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"It all started during a campfire at North Sea Cottages, a special retreat for gifted children..."—Opening credits
Madman is a horror movie released in the year 1982, during the golden age of Slasher Movies.
The movie opens in a summer camp, where a group of people are sitting around the campfire telling scary stories. After one of them has sung a song based on the subject, the camp counselor Max tells the local legend of "Madman" Marz, who killed his family brutally with an axe and was hanged for his deeds by the townsfolk. He lived through the experience and is still wandering in the surrounding forest.
While telling the story of Marz, Max says that his name must not be said out loud, because then he will come to get you. One of the kids laughs at the story and starts mockingly yelling Marz' name. Unfortunately for them all, Marz hears the mocking, and starts picking them one by one...
The film was successful in the drive-ins and its popularity grew when it was released on VHS. It has its own small devoted fanbase and Paul Ehlers, who played the titular villain, is still making appearances at conventions.
There are rumours for possible continuation, but nothing conclusive has been said yet.
Not to be confused as a film adaptation of the comic Madman, though there were plans to do one.
Madman includes the following:
- Action Girl: Betsy. When she sees Marz prowling the camp grounds, her first reaction is to get the gun and hunt him.
- Axe Before Entering
- An Axe to Grind
- Batter Up
- Creepy Basement: Marz keeps his past victims there.
- Dangerous Windows
- Developing Doomed Characters
- Does Not Like Shoes: Marz.
- Don't Go in The Woods
- Downer Ending: Marz kills Stacy and it is hinted that he escaped his burning house.
- The End - or Is It?: Meant as a Sequel Hook.
- Femme Fatalons: Marz has these.
- Final Girl: Betsy.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars
- Goomba Stomp: When Stacy's pickup truck won't start and she tries fix it, Marz jumps on the hood, thus decapitating her.
- Holy Backlight: Shown when Marz kills Dave.
- Hollywood Darkness
- Hope Spot: While Ellie is chased by Marz, she hides inside a fridge. Marz then let's her believe that he missed her.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Even though the film is set in a summer camp, it's obviously fall, and somebody even mentions that Thanksgiving is coming up soon.
- Hysterical Woman: Ellie.
- Impending Doom POV
- Infant Immortality: Averted in the flashback where Marz gives his whole family the ax, including his son and daughter. Played straight on the camping children.
- Leitmotif: When Marz is near a distinctive short tune will be heard.
- The Man They Couldn't Hang
- My Car Hates Me
- Neck Snap
- No Peripheral Vision: While approaching Dave's corpse, Stacy is somehow unable to see that he is missing his head.
- Off with His Head
- Offscreen Teleportation
- Only the Chosen May Wield: The axe that is stuck deep in the tree stump which only Marz can remove fits this trope.
- Pater Familicide: Marz' origin.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse
- The Scourge of God
- Speak of the Devil: If you say Marz' name loud enough, he will come to get you.
- Stealth Hi Bye
- Tempting Fate
- Trophy Room
- The Unintelligible: Marz, who is constantly mumbling to himself incomprehensibly.