January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Martin (John Amplas) doesn’t seem like an abnormal nineteen year old, but under the surface he harbors a dark secret. He happens to be a ravenous vampire, or at least he thinks he is. This means his brain and emotions follow the vampire code, but his body and such don’t seem to catch on, at least not right now. Martin seeks to suck some serious blood, but since he has no fangs, or even sharp teeth for that matter, he uses razor blades to ease his punctures. He does drink blood though, which is some evidence that he might be just what he claims. But he isn’t harmed by crosses or garlic and to be honest, the bright light of the sun has little effect on him. So maybe not all the signs point to him being a true vampire, but there is still a chance in his mind that he is fact a creature of the night. But is Martin a real vampire, a very confused young man, or just an insane killer with a taste for blood?

I’d seen this film several times over the years and liked it, so I was looking forward to seeing on our beloved format. I had some expectations though, mainly that had to do with visual flaws found on previous editions of the motion picture. I was hoping this disc would include an improved transfer and that alone would have made me a happy camper. As I watched, I saw the improved image I wanted and also found a couple cool supplements. This is a terrific movie in all regards, so I am pleased it was given such a solid treatment here on the little shiny discs. I am a real fan of vampire movies and since many of them are too much alike, Martin stands out as an obvious addition to any serious vampire collection. The sheer basics of the main character make this film rise above the crowd, but there is so much more to like with this flick. I have to say the pace is a little slow at times, but I don’t think too much time is wasted, so no real complaints in the end. This is an excellent vampire movie that’s been given a very good treatment, so what more do you need?

As a writer & director, George Romero has brought some unique & beloved films to the masses, but Martin is perhaps one of his most offbeat projects. As you look over his resume, Romero has always chosen some unusual fare for his films, but how strange is a vampire that has no fangs & such? I’ve always liked this film for that unique premise, but the way it unfolds is just as impressive, as Romero explores his character in a very human fashion. This makes for a very interesting concept if you ask me and perhaps that is what makes this movie so good. This isn’t his highest profile or best work, but Romero has created a fresh & worthwhile entry into not only the vampire genre, but film as a whole. Other films by Romero include Night of the Living Dead (1968), Knightriders, The Crazies, Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow, and Day of the Dead. The cast of Martin includes such performers as John Amplas (Bloodeaters, Knightriders), Lincoln Maazel, Elayne Nadeau, Christine Forrest (Blood Orange, Monkey Shines), and Tom Savini (From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, Innocent Blood).

Video: How does it look?

Martin is presented in a full frame transfer, which preserves the director’s intended aspect ratio. I wasn’t expecting a perfect transfer here, since the budget was low and source materials were far from pristine, but I am pleased with the transfer found on this disc. The image shows some flaws, but in the end this turns out to be the best I’ve seen the film look on home video. I did notice some errors left behind by the restoration process, but these are minor issues at best and I was never distracted by them. I was much happier with the colors, which are replicated well here and show no signs of smears in the least. Also sharp is the contrast, as it displays high detail level and well defined shadows. This one could have been better, but this is still the finest edition of Martin you’ll see on home video.

Audio: How does it sound?

This disc uses the original mono track and while I didn’t expect much, I was pleased with the overall results. This film uses audio in small doses and as such, there simply isn’t much call for intense audio at all. I know the musical score picks up at times and that could be considered active, but that is about as powerful as this one gets. The music is vital to the movie though, so I am glad it sounds so clear in this mix. There is enough dialogue to move the storyline along, but not much else, so the mono format seems well suited for this title. I heard no flaws at all in this mix, which comes off as crisp and distinct at all times.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer, as well as an audio commentary with writer/director George Romero and actors Tom Savini & John Amplas. I was surprised at how brisk & informative this track was, no real slow spots and a lot of good information is provided. This track is a must listen for fans of Martin and Romero’s other works also.

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