I always remember seeing the Anchor Bay DVD cover of Madman when I was in my early teens and knew I’d have to watch it one day. This was back when I was on a strictly all-horror movie diet and only needed a title font oozing blood to draw me in. Finally, with Arrow’s newly minted blu-ray release, I’ve been able to scratch it off the watchlist.
Sadly the film isn’t really worth the wait. Maybe if I had seen Madman when I was younger I would have enjoyed it a lot more but looking at it through these older, harder-to-please eyeballs I can only see a boringly formulaic 80s slasher flick. Famously inspired by the same Cropsey legend that the Weinstein’s adapted into The Burning, the producers of Madman quickly rejigged the concept and the antagonist became Madman Marz; a bland and forgettable mish-mash of maskless Jason Vorhees and any other burly backwoods slasher psycho.
There’s so little to grasp onto here, no moments of true visceral filmmaking or terror. It does have that 80s cheapie horror flick charm but as I’ve seen so many of them over the years (and over the past few weeks) it just wasn’t enough to sustain my interest. Even Dawn of the Dead actress Gaylen Ross wouldn’t lend her name to the film and instead appears as Alexis Dubin. So middle of the road and average it hurts. At least the poster looks cool.