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Madman

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    86
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Vinegar Syndrome's UHD Madman elevates horror with top-notch visuals and extras, thrilling fans.

    Madman 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    86
  • Vinegar Syndrome's 4K release of Madman impresses with clarity, depth, and fine grain from the 35mm original, highlighting precise colors and detailed textures, despite minor damage and color shifts in flashbacks.

  • Audio
    83
  • The 2.0 DTS-HD MA enhances the Madman experience with clearer dialogues and a stronger synth score, despite its limitations in dynamics and flat sound effects. Atmospherics and a multi-channel remix could improve it further.

  • Extra
    87
  • Blu-ray includes interviews, commentaries, and features exploring 'Madman's' production, legacy, and fan love, with insights from cast, crew, and superfans, amidst a camaraderie-filled recounting of behind-the-scenes anecdotes and the lasting impact of the film.

  • Movie
    75
  • 1982's Madman, a cult slasher film, blends urban legend with slow-burn horror, gaining appreciation for its unique atmosphere and character focus, despite not reaching the iconic status of its peers.

    Video: 86

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Madman" by Vinegar Syndrome is a significant visual upgrade from its previous 2015 Blu-ray edition, sourced meticulously from the 35mm original camera negative. This restoration marvelously enhances the film's visual details, showcasing the director of photography James Lemmo's original work shot on 35mm film with Arriflex 35 BL cameras and finished photochemically. The transfer presents the movie in its native aspect ratio of 1.85:1, now reinvigorated with heightened clarity and vivid color presentation, especially notable in the enhanced definition of facial features, textures of skin, and the intricate details of clothing fibers. The forest scenes and interiors benefit from added depth, making the movie's setting more immersive. Colors pop with a newfound vibrancy, particularly in the rendering of the moonlight's blueness, various lighting sources, and the starkly contrasting red blood, all while maintaining natural skin tones and precise delineation.

    Vinegar Syndrome's grading for high dynamic range (HDR10 being the sole option) complements the film’s cinematography with an ideal contrast that appears bright but not overdone, fostering deep blacks that enrich shadow details superbly. While grain levels fluctuate from heavy to fine throughout, this only adds to the film-like quality of the presentation, respecting its original photochemical finish. The color grading accentuates reds and greens vigorously, alongside a breadth of flesh tones that vary from heated to natural shades. Despite minor instances of frame instability and the presence of scratches during key scenes like the infamous hot tub moment, these do not significantly mar the otherwise stellar visual restoration. This release demonstrates Vinegar Syndrome’s commitment to preserving and enhancing the film’s aesthetic qualities, delivering a noticeably superior viewing experience that both honors and revitalizes "Madman" for fans and newcomers alike.

    Audio: 83

    The audio presentation of the "Madman" 4K UHD Blu-Ray, delivered in English 2.0 mono DTS-HD Master Audio, brings a competent enhancement to the original film's auditory experience. The track ensures dialogue is clear and discernible, a crucial aspect considering the low-budget nature of this production. The 2.0 DTS-HD MA iteration slightly amplifies the overall presence, particularly benefiting the performance aspects and those few crucial hushed moments of suspense. While dialogue maintains a clear forefront, the scoring receives a notable boost, offering a deeper, more powerful synth sound that aptly complements the film's suspenseful sequences.

    However, it's evident that the audio mix has its limitations, primarily due to the film's original audio recording quality and budget constraints. Sound effects often present a flat and uninspired tone, lacking the dynamic range that a more contemporary multi-channel mix might provide. Similarly, environmental sounds such as winds blowing or crickets in the background do not fully immerse the viewer, hinting at the potential improvements a multi-channel remix could introduce to enhance the atmospheric aspects of the film.

    In essence, the 2.0 DTS-HD MA audio track on this 4K UHD Blu-Ray release of "Madman" manages to honor and slightly elevate the film's original sound work. While clear dialogue and a more robust scoring are highlights, the flatness of sound effects and a want for deeper atmospheric immersion hint at what could be achieved with further audio advancements. Despite these limitations, it provides an acceptable enhancement that fans of the genre and film should appreciate, retaining a charm that aligns with its low-budget roots.

    Extra: 87

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray extras for "Madman" provide an insightful and nostalgic delve into the film's production, legacy, and influence, making it an essential collection for fans and newcomers alike. Standout components include "I'm Not a Screamer," a captivating interview with Gaylen Ross discussing her journey from aspiring actress to documentarian, and "The Legend Still Lives," an extensive documentary that thoroughly explores the film's creation and its enduring appeal. Unique features like the music inspired by "Madman," showcasing fan compositions, and in-depth commentaries offer a multi-layered view of the film's impact. Additionally, personal anecdotes from the cast and crew, including challenges like nocturnal shoots and maintaining seasonal authenticity, enrich the viewing experience, bridging the past with the present. Technical details such as seasonal leaf painting and behind-the-scenes humor provide an engaging narrative fabric that weaves together the technical, personal, and historical strands of "Madman's" legacy.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • I'm Not a Screamer: An interview with Gaylen Ross about her experiences on set and her career shift inspired by George Romero.
    • Intro: A brief introduction by producer Gary Sales.
    • Commentary #1: A conversation with Gary Sales, Joe Giannone, Paul Ehlers, and Tony Fish.
    • Commentary #2: Hosted by The Hysteria Continues.
    • Madman: Alive at 35: A look back at the making of "Madman" with cast members discussing production challenges and fan contributions.
    • The Early Career of Gary Sales: Gary Sales recounts his entry into filmmaking and the origins of "Madman."
    • The Legend Still Lives: A comprehensive documentary featuring interviews and the film's endearing legacy.
    • Stills & Artwork Gallery: Curated with commentary by Gary Sales on the production and promotion of "Madman."
    • Music Inspired by 'Madman': A collection of fan-made songs influenced by the film.
    • In Memoriam: Gary Sales pays tribute to Joe Giannone, Tony Fish, and Carl Fredericks.
    • Dead Pit Interviews Gary Sales & Paul Ehlers: Interviews conducted at a horror convention, including news of a potential remake.
    • T.V. Spots: Five promotional clips for "Madman."
    • Theatrical Trailer: The original trailer in high definition.

    Movie: 75

    Madman," a slasher film from 1982, emerges as an intriguing deviation within its genre, arriving in a period lush with such releases yet electing for a path less trodden. Diving deep into the mythology of urban legends and adopting a methodical storytelling akin to a campfire horror tale, "Madman" aims to unsettle its audience through elongated sequences of silence and stalk, testing the viewer's patience. While it may not achieve the iconic status of "Friday the 13th," it distinguishes itself through meticulous character development and an unusual emphasis on music to amplify its eerie ambiance. The film's dedication to crafting a unique atmosphere and tension is noteworthy, offering a distinct flavor of fright that remains compelling even when its narrative pace wanes.

    Upon its initial release, "Madman" lurked in the shadows of its more illustrious contemporaries, only to be rejuvenated by the advent of home video in the early 2000s, subsequently cementing its place as a cult favorite among horror aficionados. Its attempt to narrate the legend of Cropsey pre-dates and competes with other films like "The Burning," yet it uniquely stands out, partially due to its memorable antagonist, Madman Marz, who is immortalized with his own theme song. The presence of Gaylen Ross, famed for her roles in high-profile horror films such as "Dawn of the Dead" and "Creepshow," adds a layer of prestige, juxtaposing the film’s humble successes with unintentional humor and a compellingly effective villain.

    In essence, "Madman" exemplifies the era's slasher film ethos while infusing its narrative with an idiosyncratic penchant for folklore and musical accentuation, proving itself as a durable entry in the catalog of horror classics. Despite not breaking new ground to the extent of genre pillars like "Halloween" or "Friday the 13th," its resurrection and subsequent acclaim as a cult hit underscore its peculiar charm and enduring appeal to the genre's enthusiasts.

    Total: 86

    Vinegar Syndrome has once again proven their commitment to elevating classic horror with their Ultra HD Blu-ray release of "Madman". This edition surpasses their previous Blu-ray release, not only in the superior quality of the visual presentation but also by including the comprehensive extras from the 2015 release, and further enriching it with a captivating new interview with Gaylen Ross. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that this release stands out as the definitive version for both newcomers and long-time fans looking to experience the movie in the best possible quality.

    "Madman" itself is upheld as a quintessential slasher, featuring the archetypical scenario of naïve camp counselors being stalked by a relentless killer. While it may not break new ground within the genre, its execution leaves it remarkably effective, especially when viewed in the intended context of a horror aficionado’s movie night. Vinegar Syndrome's upgrade to an Ultra HD format significantly enhances the viewing experience, making the atmospheric and suspenseful elements of the film more immersive. Coupled with the bonus content, which includes both preserved and new extras, this release not only respects the film’s legacy but also deepens the overall appreciation for its craft.

    In conclusion, Vinegar Syndrome's 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Madman" is a must-have for horror enthusiasts. It not only presents the film in unparalleled visual quality but also offers a wealth of supplementary content that enriches the viewing experience. This release is a testament to Vinegar Syndrome's dedication to preserving and celebrating genre cinema, making it highly recommended for those looking to dive into or revisit this slasher classic with fresh eyes and heightened clarity.