Thursday, October 1, 2009
Starring: John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forest. Written and Directed by George A. Romero.
So, here we have one of the most innovative and influential takes on the vampire genre ever made. George A. Romero created the zombie film in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. Here, he works a similar effect on the vampire move, taking the idea and completely spinning it on its head. The story deals with a young man who may or may not be a vampire. He goes to live with his uncle, who believes he is such beyond any doubt, but Martin throws the superstitions in his face, insisting that "there's no real magic. There's no real magic ever."
Yet still he has vampiric tendencies that are clear from the first scene of the film, in which we see him drug a woman on a train and extract some of her blood, as he has no fangs. He cannot change into a bat, he possesses no supernatural gifts or, for that matter, limitations. Yet still he believes what his uncle tells him, an idea that has been forced upon him, that he is indeed an 84 year-old vampire. In the end, the choice is ours to make, though we can more easily side with the obvious, that Martin is a poor, disturbed young man who has a need for blood.
The one thing abundantly clear throughout the whole film is that Martin does not want to do what he does. But he has to, or he believes he has to. Either way, the idea of stopping it is completely beyond his control. Overall, this is a near-masterpiece of film. One of Romero's best, saying a lot coming from the director of Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Creepshow. The plot and themes are superb, the acting and story are chilling, and the overall film is essential. It is a genre-bending, thought-provoking horror film.