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Vampire Syllabus: You Can't Matriculate Without Seeing George A. Romero's 'Martin'

By Avram Finkelstein, Hollywood Staff

Blah, blah, blah, The Hunger, yadda yadda Nosferatu. You're still a neophyte if you've never seen George A. Romero's brilliant and trangressive Martin. It's Romero's favorite film. Now think about that for a minute.

On the surface, Martin seems like any other conflicted vampire in a genre that has fine-tuned portrayals of reluctance. But look again. Martin does not sulk through the streets of Paris, or even Forks. Martin takes place in disheveled Pittsburgh.

Our anti-hero isn't sucking his victims dry on a velvet four-poster in a European Castle. It's in the working-class bedrooms of a failed steel town. He's not roaming the boulevards with glamorous courtesans. He's alone, staring at his reflection in a discount furniture warehouse window.

Martin, Dear Vampire Acolytes, is pure punk.

And where creatures of the night are normally sex gods, Martin's libido and his need for blood are so confused, even he doesn't know what's what. He is trapped in the hinterland between desire and survival, which is of course true for each and every one of us.

We just never get to say it. Well, not with such a deft mix of wryness and remorse.

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