A lesser-known work by the Godfather of the Dead, Martin is a solemn thesis on what it means to be a vampire.
One doesn’t associate the Godfather of the Dead, George A Romero, with sombre, quiet works. And that is probably the reason why this 1976 masterpiece of his is lesser known.
Martin is not short of horrific moments. But if you’re looking for the sort of gleeful intestine spilling and neck gnawing carnage found in Romero’s undead movies, you’d be sorely disappointed. More of a stoic dissertation than dramatic storytelling, Martin dissects popular concepts of vampirism through the disturbing antics of the eponymous protagonist. A faceless, mundane youth with no supernatural powers or weaknesses. Whose indulgent pastime is to drug women, cut them, then feed on their blood. In a way, this fascinates. A fascination made provocative by the concurrent message that vampires are unlikely to survive long or happily in the real world. What might disappoint viewers though, especially horror fans, is that like many such contemplative movies, there is no conclusive end. Martin eventually pays a heavy price for his hobby. But what it means and what it represents, that’s entirely up to you to decide.
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