Friday, February 25, 2022

Madman – Vinegar Syndrome (4k UHD/Blu-ray Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1981
Director: Joe Giannone
Writers: Joe Giannone, Gary Sales
Cast: Gaylen Ross, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass, Seth Jones, Jan Claire, Alexander Murphy Jr., Jimmy Steele, Carl Fredericks, Michael Sullivan, Paul Ehlers, Tom Veilleux, Stephen Clark, Vicki Kenneally, Shelley Mathes, Lori Mathes, Jane Pappidas, Travis Sawyer, Deidre Higgins

Release Date: February 11th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 88 Minutes 38 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / HDR10
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $49.98

"Many terrifying legends are shared around campfires, but very few of them are true. That’s what teenage Richie thought about the story of Madman Marz, a hulking brute who, as the story goes, murdered his entire family decades earlier and who can be summoned from the dead by calling his name. Unfortunately for Richie and his fellow teenage summer camp counselors, the legend is very true, and Madman Marz is back, freshly sharpened axe in hand, to continue the killing spree he began many years ago…" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 5/5 (4K UHD), 4.5/5 (Blu-ray)

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Scanned & restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative."

Madman comes on a 66 GB dual layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 60.5 GB

Feature: 59.6 GB

The transfer used for this 4K UHD uses the same source that Vinegar Syndrome used for their 2015 Blu-ray/DVD Combo. And as great as that transfer looked, Watching Madman in HDR10, it's immediately noticeable that image clarity, contrast, shadow detail, color saturation, and grain all look stronger.

Madman comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 41.6 GB

Feature: 24.5 GB

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English, and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. This is the same audio track that Vinegar Syndrome included with their 2015 Blu-ray/DVD Combo. That said, the audio sounds clean, clear, and robust when it should.

Extras:

Extras on the 4K UHD include an archival audio commentary with director Joe Giannone, producer Gary Sales, and actors Paul Ehlers and Tony Nunziata and an archival audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues!.

Extras on the Blu-ray include five TV spots (1 minute 59 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), theatrical trailer (1 minute 48 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), an image gallery that has commentary by Gary Sales about the pre-production, the marking of the film and its various home video releases (7 minutes 20 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival introduction by Gary Sales (52 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival featurette with Gary Sales reminisces about writer/director Joe Giannone titled In Memoriam (5 minutes 46 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival featurette titled Music Inspired by Madman (13 minutes 17 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), Deadpit archival interviews with Gary Sales (3 minutes 39 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles) and Paul Ehlers (5 minutes 17 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival interview with Gary Sales titled The Early Years of Gary Sales (14 minutes 18 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival featurette titled Alive at 35 (21 minutes 2 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival documentary titled The Legend Still Lives: 30 Years of Madman (91 minutes 42 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an interview with  actress Gaylen Ross titled I’m Not a Screamer (19 minutes 30 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an archival audio commentary with Joe Giannone, Gary Sales, Paul Ehlers and Tony Nunziata and an archival audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues!.

Other extras include reversible cover art and an embossed slipcover limited to 6,000 units.

Summary:

While other horror films from the 1980’s gained more attention and spawned sequels, Madman has flown under the radar since its initial release. A reappraisal over the past decade of this underrated horror film has led to a resurgence in its popularity amongst slasher film enthusiasts.

At the core of Madman is a story about a man named Marz who savagely murdered his family. And according to the legend about him, which is told early on during a campfire scene, he is still lurking in the woods near the home where he killed his family. He reappears whenever someone calls out his name. Of course, a cocky camp counselor sets the story in motion by provocation, calling out his name.

Madman is a fairly standard slasher film in terms of plot and structure, with the majority of the time spent with the killer stalking his victims and disposing of them in inventive ways. And while some may be turned off by the simplicity of what transpires on screen, the basic premise is strong enough and the kill scenes, which feature an ample amount of gore, are all well executed. Also, the film moves along at a brisk enough pace that things never lag.

One of the more surprising aspects of Madman is its cinematography. The cinematographer on Madman was James Lemmo, whose other notable films as a cinematographer include The Driller Killer, Mrs. 45, Vigilante, and Maniac Cop. The cast members all do well in their respective roles. The only performance that leaves any lasting impression is Tony Fish in the role of T.P., the camp counselor who provokes Madman Marz. When all is said and done, Madman is a solid horror film that holds up better than the majority of its more well-known contemporaries.

Madman gets a solid 4K UHD upgrade from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.

                                                              4K UHD screenshots.












Written by Michael Den Boer

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