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I, Madman
I Madman
Actors: Jenny Wright, Clayton Rohner, Randall William Cook, Stephanie Hodge, Michelle Jordan
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 29min

Gothic nightmares collide with gritty realism in this "stylish horror thriller [that] pulls you in and makes you pay attention" (Los Angeles Times)! Laced with sly humor, this "imaginative, scary" gem packs "a wow of an en...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Jenny Wright, Clayton Rohner, Randall William Cook, Stephanie Hodge, Michelle Jordan
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/26/2003
Original Release Date: 10/13/1989
Theatrical Release Date: 10/13/1989
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Don K. from BEAVERTON, OR
Reviewed on 7/2/2012...
I recommend viewing the trailer for this movie before buying or trading for it, especially if you're swayed by the glowing reviews. My feeling is, this kind of movie attracts a certain type of viewer.....and it ain't me, babe. Just saying.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Love makes us do foolish things, Virginia
Cinephiliac | Los Angeles, CA | 09/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Bookstore clerk and aspiring actress, Virginia (Jenny Wright), has a taste for lurid pulp horror. Her latest bizarre book find, entitled "Much of Madness, More of Sin," spins the tale of an insane doctor and his mutant jackal boy creation. Virginia is so taken with the book that she sets out to find author Dr. Malcolm Brand's only other published work, a book called "I, Madman." Instead, the book finds her.

Waiting for just the right reader to release him from the pages of his 30-year-old book, the deranged Brand escapes into the real world to recreate the gruesome murders of the text. Virginia becomes Brand's primary witness to the murders and the focus of his obsessive love. Reality slips sideways as Virginia finds Brand stalking her at her bus stop and at the book store where she works--even gaining entrance to her apartment.

Malcolm Brand (Randall William Cook) is both a frightening and pitiful villain. In his book, Brand is obsessed with "Anna," a beautiful actress who will have nothing to do with him because she finds him so physically unattractive. Believing Virginia to be "Anna," Brand slices off his facial features so that he can replace them with more classically beautiful ones that he culls from Virginia's friends and acquaintances.

Trying to make sense of the madness she is witnessing, Virginia tracks down the small company that published the deranged doctor's books. Virginia discovers that the books were published as works of "nonfiction" at Brand's insistence. The author believed that the characters in his books were real and were acting independently by refusing to do what he told them to do. Brand wound up having a complete nervous breakdown and was committed to a psychiatric facility--where he later died. Some of the film's darkest humor comes from when Virginia tries to convince her boyfriend, Richard (Clayton Rohner), a reality-grounded police detective, that the recent spate of horrific murders are the work of Malcolm Brand, the long dead author.

The film has a retro/pulp comic book sensibility to it--with deep shadows, exaggerated camera angles and vivid paint box color gels--much like those in the "Tales from the Crypt" series or the "Creepshow" movies. I found the movie to be a lot of fun, with odd and imaginative twists throughout. The special effects may not be state of the art (the clay animation scenes looked downright funky), but the makeup prosthetics on the demented Malcolm Brand's butchered face will make your hair stand on end.

Special features on the DVD are minimal, consisting of the original theatrical trailer, scene selection and subtitles in French, Spanish and English."
I ... Liked It!
Edward Lee | 01/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I, MADMAN is, at best, a guilty pleasure ... with forced camp-ridden dialogue in a forced camp-ridden situation (a stunningly beautiful bookworm shucking her life away at some used book stores stumbles across an author who penned only two 'non-fiction' horror stories magically brings the demented author to life in a very Freddy Krueger-esque fashion) ... and you can't but help enjoy this harmless horror flick despite your best intentions.Yes, others have made mention of this, but the lead actress (Jenny Wright) is an absolute stunner to look at. Sadly, the film is a bit dated with the wardrobe and hair choices, but, one she slimmed down to the bra and panties it's a very easy gaffe to dismiss. (snicker)The plot is relatively predictable (the script squeezes out a few surprises), and the premise isn't entirely original ... but the "Nightmare on Elm Street" twist works very well in the limitations of the acting and effects.What's the real travesty is the fact that I, MADMAN -- if it enjoyed a theatrical release -- is only offered up in standard television ratio. Some of the scenes might've played better given the 'look' of widescreen (especially some of the more suspenseful moments where our lead actress finds herself in the role of a lead actress -- a novel within a novel). The film's 'period piece sequences' are slim, but they arguably would've played out more effectively visually had a widescreen transfer been available.With an ending too brisk, it's hard to say if a franchise could've been made of the MADMAN. There certainly was potential, and the career of Jenny Wright in constant pursuit of the Madman seeking other victims might be 'the big fish that got away.'"
"I'll have your heart one way or another!"
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 02/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Growing up in the 70's and 80's I was constantly bombarded with television commercials that proclaimed `Reading is Fundamental', or RIF, for short...I suppose it was a concerted effort by some group of well meaning individuals to get us cartoon addicted youngins away from the magic box and into the library...but what they failed to mention is that, besides being fundamental, reading can also have serious detrimental effects to your health, possibly resulting in a slight case of death. Don't believe me? Then I would recommend watching I, Madman aka Hardcover (1989) for conclusive proof...you may be shocked at what you learn...directed by Tibor Takács (The Gate), the film stars Jenny Wright (The Wild Life, Near Dark), Clayton Rohner (Just One of the Guys, April Fool's Day), and Randall William Cook, who worked on all three of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films (not in the capacity of an actor, but as effects artist). Also appearing is Stephanie Hodge, whose face I recognized but couldn't place until I looked up her credits and learned she's not only a comedian, but also appeared on the Fox television show "Unhappily Ever After", along with the amply bosomed Nikki Cox, who does not appear in this film.

Wright plays Virginia, a literate, attractive woman and aspiring actress who makes ends meet by working in a used bookstore, and has an affinity for seedy pulp fiction novels from the 50's, particularly ones penned by an author named Malcolm Brand. The trouble begins as Virginia notices that the horrific events in the novel start to translate into real life, as fiction becomes fact, and she's somehow centered in the middle of it...soon she starts seeing the villain from the story, a skulking, darkly garbed killer (Cook) who wears a mask over the lower part of his face (looking much like The Shadow), is a whiz with the straight edge razor, and seems to have the ability to appear from nowhere. The police are baffled by a recent spate of strange and unexplained murders, but Virginia notices the similarities between the events in the book and those in real life, and believes she can predict the killer's next move. She offers this information to her boyfriend Richard (Rohner), who's a police detective, but Richard and his colleagues are a little skeptical (okay, a lot skeptical) and think her like a Snickers bar, you know, a bit nutty. As the police investigation eventually goes nowhere, they become more inclined to listen to Virginia, but it may be already too late, as the killer's motives and intentions are revealed, along with a few interesting facts about the now deceased author Malcolm Brand.

At a time when slasher films were run of the mill, I, Madman presented a clever and interesting story tinged with a bit of the gothic, but I think it ended up getting lost in the shuffle as the genre grew stale, as studios had bled it to the point of anemia (the lame trailer didn't help any). The movie has the slight feel of a Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) film (the mixing of realities), but director Takács avoids Craven's style as a blueprint. He knows how to set up a scene and creates a level of tension and suspense that kept me drawn into the story throughout. I really liked how he handles the violence in the film, as it wasn't shown very often, but you always knew what was occurring. There is a good deal of violence in the film, but it is rarely shown on screen. An example of this is when Virginia is watching from her apartment window the killer stalking a victim in a building across the way. The killer draws the shades, but the silhouettes of him and his victim are clear, as is the subsequent actions, and the audience is left to fill in the rest in their imagination. There's another scene where a woman is getting attacked in her bathroom, and while we know what is going on, the violence is obscured as the scene is shot from behind the killer, but it's clear what's happening due to the killer's almost exaggerated movements. I really liked the use of color and atmospheric elements throughout the film, as they helped create a feel, a mood that other films in the genre lacked, or tried to develop but failed miserably. Also, his transitioning between time periods (the main character would often imagine herself as part of the stories she read) was flawless. I thought the actors all did very well, most all playing their roles within character, never really hamming it up or going overboard. The makeup on the killer (done by the person who played the role) was exceptional and quite gruesome, giving the character a realistic quality. Were the flaws in the film? There may have been, but I really didn't notice...I feel if the effort is there, and there's enough solid material and decent performances, I find myself willing to overlook certain superficial elements that may work against the movie. I suppose if I were to pick on something it might be the stop motion work. Most parts looked good, but there were one or two moments where it didn't feel entirely lifelike (given the probable limited budget of the film, picking on this would be an easy target). Takács usage of stop motion in his previous film, The Gate (1987), looked much the same as here, but since I liked that story as much as I did this one, it was easy to dismiss any perceived faults.

My only disappointment of this film was in its' lackluster DVD release. Presented is only the fullscreen format. Why MGM couldn't have dug up the original wide screen format and included it also is beyond me. The picture quality is decent, and the vibrant colors come through most of the time. The only extra is the lame theatrical trailer.

Cookieman108
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