Tag Archives: horror classics

Really Awful Movies: Ep 188 – George Romero and Martin



With the passing of George Romero, on this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we look back at the famous horror film director, and examine a real classic from his oeuvre: Martin.

“He could be the boy next door,” is the tagline, and this “boy” (played by John Amplas) is en route by train from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh, where he is put under the care of great uncle Cuda.

Along the way, we get a glimpse of the “vampire” in action (the question as to whether Martin is a blood-sucker is open-ended indeed), where he feeds on a fellow passenger, knocking her out cold with an anesthetic before meeting Cuda on arrival in the Steel City. It’s an unsettling scene, creepy as all hell, in a film with many wonderful, shocking, and memorable vignettes.

Martin is a strange beast, a terrific film that explores some of the rich themes Romero brings up in Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, and Dawn of the Dead: man’s inhumanity to man, the “undead” as a reflecting of ourselves, the animalistic nature of our being, corralling chaos into order…and many more.

Here, Romero deftly uses Martin as a conduit to tell a coming-of-age tale, a family drama (which just happens to have a bunch of juicy murders along the way), where a youngster is just trying to find his way in an often confusing world. This, as Martin struggles to controls his Freudian “drives” and turns to a late night talk show to provide a sounding board for the modern-day difficulties inherent in being an Old World vampire. Assuming he is Nosferatu, which is a big assumption.

So join us as we remember George Romero, Toronto’s adopted son, and the man who made horror films critically acceptable (to a point). Sure, he’s known for bringing zombies into the public consciousness, but let’s not forget that Martin completely upturned expectations surrounding the vampire mystique.


Really Awful Movies: Ep 174 – The Sentinel



The Sentinel is a 1977 American horror film based on the 1974 novel of the same name (which we haven’t read). The source material is courtesy of author Jeffrey Konvitz (who assisted penning the screenplay). His co-writer was the film’s director Michael Winner. Winner wowed us with, if you’ll excuse us, a real “winner” in the Death Wish Series. That one is pretty darn awesome.

And here, we’re back in New York City (although in Death Wish, as filming there became cost-prohibitive later in the series, it started to look less and less like anything resembling The Big Apple). The Sentinel is about a young NYC model who’s on the market for a pad (And this was before the days when you’d have to fork over $2500 / month for a studio the size of a sedan).

She finds a place to rent! It’s Brooklyn Heights shambolic mansion that has been converted into different apartments, each populated by a bunch of weirdos, including a fay Burgess Meredith traipsing around with a budgie.

The guy residing on the top floor though, is an excommunicated priest…and the building is…wait for it…A PORTAL TO HELL!  People, always check the rental agreements…Between that an a landlord asking for an illegal security deposit, it’s a tough grind out there for a tenant! Please see, Roman Polanski’s…uh…The Tenant.

The Sentinel stars a bunch of pretty notable folks: Cristina Raines, Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, and Eli Wallach. The film also features Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, John Carradine, Jerry Orbach, Martin Balsam, Tom Berenger, and Beverly D’Angelo.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we always love it when we can discuss a good, tense, terse, solidly put together supernatural horror film. It’s definitely our least favorite genre, but when it’s done well (as is the case here) boy are the goods delivered.

The Sentinel holds up terrifically well. It’s worth checking out, as is our podcast, uploading EVERY FRIDAY for your listening pleasure.