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USA 1977
produced by
Richard P.Rubinstein for Laurel Enternainment
directed by George A. Romero
starring John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest, Elyane Nadeau, Tom Savini, Sara Venable, Francine Middleton, Al Levitsky, George A. Romero, James Roy, J. Clifford Forrest jr, Robert Ogden, Donaldo Soviero, Donna Siegel, Albert J. Schmaus, Lilian Schmaus, Frances Mazzoni, Vincent D. Survinski
written by George A. Romero, music by Donald Rubinstein, Goblin (European version), special effects & make-up by Tom Savini

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Martin (John Amplas) is a vampire, though not in the traditional, mythical sense of the word, but a sexually repressed young man who gets turned on by first drugging girls, then stripping (& probably raping) them & in the end cutting open their wrists & drink their blood. During this act, he has some kind of fantasy that he is a vampire-style dark seducer, but he knows actually he is just a sick & confused young man.

His reactionary uncle Cuda (Lincoln Maazel) thinks differently though, he fears Martin is the real McCoy, a vampire only afraid of crucifixes & garlic who can only be killed by a proper staking - however, uncle Cuda employs him as delivery boy for his grocery store, but warns him that if he kills only one person, it's stakes for him ...

During his daily rounds delivering stuff, Martin gets to know a lot of lonely & frustrated housewives, & before long he has picked himself a perfect victim (Sara Venable). Only when he breaks into her appartment, he finds her with another man (other than her husband that is)... & suddenly Martin finds himself having to kill him & drinking his blood before burying him in the housewife's garden. Her he only drugs & rapes ... but she won't tell anything to anyone, 'cause she is afraid of her jealous husband ...

Eventually shy Martin makes friends with another of these frustrated housewives, Mrs Santini (Elyane Nadeau), & the 2 become lovers, & with Martin finally having proper sex, his blooddrinking urges seem to diminish.

Still, his uncle doesn't give up to try to destroy the vampire he sthinks Martin is, even enlisting the aide of an exorcist (J.Clifford Forrest jr), which of course doesn't impress Martin one bit ... on the other hand though he fails to convince his uncle he is not a real vampire. Then though uncle Cuda's daughter Christina (Christina Forrest), one of Martin's very few friends, leaves for the city, & Martin feels more left alone than ever, his social contacts becoming reduced to the host of an all-night call-in radio-show, who repeatedly makes fun of him on the air ... & then frustrated Mrs Santini kills herself too, with a razorblade (just like Martin, once upon a time, has killed his victims).

All this leads to Martin's bloodlust taking over once more, & soon he gets into a ffrenzy & kills a few hobos, but soon the police is after him. Trying to escape though, Martin accidently gets into the hide-out of a druglord ... & suddenly this culminates in a shootout between police & the druglord's men ... with only Martin surviving.

Back at home, later that night though, he wakes up, & sees his uncle leaning over him with hammer & stake, & finally good uncle Cuda kills him, because he thinks Martin has kille Mrs Santini (curiously enough one of the few characters in the film with whose death Martin had nothing to do) ...


Differing vastly from George Romero's debut Night of the Living Dead, or from his other horror output, Martin is something like a dark satire, a satire on the vampire lore as such (please note, satire, not parody) as well as a satire on suburban life, where everybody has so much of everything one just has to be frustrated. & in this film, the hero-villain dichotomy of traditional vampire movies is somehow turned topsy turvy: the only character one can identify with/feel for, is actually a bloodthirsty beast (if not in the traditional vampire sense, which makes it even worse), while the one who stops the beast (the hero in the classic context) is a reactionary bigot one just can't help but hating - & consequently, he kills Martin for all the wrong reasons (he blames him for his girlfriend's suicide).


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD