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Director: George A. Romero

Cast: George A. Romero, John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest


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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,


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.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A clever fusion of monster movie and social commentary directed by George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead), Martin pokes fun at horror-film conventions without stinting on gore effects or heart-stopping shock scenes. John Amplas plays the titular teenager who believes he's a vampire, albeit one without fangs: He uses razor blades to draw blood from his victims. Living in a Pennsylvania suburb, Martin suffers the pangs of adolescence just like everyone else; he's just as socially maladroit and sexually awkward as most 17-year-old boys, even without his predilection for blood drinking. In other words, he's not your typical, middle-European vampire, a point that Romero never tires of making. A series of black-and-white inserts recalls classic fright films of the '30s and '40s, but Martin is firmly rooted in '70s suburbia, and the director's steadfast refusal to succumb to the lure of traditionalism makes this low-budget thriller unusually fascinating.
All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
Arguably the best of George A. Romero's non-"Living Dead" horror films, this stylish chiller concerns a young man (John Amplas) who may or may not be a vampire. After causing a scandal for his family, he is sent to live with his Nosferatu-obsessed uncle (Lincoln Maazel) and begins killing again. Imaginative murder sequences and skillful effects by gore-master Tom Savini will keep bloodhounds happy, while it will have a broader appeal to film buffs for its haunting beauty and mythical resonance, as well as an atmospheric depiction of working-class immigrants in Pittsburgh. Romero alternates dingy color with expressionistic black and white to startling effect, and the amateur cast is outstanding -- particularly Maazel as the dictatorial and obsessive Tati Cuda. Vampire movies don't get much better than this. Trivia buffs should note that co-star Al Levitsky had a brief career in adult films like Honeymoon Haven and Sweet Throat.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:

Special Features

New 16:9 widescreen transfer from HD; New 5.1 Dolby Digital audio; New commentary from G. Romero, R. Rubinstein, T. Savini, M. Gornick, and D. Rubinstein; New photo gallery; "Making Martin: A Recounting" ; Original TV spots; Original trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Amplas Martin
Lincoln Maazel Tata Cuda
Christine Forrest Christina
Elayne Nadeau Mrs. Santini
Tom Savini Arthur
Sarah Venable Housewife victim
Fran Middleton Train victim
Clifford J. Forrest Fr. Zulemas
Richard P. Rubinstein Housewife Victim's Husband
Al Levitsky Lewis
George A. Romero Father Howard
James Roy Deacon
Robert Ogden Businessman
Donaldo Soviero Flashback Priest
Donna Siegal Woman
Tony Buba Drug Dealer
Clayton McKinnon Drug Dealer

Technical Credits
George A. Romero Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Tony Buba Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Gornick Cinematographer
Donald A. Rubinstein Score Composer
Richard P. Rubinstein Producer
Tom Savini Makeup,Special Effects

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles/Blood Lust [9:32]
2. In Pittsburgh [2:38]
3. A Sort of Homecoming [6:38]
4. First Meeting [2:06]
5. No Real Magic [4:54]
6. Mutual Delivery [5:24]
7. The History of Nosferatu [5:58]
8. Deaf Not Dumb [5:49]
9. Lurking and Entering [5:14]
10. It Gets Crazy Sometimes [5:54]
11. On the Run [3:43]
12. Vampire Talk Radio [3:50]
13. The Old Mystical Rites [7:23]
14. Just a Costume [3:06]
15. Stupid Superstition [3:55]
16. Getting Shaky [6:26]
17. Feeding Frenzy [4:09]
18. Blood and Bullets [2:59]
19. I Didn't Do It [3:08]
20. End Credits [1:44]


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Martin 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perhaps Romero's best, or most unique, film. It is a perfect example of what a director, who has little money, can do with a great idea. The film has shots which seem to focus on the mundane, a quality of films with little money, and this direction makes the film for me. Most directors abandon this quality as their career allows them to show more fantastical things. The character of Martin is delicate and surprisingly sober in his soft spoken way. The woman he creates a sexual relationship with compares him to a cat she once owned and this analogy sums him up fairly well. The actual bloodsucking effected me deeply the first time I watched it. The lengths he must go are incredible. The actions was enjoyable to watch and a strange type of seduction often took place. There are many who would like to say the film is for an age of disbelief, but for me belief has little to do with his portrayal. Martin, if he is a vampire, is quite accomplished and capable. If he is just a young man than he is fabulously interesting. The point of whether he is or not is of no consequence. Overall the film is an antique of the 70's. I use it to transport myself to a time I never lived in. Why this film? Why not a film that chose to embody the popular aspects of the 70's? It is the desire, that Romero has to say something more, that allows me to see the world precisely as it was then. To call it an antique is not to say that it is truly old, but that is serves for me to be a nostalgic film. One of the many unique functions of film is its ability to preserve.