Wednesday, 27 October 2010
It would be facile to say that fans of Stephanie Meyer's vampire romance and its cinematic spin-offs need a remedial dose of this unsettling film by George A. Romero. Martin is not simply the anti-Edward/Lestat/Angel, he's the antithesis to the romantic dream that seems to stand at the heart of the killer mythos in popular culture. Not just a deconstruction of the lush, Castlevanian settings of vampire flicks by Universal and Hammer, Martin is also, in my opinion, a riposte to the rising tide of slasher flicks that Romero didn't really participate in, even if his work is sometimes lumped with it as 'mindless 70s gore horror'. Because Martin isn't just an antidote to the legend of the Nosferatu; he's also the truth at the heart of that other great romantic myth of horror cinema: the unstoppable, totally committed, totally crazed killer, a form of untrammeled ego that we are all too often invited, tacitly, to identify with. He's a confused, sick individual whose impulses are misdirected and dangerous, a misfit who craves the same things we all do. And yet this neither excuses him nor, we realise in the shocking last scene of this film, those who would persecute him in the furtherance of their own delusional agenda. Vampires don't burn in the daylight, boys may survive heartbreak but not stakes through the heart, killers aren't gods, god isn't watching, the magic isn't real. That is all.
PS: Is it significant that Martin's first victim reads this book? I don't know.
Posted by JP at 07:36