Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Madman (1982)

...aka: Legend Lives, The
...aka: Madman Marz

Directed by:
Joe Giannone

A typical FRIDAY THE 13TH-style camp slasher done with little talent, no imagination and even less sense. At a summer camp for "gifted" children (well, make that a fall camp that for some reason is in session in November [?] and populated with children we don't see very much of), there's this local legend about an undead nut lurking in the woods. You don't say! Apparently he took an axe to his wife and kiddies back in the day and was hung by some angry towns folk. No way! And if you scream his name (whispers don't count) directly into the woods, you'll somehow awaken him from his slumber and he will proceed to hack up anyone he can get his bloody mitts on. Hooray! And so the story goes, the lot of not-so-young folks taking employee as counselors start biting the big one as a somewhat tubby, and certainly quite grubby, madman does the slasher killer thang. The only thing distinctive about this forgettable effort is the selection of victims on hand. Not only do they appear to be slightly inbred, they're also the most moronic slasher movie fodder on record. The irritating dweeb responsible for awakening the psycho in the first place somehow manages to make it through virtually scratch free. Life is so freakin' unfair, huh? He also manages to find the killer's home out in the boonies early on, but somehow is unable to find his way back to the camp to warn the others when he spots old MM brandishing a sharp weapon and headed in that general direction. A hem. You don't see many working telephones at camp ground murder sites as it is, but when you do and know there's some psychopath hacking up all your buddies... call the freakin' police! Don't call someone at the camp to tell them you are going here and there before hanging up. And please, if the killer is two steps behind you, for the love of God find a decent hiding place. That does not include emptying the entire contents of a refrigerator onto the floor in clear view of whoever enters the room, climbing inside and shutting the door. And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to idiotic character behavior. I could do ten additional paragraphs on this subject.

The acting is terrible, whoever edited it seems to not have any concept of scene continuity and the whole thing is derivative, unoriginal, predictable and quite boring. The carnage comes to a halt during a drippy hot tub interlude complete with a supremely cheesy 'love' theme that manages to get some guy and female lead "Alexis Dubin" (i.e. Gaylen Ross, from DAWN OF THE DEAD) out of their clothes. There are a few redeeming qualities... 1. The picture quality on the Anchor Bay DVD is actually quite nice. 2. Some of the photography is fairly good; especially a stylish sequence involving a hanging. 3.) There's enough gore here to please people who put bloodshed ahead of logic, plot and technical competence. Otherwise, this one bottoms out and is only recommended to very forgiving fans of 80s slasher movies.

1/2

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