Sunday, October 4, 2009

28 days of nite - MARTIN (Romero, 1977)

Now this is something I can sink my teeth into! *rimshot* Sorry. I'm sorry. You guys, I've let you down. But what won't let you down is MARTIN! Is this Romero's best picture? I've just seen it for the first time, and so I might have a tendency to overrate it right now, but I think it's really dense and weird and great. I appreciated the skeptical tone of everything; the legend of the vampire is examined and the archetypes are toyed with. It seems to have a deep affection for the cinematic legacy of the vampire, but at the same time, it's humanizing the themes and making them more relevant. Romero also seems more willing to explore characters. I love his work, but its political and social conscience often sacrifice character for plot and symbolism. This one, though, delves into the family context surrounding vampirism, and, to a greater extent, mental illness, and wonders about the nature of reality and perception. Romero is commenting on the creation of modern folklore, the invention of yet another illusionary framework through which humans can view the world. Magic isn't real, but Martin is, and, to me, that's far more interesting than magic, anyway.


Ash said...

MARTIN is just a great, great film. It, more than anything, makes me wish that Romero had spent some more time off from zombies to see what else he could develop. I love the uncertainty of it all--the most obvious reading is just that MARTIN is a deranged, mentally-unwell individual, but since you, the viewer, are watching a vampire movie, you want him to be a vampire, you embrace the ambivalence. (Or maybe I shouldn't say "you", maybe it's just me).

I actually have a copy of THE CRAZIES right now, but I made the mistake of watching the preview, which didn't endear it to me much.

Burgundy LaRue said...

Just watched MARTIN last night. It's a good movie that makes you question what is reality and what is just an old wives' tale that you're holding on to for no real reason other than for your own sense of comfort. I'm going to review it over at DVDVR later.

Doug Tilley said...

Terrific film. I was already *deep* into Dawn Of The Dead before I finally saw Martin, but it's really what convinced me that Romero was a truly quality (and bizarre) filmmaker. Knightriders was the film that *really* cemented it, though. :)