Road Rash Reviews

Madman (1981) 4K UHD Review****-

Cert 18 | 89 mins | 2024

4 star restoration of a proper slasher flick.

Madman is an American horror film, written and directed by Joe Giannone. Originally released in 1981, it fell firmly within the video nasty category and although never labelled as such, was caught up in the frenzy of the time.

It has since gained a cult following and is presented here in 4K UHD, having enjoyed a restoration from the original negative, courtesy of Arrow Video.

It is available to own on 4K UHD from 24th June 2024 and can be ordered here.

“It all started during a campfire at North Sea Cottages, a special retreat for gifted children…”

It’s the last couple of nights at summer camp and the counselors and students are assembled around the campfire telling stories. Head counselor and camp leader Max (Carl Fredericks – Reversal of Fortune) takes his turn and tells the urban legend of Madman Marz, a farmer who lived in a nearby house and went mad one night, slaughtering his wife and children. He was strung up by the townsfolk, but the next morning his body was gone. Legend has it that if you speak his name in the woods, he will come for you.

Of course, there’s always one and in this case it’s Richie (Tom Candela -Nightshift), who shouts his name and throws a stone through the window of the house. He spies a figure in the trees (Paul Ehlers – Ink and Steel) and goes to look while everyone else heads back to camp. Max heads into town for supplies, leaving the other counselors in charge.

T.P. (Tony Nunziata) and girlfriend Betsy (Gaylen Ross – Dawn of the Dead) are arguing and Betsy has turned to best friend Stacy (Harriet Bass – An Empty Bed) for comfort. Meanwhile Ellie (Jan Claire – Star Trek Voyager) and Bill (Alex Murphy – Killer) only have eyes for each other. No-one notices when drunken camp cook Dippy (Michael Sullivan – Hitler’s Folly) is killed, but when Richie fails to return to camp, they break the number one rule and head off one at a time to look for him. Could Madman Marz be more than a legend?

“Now it’s time for my story. My story deals with the man who used to live in that old dilapidated house behind those trees. We’re not supposed to be this close to it, because many strange things happem around here.”

Madman is a thoroughly entertaining film to watch. While it’s not particularly original, it’s packed with all the things that are fun about films of this genre, poor decision making, screaming, overacting and buckets of blood and guts. You can see exactly where it’s all going and it’s very satisfying when it gets there.

For fans of slasher flicks, this offers everything you need, and this 4K restoration is really good, the picture is excellent and it sounds great too. With lots of special features, as well as specially commissioned new artwork, this release will grace the shelves of any horror fan.

Well worth adding to your collection.

“One by one, you’ll start to fall. By nights end, I’ll get you all. His name is Madman Marz.”

Madman is available to buy now on Limited Edition 4K UHD.


• 4K transfer of the film from the original camera negative
• 4K (2160p) Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation in High Dynamic Range
• Original uncompressed mono audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary with director Joe Giannone, stars Paul Ehlers and Tony Fish and producer Gary Sales
• Audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
• UK-exclusive introduction by Sales and Ehlers
• I’m Not A Screamer, a 2022 interview with star Gaylen Ross
• The Legend Still Lives! Thirty Years of Madman – a feature-length retrospective documentary on the slasher classic including interviews with various cast and crew
• Madman: Alive at 35 – Sales, Ehlers and star Tom Candela look back at the making of Madman, 35 years after it was filmed
• The Early Career of Gary Sales – the Madman producer discusses his career in the film industry
• Convention interviews with Sales and Ehlers
• Music Inspired by Madman – a selection of songs inspired by the movie, including the track ‘Escape From Hellview’ from former CKY frontman Deron Miller
• In Memoriam – producer Sales pays tribute to the some of the film’s late cast and crew, including director Giannone and actor Tony Fish
• Original theatrical trailer
• TV spots
• Stills & artwork gallery with commentary by Sales
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
• Collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by critic James Oliver, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

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DirectorJoe Gianonne
StarringGaylen Ross, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass, Seth Jones, Jan Claire
Category: 4K, Blu-ray, film, Review