Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Radio Daze

Martin (1977) - Romero
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A surprisingly classy vampire(?) film by George Romero. The film starts out on a moving train where Martin(John Amplas), a cat like young man, attacks a pretty middle-aged woman. Unlike typical vampire, he uses a syringe full of sleeping agent. He is very clumsy at what he does too- woman goes down kicking and screaming. Martin lives under the watchful eye of Tada Cuda, an old religious Colonel Sanders look-alike who believes his cousin Martin is a damned soul, Nosferatu.

Once settled in, Martin sets his bright eyes on pretty, lonely housewives as his targets using his youthful looks. At night, he pours his heart out to an all-night radio talk show host(this is the 70's folks) who, in turn, calls him 'count'. The thing is, he's socially awkward and not really into 'sexy stuff'. Unlike movies, he says, "people don't let you what I want to do to them."

Set in once-a-great-steel-mill-town of Braddock, PA- the industrial wasteland, where the American dream had died, where only the old and superstitious are left, serves as another character.

There are some very well coordinated, effectively suspenseful scenes where Martin with syringe in his teeth, does a cat and mouse act in a big house with its inhabitants. Black and white flashback scenes are often gorgeous too.

One can read Martin as an early examples of socially awkward, lazy teen's existential angst film and it may as well be. Since we don't know if what he's doing is really for perverted kicks or out of necessity. By all accounts it is a very special film.

1 comment:

  1. I have the sound track on record.

    Roy Frumkies said Romero's subtext was the end of romance. Martin thinks how seductive being a vamp is but when he does it, its messy and the women don't look as good as his imagination. That's why the movie was based in Phili, the city of brotherly love. The first shot is two homeless guys in the bathroom... not very romantic.