Friday, July 29, 2016

Film Review: Madman (1982)

Madman (Review)
United States/1982
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"It almost feels like a copy-and-paste of other movies in the genre."

A group of campers are stalked and murdered after awakening an ax-wielding killer...

Is there anything else to say about the plot? No, not really. There are some interesting tidbits here and there, but that's really most of the plot. The story follows a group of generic campers and counselors at a forgettable camp. An urban legend is told about Madman Marz, a man who killed his entire family with an ax. It's said, if you say Madman Marz's name above a whisper, he'll come and get you. Of course, someone yells his name out and the killings begin. I liked the urban legend, the folk song was good, but it really did nothing to differentiate itself from the rest of the slasher herd.

Madman isn't a bad film, though. In fact, I thought it was entertaining throughout most of its runtime. There is some moderate suspense here and there. Some of the deaths are bland and forgettable – even laughable at times – while others leave a strong impression. There are also some great visuals, like Madman Marz standing in the trees. Speaking of the antagonist, he is a bit strange, only grunting and growling, but he also left an impression. Its reliance on cliches is its biggest issue. It often shows promise, but it always feels like Friday the 13th or any other slasher from the 80s. On top of that, it also suffers from many of the same flaws – stupid characters making stupid choices, for example.

The acting was good, though. There are a few stiff actors, but most of the delivery felt natural. Although it may not differ much from its peers, Madman seems to have a better cast than many of the clone slashers of its time. The cinematography was okay. The bland setting was disappointing, though. The music was also decent, albeit a bit repetitive. Madman was written and directed by Joe Giannone. Giannone crafts some solid scenes, creating some suspense and delivering some gruesome visuals. He's not perfect, but he's a more than competent director. Unfortunately, in terms of writing and direction, Giannone does not stray far from the formula. He doesn't stray at all, really, which leaves the audience with a clone.

Overall, Madman is a decent slasher. The urban legend is interesting, there is some suspense, and a few of the deaths may unnerve. However, in terms of story, this is a clone. There is almost nothing unique about this film. It almost feels like a copy-and-paste of other movies in the genre. If you're still interested, I'd say its worth a rental or cheap purchase for horror fans.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, some sex and nudity.

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