The 1970s Obscure Vampire Serial Killer Horror From A Master Director, Stream Now Without Netflix

By Brian Myers | Updated

martin movie

The vampires horror fans have seen in films have taken on many forms. Some, like the many versions of Count Dracula, are as suave as they are terrifying. Others, as shown in films like 30 Days of Night, are ruthlessly violent and nearly impossible to stop. George Romero gave horror fans a different type of vampire entirely with his 1977 film Martin, where the director/screenwriter takes them through a movie where the “vampire” is just a lunatic with a lust for blood.

The Overnight Train

Martin opens with its title character Martin Mathias (John Amplas) on board an overnight train. He creeps into a woman’s sleeper car and attacks her and plunges a needle into her that’s loaded with sedatives.

A drawn-out fight worthy of action movie ensues, showing the man’s meekness more than it does his victim’s strength before the drugs finally render her helpless.

Is Martin More Than Just A Killer?

martin movie

Martin uses razor blades to slice open his victim’s wrists and drink her blood. Within the movie’s first 10 minutes, it’s assumed that Martin is simply a deranged killer who just happens to drink his victims’ blood.

But after he moves in with his older cousin Tateh Cuda (Lincoln Maazel) and Cuda’s granddaughter Christina (Christine Forrest), the family patriarch becomes immediately suspicious of the family member he has just placed under his roof.

Believing Martin to be a vampire, Cuda tries to keep his cousin at bay with garlic and crosses, which have no effect. The old man tells Martin that if he doesn’t behave, he’ll have no choice but to drive a stake into his heart and kill him. With this revelation, the movie begins to give audiences two possible scenarios to consider.

His Bloodlust


Martin’s occasional flashbacks lend to his claims of being an old vampire that’s kept youthful from human blood, though it’s not certain whether or not these flashbacks are real memories or if they are part of Martin’s delusions.

The movie continues with Martin getting a job as a grocery deliveryman and falling for one of his customers. Confused about his identity and his romantic feelings, Martin begins calling into a radio talk show where he admits to being a vampire and infuriates listeners of the show with his every call.

But as Martin’s bloodlust cannot be held in check for long, he soon faces serious consequences for his actions. An attempted exorcism and a tragic suicide help to mold Martin’s fate as the movie reaches its riveting climax.

Martin, The Anti-Vampire

Martin is not only an atypical vampire movie, but also one that has been revered as an entirely different style of George Romero films.

Even though special effects legend Tom Savini was hired for his uncanny makeup abilities, the movie lacks the gore and the visual horror of the usual Romero/Savini endeavor.

Martin plays out in a comedic fashion almost as much as it does one in the horror category. Martin’s ineptness and weak physical ability make him the opposite of what you’d expect to find in a vampire, though his actions throughout several scenes in the movie show that the otherwise meek man is a capable monster.

Stream It Now

martin movie


George Romero delivers a solid story with the Martin movie. The mediocre acting aside, the vampire horror comedy is a movie that captures attention from start to finish and should be on the watch list for fans of 70s horror.

At the time of publication, Martin is only available to stream on Tubi. The movie can be found on out-of-print VHS and DVD releases from the United States.