Disc Reviews

Madman 4k Review

Madman doesn’t particularly have a great title or even a great or original premise, and yet it does stand out from the very crowded early 80s slasher films thanks to having an altogether weird feel about it. Yes, we have a bunch of young adults babysitting kids in cabins in the woods – and yes it’s the home territory of a local nutjob with a history who just happens to show up and start offing the cast in a gruesome manner. If any of that offends you then of course you won’t like Madman. But if you like that sort of thing, then you might really dig this one. It’s colourful to look at (despite it being set at night), the cast are engaging, there is dialogue to howl at and the killings are well done and sometimes often cruel to the characters. Madman has just enough going for it to keep you watching and comes out the other end one of the better additions to the aforementioned sub-genbre of horror.

Picturewise; the film is probably looking the best it ever has.  There are criticisms of damaged film cells making it into the finished product that could have been, but were not, treated – and that is very true. There are two or three scenes that feature red/purple claw marks across the screen. If anything, it gives the film a certain charm, but they are obvious when they appear.

There is also the odd moment where you can see that shots don’t colour match.  In one shot a yellow  car will look quite dull and then when cutting to another angle you see the yellow suddenly becomes very bright.  It isn’t a common occurrence and it is lilely only to be noticed if you go looking for flaws.  It is actually worth noting how well colours generally pop on the screen.  Yellows, reds, and greens  – With the wooded area, the greens pop very nicely on camera and add to the delight of watching this otherwise very strange slasher.

Pretty much all the extras you need are here, including the more recent additions made by Vinegar Syndrome for their previous release including a feature length documentary, single interviews and a couple of engaging commentaries. This serves as the UK’s best edition of the film with some very jam-packed extras.

Madman is a surprisingly entertaining film of yore that has come packed with extra material that you might only hope for.

Steven Hurst

List of contents:

• 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

Madman is released by Arrow Video on 24th June.

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