Living Dead Museum unearths lost version of Pittsburgh vampire film Martin | Screen | Pittsburgh
Filmmaker George A. Romero is best known for his Undead series of zombie films, most of which were filmed in and around the Pittsburgh area. But the horror director tried his hand at another monster, the vampire, when he made his 1977 film. Martin at Braddock.
Although it is not as popular as Night of the Living Dead or its suites, Martin has become a cult favorite. And two big announcements bring more attention to the film.
October 30, Martin cinematographer Robert Gornick posted on his Facebook page that a “rarely (if ever) seen 16mm version” of Martin had been dug up. Calling it a “Director’s Cut,” Gornick says the three-and-a-half-hour job “has always been Romero’s favorite version.”
“To my knowledge, this is the only extant version of this Romero classic,” the post read, which contains a photo of a film reel with a handwritten label Gornick says he made in 1976.
Gornick attributed the find to Kevin Kriess and the Living Dead Museum. Now located in the Monroeville Mall, where Romero’s Dawn of the Dead was shot, the museum is dedicated to the history of Pittsburgh cinema, not only for horror but also for other genres.
Shot on a budget of less than $ 1 million, Martin stars John Amplas as a disturbed young man who moves to Braddock. Believing himself to be a vampire, he soon embarks on a killing spree, feeding on vulnerable locals.
Gornick added that the film will go to Richard Rubinstein and Braddock Associates for âdigital revitalization and worldwide distributionâ. According to a Admission to the American Film Institute, Romero teamed up with Rubinstein, which was part of the Laurel Group, the production company behind Martin. He goes on to say that Romero clashed with Rubinstein for releasing Martin in black and white, a bit like his 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. Martin was eventually released in color with black and white footage depicting the main character’s flashbacks and dreams.
The discovery comes six months after UK distribution company Second Sight announced it would release a Blu-ray and restored 4K Ultra HD version of the film. Of the society Twitter account originally scheduled the 4K restore for late summer, but no updates have been given since then.