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Madman (1981) – Episode 182 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“It all started during a campfire at North Sea Cottages, a special retreat for gifted children…”  “Special,” as in, “you may never come back?” Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr –  as they check out the lesser-known, low-budget slasher, Madman (1981).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 182 – Madman (1981)

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A legendary psychopathic murderer stalks a summer camp.


Madman is Chad’s pick even though he admits to not being much of a slasher fan. The character of Madman Marz and his backstory appealed to him, however, along with all the good killing going on. This time around, he also realized Galen Ross, the female lead, has a lead role in Dawn of the Dead (1978). Bill’s not much of a slasher fan either and fails to see the appeal of Madman, calling it a bit generic. Though they are similar in their basic plots, he much prefers The Burning (1981) over Madman. On the other hand, Jeff prefers Madman to The Burning. For him, the action Madman starts off more quickly and is more evenly paced. The music is the rub for Crystal, who labels it among the worst music she’s heard in movies, almost to the point of being infuriating. On the plus side, she loves the non-sex, hot tub sex scene, describing it as hilarious.

None of the Decades of Horror Grue-Crew call Madman a great or even a good movie, but it can be a fun movie, and Madman Marz is something else.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Jeff will be The Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981).  You won’t want to miss that one!

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.