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“If you say his name above a whisper, he’ll get you”…

Poltergeist, The Thing, Creepshow, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Friday the 13th Part III, The Slumber Party Massacre, Amityville II: The Possession… 1982 was a fucking amazing time for horror films! Just look at that list! Some of the most beloved, and talked about films came from that singular year.

But there’s one film that also came out that year that’s not talked about nearly as much as the rest, and I’m here to rectify this. It’s time we talk about Madman.

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Set at a camp for kids and teens, we open to a campfire story about local legend Madman Marz, a vicious man who murdered his whole family with an axe, and was then hung in the woods by the locals.

Legend says not to say his name above a whisper, or he’ll come for you… so, of course, one of the teens calls out the name of Madman Marz, who then proceeds to show up and kill everyone he comes across in spectacular gory fashion.

Supposedly inspired by the same Cropsey urban legend which 1981’s The Burning was based on, it baffles me as to why this film isn’t talked about more than it is by fans. Sure, it has it’s cult fanbase, but it deserves a higher status.

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The title character of Madman Marz is terrifying, and calls to mind Victor Crowley from the Hatchet movies, and the kills rival that of the Friday the 13th films. I don’t want to spoil much, but let’s just say it’s the first time I have seen a decapitation via a vehicle’s engine hood.

It has everything you need from an 80s slasher flick: a group of young victims, a disfigured killer with an axe, nudity, a catchy score, and a bunch of inventive kills! The one downside? It has what may be the most unattractive cast in any horror movie… ever. Alas, it does have a BONUS!

The movie stars Dawn of the Dead‘s Gaylen Ross, billed here as “Alexis Dubin”, and, yes, we are treated to her lovely assets in a long, drawn out hot tub scene, where there is a lot of goofy spinning and awkward music… uh, yeah… just ignore that part, except for her assets.

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The acting seen throughout Madman is a mix of some really cheesy performances and some that are actually pretty good, which is pretty standard for a slasher film. Of course the best performance is delivered by Paul Ehlers (Madman Marz).

Overall Madman may not be the greatest slasher to come out of the 80s, but it’s certainly one of the most fun. Grab ya a six pack, sit back, and enjoy Madman this Halloween, cause you’re sure to have a gory good time!

GORE meter: ★★★★☆
T&A meter: ★★★☆☆

– Matt Cloude

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