Wednesday, November 23, 2011


After so, so many, many years I decided it was time to re-watch Martin - and no, I'm not referring to Martin Short (though a post about me watching him would be titillating in its own way) but George Romero's tale of a vampire in the modern era. Wait, did I say modern? Okay, modern as in 1976 yet for the most part the film still holds up and, furthermore, lacks that dated feel I like to call the Saturday Night Fever Effect. Well, mostly.

The fashion leaves a bad taste in my mouth, especially in the sweater department. There's probably a proper term for what the titular character is wearing in the above picture (i.e. other than sweater) but whatever; it's hideous, plain and simple. Speaking of fashion:

This guy's whole Steel-town Colonel Sanders get-up is... ridiculous.

Along similar lines, the zeitgeist of the Seventies is, shall we say, questionable at moments.

Seat belts? Fuck seat belts!
Time to hassle some white women!
Yeah, I'm black, too and yeah, I'm a criminal.
The seat belt thing is a silly reminder that the Man is always telling me how to live my life! life was different in the Seventies, but what of the representation of racial minorities? A reminder, certainly, albeit one decidedly less whimsical, of a period in cinema when it was perfectly acceptable to make each and every person of color a gun-toting, lady-harassing rogue. For the record, I'm not suggesting anything of Mr. Romero but rather of the cinematic landscape corresponding to the decade in question. Now don't fill that noggin of yours with fears about me going all politically correct (PC PK!) on your ass. I'm just saying that if one were to believe everything they see in films from the Seventies, the world would be a strange place. Granted, if the world were like the ones depicted in, say, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla or Romero's own Dawn of the Dead the world would be fucking awesome but I digress. 

Speaking of digressions, have you ever noticed how people utilize, often successfully, the phrase But it was the Seventies! to somehow negate any awkward and/or weird situations? I have. For example:

A: Oh, man, do you remember that wild party at Kris Kristofferson's ranch in Montana where we dropped acid like it was going out of style? Margot Kidder did a swan dive off the balcony into the back of my El Camino, broke three ribs, and proceeded to chew on my spare tire. You walked in on Burt Reynolds getting fisted by Loni Anderson and if I recall correctly, you proceeded to give her a rim job. 

B: Damn, that night was messed up.

A: Yeah, but it was the Seventies, man!

B: True.

Now contrast that with the following story.

A: You remember that time back in college, at that party where Elijah Wood and I did lines of coke off of Eliza Dushku's ass while you performed the dirty sanchez on Elisa Cuthbert - at her request no less? Then Ashton Kutcher showed up dressed as Santa Claus even though it was July and the shit got real.

B: Yeah, that was... that was pretty fucked up.

A: Yeah, but it was the Nineties, man!

B: No, it's still pretty fucked up, dude.

It doesn't quite have the same air of plausibility when you use another decade, does it? It almost seems as if the Seventies is a blank check (cheque!) or get out of jail free card for absurdity. (Color me envious!)

“But don’t worry, we won’t have any offspring. We won’t even wind up together. Arthur is just my way out.”
Damn, Christina, isn't that a bit harsh? I understand that 1) your situation is messed up 2) Arthur isn't the greatest man in the history of the universe and 3) you view men as commodities to be used up, but still. Does Arthur know about this? And don't give me any of that but it was the Seventies shit either. Ice cold, baby! And I know I said that Arthur isn't spectacular but since he's portrayed by Tom Savini, he kinda-sorta is

Okay, now I know it may seems as if I'm knocking Martin but in reality, the film is worth viewing and showcases George Romero's talent for something other than zombie movies, and his approach to the vampire genre is still refreshing after all these years. I recommend it highly, and hopefully this post hasn't divulged so much information that you feel as if you've seen the film already.



There is one more thing. I don't want to give away any big events within the film, I really don't, but something needs to be said right here, right now. I'll try to set it up as best I can. Basically, Martin is on the run from a couple of police officers and stumbles into a den of criminals. The police subsequently arrive and the result is sheer pandemonium!

1) A shootout ensues. Note the stylish hat.
2) Cop shoots first bad guy. Second bad guy shoots cop in the back.
3) Another cop shoots second bad guy in the leg. Second bad guy gets plowed by a third criminal attempting to escape via automobile.
4) Second cop fires upon the vehicle careening toward him instead of getting out of the way.
5) Third bad guy gets shot in the head. Ironically, he loses control of the car. 
6) Second cop is crushed by the now out-of-control automobile.
The purpose of this gratuitously ludicrous, abso-fucking-lutely superfluous scene is to provide Martin with a plausible means of eluding capture, except that it's the patented antithesis of plausible in every way imaginable. What the fuck were you thinking, George?* 

Just asking. 

* See also: Monkey Shines

1 comment:

Mab said...

Here! Here! I endorse this message... err post.