Well back in the day when I was an impressionable teenager, I couldn't
even tell the difference between such things as fact or fiction. That
being said I always knew a pretty decent horror movie when I saw one.
This little gem first caught my attention when I caught the trailer prior to it's initial release, and much like many a movie with a decent trailer I just knew that I had to see it.
The trailer I saw courtesy of Entertainment in Video announced the title as 'Hardcover' Of course I never realised that the movie was actually called 'I Madman' which was the better title, and which currently graces my MGM retail release which is sitting right by my side as I write these very words.
The 1980's were a good time for horror movies, and they were also a good time for me when it came time for me discovering the many gems that sprawled themselves across the videostore shelves, I still remember hiring the likes of 'Pumpkinhead' 'Killer Klowns From Outer Space' 'Retribution'.
As with most movies that I liked and revered down through the years there have been some that haven't quite stood the test of time, 'Society' springs to mind, that being said, certain elements of 'I Madman' have always remained within my memory.
Having just watched the movie prior to writing these words, it struck me just how visually stunning the movie was and more importantly just how good the script written by David Chaskin was.
Filled with many a wonderful set piece, director Tibor Takacs really knew what to do with the camera, and aided superbly by the acting talent he had to work with, Jenny Wright as Virginia the bookstore clerk who begins to find herself immersed within the hideous world of the mad scribe Malcolm Brand, always had a very distinct acting style, very distant but always alluring, a prime example of this was her star turn in Eric Red's ultra cool 'Near Dark'.
Also on hand and acquitting himself admirably was Clayton Rohner, (who I'll always remember from Nigel Dick's 'P.I. Private Investigation')as Virginia's detective boyfriend, who can't quite bring himself to believe anything that Virginia's tells him, as he attributes her flights of fancy to her taste in reading material written by the villain of the piece Malcolm Brand.
If truth be told one of the best performances in the movie comes from Murray Rubin as Brand's publisher Sidney Zeit, the way he talks, his mannerisms and the interior of his office just encapsulate that closed in world of the low rent publisher.
Kudos also must go to Randall William Cook, who not only does he appear as the titular on screen villain, but he also doubled as the special effects creator, truly rocks as the lovesick Brand, who'd do just about anything for the love of his life(and if you haven't seen the movie, just wait and see and wait for your jaw to drop when you see what he's done to his facial features).
Director Takacs might not have directed anything of note in the last decade of so, but this movie along with the original 'The Gate' stand as a testament to his directing talents and as for scriptwriter David Chaskin, yes he might have been lambasted for his scripting of 'Nightmare On Elm Street 2' but through this movie he truly showed that he really had an ear for good dialogue and attention to detail when it came to setting a good gore laden set piece.
It really is too bad that the MGM release doesn't have a director's commentary attached to it, as it would have been nice to hear how the movie was financed and put together.
This movie would make a good companion piece with John Carpenter's 'In The Mouth Of Madness' and as a stand alone feature, this horror movie really delivers upon the promise of it's trailer and it's artwork cover, plus it's a true testament to it's abilities to chill and entertain twenty plus years later.
Loose yourself in this great little horror curio tonight, you'll be awful glad you did! Without hesitation, 10/10
Action / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
Action / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
Virginia works at a used book store. She's really into horror novels and discovers a really good book. It's called "I, Madman" and it's about an insane doctor who cuts off people's noses, ears, and hair and puts them on his face to please a girl he likes. Only Virginia discovers that the book is nonfiction, and every time she picks up the book to read it, she sees him. The insane doctor from the book has escaped the book into our reality.
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April 01, 2016 at 10:42 PM