Saturday, June 27, 2015

I, Madman (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Horror Noir

Horror Noir. It would almost seem as if the two words were synonymous, but Horror is one thing and Noir is another and they meet at interesting points where one genre consumes another genre albeit for a short while. Think of Horror Noir as a sexual encounter of genres. That’s I, Madman for you. The picture has true elements of horror in its killer and general ere of suspense while allowing itself to be whisked away into a pulpy, 40’s realm of dark shadows and a detective mysteries. The most common intersection of the two worlds comes in the form of gialli originating in Italy who find their origin in yellow colored covered paperbacks. Of course when it finally gets going you’re truly dealing with a slasher movie with supernatural elements featuring a syringe wielding killer with a skin problem ie his skin is ripped off part of his face. Scream Factory delivers this lesser known 80’s crossover picture that will be happy to find a new audience.

I, Madman’s only real flaw? Some flat acting. Hey, it was the late 80’s and Horror actors and actresses could almost be prized for their ability to make a movie feel more unreal and playful with line delivery that was less than textbook. The effects are solid and the weapon of choice by our dimly lit killer… a gruesome looking needle… is a great way to offer a bit of the old ick factor without having to go over the effects budget. Ever since I saw Michael Myers nail Suzanne in the temple with a syringe in Halloween II the damn things have made for the perfect shudder-kill weapon. Remember the good doctor’s eye in the very same scene in Halloween II? That got me good too. It stands to reason that simply by taking a credible and yet fantastical mystery killer and giving him a great weapon makes for a successful Horror movie. Sometimes that all you need in the post-slasher boom, late 80’s semi-meta zone.

Fans of 40’s Crime pictures, Sin City lovers and fans of late 90’s meta horror should be able to appreciate this one. It’s playful and mean, but maintains a level of 80’s semi-cheese that has created a near 50’s like nostalgia for the period. We should be clear that this is not some Bogart picture with horror leanings and it certainly isn’t Italian Horror suave with a progressive soundtrack. It’s just a good ol’ fashion killer lurking around the corner who may find his origins in the pages of a paperback thriller.

Bonus Features

Audio Commentary Featuring Director Tibor Takacs With Actor & Artistic Supervisor Randall William Cook
Ripped From The Pages – The Making Of "I, Madman," Featuring Interviews With Director Tibor Takacs, Actor & Artistic Supervisor Randall William Cook, Screenwriter David Chaskin, Actor Clayton Rohner, And Actress Stephanie Hodge
Behind The Scenes Footage With Audio Commentary By Randall William Cook
Theatrical Trailer And Home Video Trailer
Still Gallery With Optional Audio Commentary By Randall William Cook

Enjoy pulp gothic horror that features some fun practical effects and a killer who runs around with a rather ominous looking needle now.

From Scream Factory:

Gothic nightmares collide with gritty realism in this "stylish horror thriller [that] pulls you in and makes you pay attention" (Los Angeles Times)! After a spine-tingling paperback catches the imagination of bookstore clerk Virginia, she seeks out the author's second book, I, Madman. But once she opens the cover, its eerie tale of obsessive love comes to life, catapulting a disfigured, scalpel-wielding killer from the world of fiction onto the streets of Hollywood with one demented goal: to win Virginia's love, one murder at a time!

Starring Jenny Wright (Near Dark, The Lawnmower Man), Clayton Rohner (April Fool's Day, The Human Centipede III) and three-time Academy Award® winner* Randall William Cook (Best Visual Effects, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy) as the mysterious and frightening Malcolm Brand.

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