It’s been over a week since we lost George Romero and it’s a hard loss for any horror fan. The man was innovative and inspired so much of the quality horror that came after him. If there is any bright side to this loss I would have to say it’s there’s a suddenly a spotlight on his long forgotten masterpiece, Martin. It seems for every time Martin’s name is echoed throughout this film, some notable name on social media has mentioned how anybody who knows the man only for his Living Dead trilogy needs to see this forgotten gem.
The thing taken away from viewing Martin is how much of an admirable achievement it is that Romero was as innovative and original regarding his take of the cinematic portrayal of vampires as he was regarding his spin on zombies.
From the opening scene I found this film to have aged quite well and to be more horrific and haunting than a majority, if not all current horror films. The image of our main character drugging a woman and lying with her naked body while drinking her blood is a disturbing visual that would never been seen nowadays. Most people are so closed minded that I can’t imagine a filmmaker or television show having enough confidence to show something so weird and disturbing. The fear with an article taking them to task for such disturbing material would always make them leave such a thing on the cutting room floor.
If it isn’t the worry of being publicly shamed, it’s the fact that most horror creators are more jump scare oriented than actual horror. Martin really presents a time when masters of horror were more concerned about crafting a story that was going to stay with you and haunt your dreams instead of cheap jump scares you’ve forgotten by the time you get to the parking lot.
It’s somewhat humorous how many pretentious far left hipsters I’ve seen eager to mention Romero’s deepest cut, but if such a film were to be released nowadays with a main character so mentally scarred by a family who has raised him to believe he’s a vampire whose sole sexual experiences are raping drugged women, they would lose their fucking minds.
You might doubt this film being so great since it’s been long forgotten and being praised by very pretentious people post Romero’s death, but for little value my opinion holds trust me.
Martin is a truly great film that obviously was too much for people to comprehend that the man who mastered zombies could also be capable of doing a successful fresh take on vampires. This film is a must watch not only for hardcore horror fans, but also those who appreciate the great films of the 70s that were quality character studies on tragic people who didn’t get a fairy tale happy ending.