Virginia (Jenny Wright) is addicted to trashy horror novels. She works
in a used book store and she's recently discovered the author Malcolm Brand,
who wrote two particularly odd books in the 1950s. The first, Much of Madness,
More of Sin, really creeps her out. So, she starts looking for the second one,
I, Madman, but doesn't have much luck. Until one day, it arrives at her doorstep,
she thinks, as a present from a friend.
Starring: Jenny Wright, Clayton Rohner,
and Randall William Cook
The book's tale of a surgeon who tries to attract the attention of Anna, a
woman he loves, by slicing off the facial features of other people and attaching
them to his own face is even more disturbing than the first book. Soon, Virginia
notices strange similarities between what's happening in the book and what's
happening in the real world. Soon, the book's crazed surgeon killer begins
appearing in her apartment, calling her Anna. This, understandably, creeps
her out much more than the book and she believes that a recent string of murders
is related to her reading of the book.
Although technically a horror movie, I,
Madman takes a bit of an off-beat
approach to its scares. There are some jump scares, but most of the movie tries
to build suspense through shadows and camera work that make it seem something
is waiting just off-screen. There's very little in the way of gore, save one
rather graphic scalping scene.
Madman makes no pretentions about being anything other than a B-movie.
But it has fun with the concept that it's as trashy as the books
that Virginia likes to read. Tibor Tikacs, the director, also made the equally
disposable but no less enjoyable The Gate, with a young Stephen Dorff, in 1987.
Sure, there are plot holes you could drive an armored division through and
not much is resolved at the end of the movie, but this just something to watch
and forget. On that level, it works really well.
William Cook, who plays the killer and designed his ghastly make-up, won
two Academy Awards for his work on both Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship
of the Ring and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)