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[From Arrow Synopsis] THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE ALONE.Gather around the campfire, and hearthe tale of Madman Marz an ill-tempered farmer who, one dark night, chopped up his wife and two children into pieces. When the locals learned of his heinous crimes, they exacted revenge sinking an axe into his head and hanging him from a nearby tree. But the next day, Marz s body was gone...

Thus the camp counsellor finishes his tale, closing with the warning never to say Marz s name above a whisper, lest the hideously-deformed farmer comes looking for them. Naturally, the first thing that one of the young campers does is calls out Marz s name precipitating a terrifying night of murder, mayhem and sexy Jacuzzi vignettes!

Inspired by the same Cropsey urban legend which informed 1981 s The Burning and starring Dawn of the Dead s Gaylen Ross (appearing under the pseudonym Alexis Dubin ), Madman stands as one of the finest offerings from the golden age of hack n slash.


 Madman

Video


The sharpness within this presentation isn't quite as great as the introduction claims "Any sharper it would take your heads clean off" but it's still very good with plenty of warm skin tones and good edges, and given how dark the film is outside of the direct lighting on faces, its not all that grubby at all really. which is real bonus for this old video nasty type affair.

Colours are warm and the image clean, though it has a slight grit to it in certain settings. Better lit cabin scenes are a little hazy under the bright lighting but detail remains strong and textures within costumes and the wood panel walls look pretty good.

Everything looks better because of the deep black backgrounds and shadows and the Madman Marz scenes when the firelight disappears that are bathed in moonlight has a bold blue colouring to it. The presentation here clearly shows signs of much improvement but given the source probably isn't quite as striking as other restorations of similar films from the era. Still, that seems unfair because from my limited memory of seeing Madman years ago, it was a mess, so with that taken into account the presentation here is a minor miracle really.

 Madman

Audio


The dialogue is fairly clean and only has the slightest hint of muffle. The track holds a subtle bit of ambience from the woodland setting even if it sits fairly subtly behind the dialogue and the score sneaks in in sharp, strong bursts when it intends to scare.

It's not the liveliest of tracks unless the scares are going for full effect and then it occasionally gets a bit shrill at upper peaks. For the most part though the track gets the job done effectively and plays with quiet as well as it enjoys the short sharp loud moments for jumps.

 Madman

Extras


The film can open with an optional 'Introduction' (02:39) with Paul Ehlers and Gary Sales.

The first commentary with Gary Sales, director Joe Giannone, and actors Paul Ehlers and Tony Fish is positive and detailed about the project. It's a warm look back for the most part and all the participants are clearly enjoying their rewatch.

The second commentary with the Hysteria Continues is even more lively and is a very typical fan track that discuss every beat and thought on the film to the fullest.

'The Legend Still Lives' (91 mins HD) is the perfect making of for any movie really. Lots of backstory, lots of input from cast and crew and a good overview of the period and the making of the film.

 Madman
'Madman: Alive at 35' (21:01 HD) has producer Gary Sales and stars Tom Candela and Paul Ehlers look back at the making of the film.

'The Early Career of Gary Sales' (14:26 HD) has the film producer talking of his early period.

'Dead Pitt Interviews'  features more short interviews (3-5 minutes) with Gary Sales and Paul Ethers from a fan convention

Music Inspired By Madman (12:39 HD) features songs inspired by the film, intro'd with the voiceof Sales and set to a still image of where to buy it.

In Memoriam (05:48 HD) saws some goodbyes to cast and crew from Madman
Trailer and TV spots.

Last up on the disc is a 'Stills and Artwork Gallery'

 Madman

Overall


Due to its incredibly simple set up, Madman could very well be the perfect Halloween night watch. It is literally a camp fire story set up to creep out with a follow through that the best of the horror genre always tries to do in a more over complicated ways. It's kinda silly but retains a solid scare rate and works despite it's goofy, almost soap opera character set up.

The disc looks pretty good but has limitations, same goes for the audio but those extras make this another fine package to delve into a old slasher beginnings with plenty of stories of the era and of course the making of Madman specifically.

 Madman
** Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.


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