Wednesday, 18 May 2011
George Romero is considered the father of zombie flicks courtesy his iconic debut film Night of the Living Dead in particular and his “Living Dead” series in general. But, as happens in such case, the other works of such filmmakers tend to get lost – case in point, his pseudo-vampire film Martin. The shoddy look of this ultra-low-budget film and its moments of grisly violence might be off-putting to some, more so given its subject matter; but one shouldn’t be misled as this remains an interesting, intriguing and intelligent reworking of the vampire sub-genre. It’s protagonist is a shy and quiet young guy – the eponymous Martin. However, contrary to his demeanour, and as pointed out in the chilling opening sequence, he has a bizarre fetish for blood, maybe even necrophilia. Consequently one would imagine he’s a vampire. However, unlike those belonging to that mythical clan, he doesn’t satisfy any of the criteria that have come to define vampires, viz. being afraid of the cross, avoiding sunlight, possessing super-human strength, etc. That said, his uncle, in whose house (located in a dilapidated small town) he takes lodging, refuses to believe in Martin’s logic that there’s no such thing as “magic”, and this ultimately leads to a shocking finale. The movie is completely bereft of any stylization or artificially infused thrill-quotient; its matter of fact tone, leisurely pace and seedy picturisation are hence responsible for its nightmarish and haunting qualities.
Director: George A. Romero
Genre: Horror/Drama/Psychological Drama