Sharks can be giant, mutated, metallic, or prehistoric. Some of them live in tornadoes, some in the snow. Sharks are our friends, except when they’re hungry, which they usually are. If you show signs of weakness or aggression, you will be attacked. If you bleed, you will be attacked. Shark Week is the time of the year when you do not want to be swimming with sharks. In this book, I review 64 shark movies ranked from worst to decent. If you watch them in order, they will only get better.
A double-edged axe
Not as tactful and exciting as the most popular slashers of its time, Madman is nevertheless the kind of gem completists are after. You’ve seen The Prowler and the Burning and had a good time? This one comes next. It’s clumsy and imperfect, but that comes with the territory. Some characters are fun; some forgettable. Exposition is thorough. This film takes its time.
Most actors are underplaying, but some are oddballs; women especially. At times, they don’t seem to know what movie they’re in, until some of them end up meeting their maker, at which point gore takes precedence. The killer isn’t wearing a mask, so we see his silhouette, his hair, his axe, and not much else. The film doesn’t have a signature. This isn’t exactly the stuff of sequels...
Madman is unintentionally funny, yet not as campy as you’d think. The body count is reasonable. When it comes to the red stuff, its quality over quantity. This film basically plays out exactly as you’d expect. There are very few surprises ahead. It’s comfort food. It’s low-key. It’s nostalgia. It’s a timestamp. Madman is as quintessential as plausible slashers get.