The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

MADMAN (1982) ***

Of all of the slasher movies that came out in the wake of Friday the 13th’s success during the early 80’s, Madman has to be one of the best.  Sure the performances are lousy, the characters are stupid, and the pacing is pretty erratic, but it’s got a simple story, an eerie electronic score, tons of creepy atmosphere, and a handful of genuine scares.  It would make a terrific double bill with the equally entertaining, The Burning. 


At a summer camp for “the gifted", an elderly counselor tells the story of Madman Marz, a farmer who went Chris Benoit Crazy and butchered his entire family with an axe.  Some locals exact vigilante justice on Marz by hanging him in the woods, but when his body disappears, he becomes an urban legend.  Now, whenever anyone speaks his name out loud in the wilderness, Madman comes out of the shadows to kill everyone with his trusty axe. 


Of course, the jackass of the group shouts out his name. 


You know what that means.  Ol’ Madman’s got to roll up his sleeves and take out the trash.  Throats are slashed, people are hung from trees, heads are separated from their necks, spines are cracked, axes are planted into sternums, and women are impaled on meat hooks. 


Madman is significant in the genre as ALL the sympathetic characters get killed off and the idiot who started everything by yelling out “Madman Marz!” is the only survivor.  Not only that, but it also features one truly priceless murder where a girl is working under the hood of her truck and Madman jumps on top of the hood, effectively decapitating her.  (The head later turns up to be the cause of some major engine trouble.)  There’s also an unintentionally hilarious hot tub lovemaking scene that has to be seen to be believed. 


While it’s no Friday the 13th Part 2, Madman gets the job done and is a solidly entertaining Maniac Stalking Teens in the Woods Movie. 


If the heroine looks familiar, it’s because it’s Gaylen Ross from Dawn of the Dead using a pseudonym.  I’m not sure why she used a fake name because this movie is pretty great. 

Tags: horror, m

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