½ November 4, 2012
Although Romero was more at home within the zombie sub-genre this vampire flick proved to be a welcome departure.
½ October 30, 2012
Part "Taxi Driver," part "Nosferatu," and all Romero, "Martin" is vampire movie as gritty naturalism, shocking, satirical, anguished, and maybe the filmmaker's finest work.
October 29, 2012
A unique turn for the vampire sub-genre.
½ October 28, 2012
On the lower edge of Romero movies. The plot is interesting and there is some good performances but the blood and special effects don't look right. A good film that is hindered by the time period it was made in.
½ October 22, 2012
Martin is a very unique and chilling vampire movie.
Super Reviewer
½ October 22, 2012
A character that is equal parts tragedy and satire, "Martin" is at once a modern vampire film and a commentary on the state of the genre itself. Anchored by an impressive central performance, strong imagery and assured direction, this is easily Romero's most ambitious film. It is certainly not without its flaws but it is just as certainly a near masterpiece.
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