By 1976, George Romero had already established himself as a director with a keen eye for both horror and social commentary. With ‘Martin’, he really explores the notions of isolation and mental illness.
John Amplas plays the titular role of Martin, and was also his movie debut. He captures the essence of a young man’s sexual awakening, and awkwardness in being an active member of society. His belief that he is a vampire or “Nosferatu”, is only compounded by his hostile cousin with whom he moves in with.
With them also lives the granddaughter of his cousin, Christina (played by Christine Forrest) who later became the wife of George Romero in 1981.
Christina doesn’t believe in the ludicrous notion of vampires and family curses, and strongly urges her grandfather not to encourage such delusions in Martin. She also pleads with Martin to seek professional help.
George Romero captures beautifully, a young man torn by what he wants, and what he feels he must do. Martin fights his urges, but ultimately realises he is a slave to them.
He realises society has a preconception of vampires, and how they’re portrayed in popular culture. He seeks solace and understanding, but concedes that it is futile.
‘Martin’ is beautifully presented in its original full screen ratio, with a crisp 4K UHD transfer. It also has a 5.1 surround sound mix, 2.0 stereo mix or a mono option.
The extras are also very good, with commentaries by George Romero, John Amplas and also one from the fantastic, and highly knowledgeable Kat Ellinger from Diabolique Magazine.
There is also a wonderful feature length documentary revisiting the locations from the movie.
An absolutely stellar release from Second Sight, and definitely one of the best releases of the year so far. ‘Martin’ 4K UHD is available to purchase now.