The Director's Cut Of George Romero's Vampire Movie Martin Has Been Found

Released in 1978, George A. Romero's "Martin" follows a young man, played by John Amplas, who thinks he is a vampire. Martin doesn't have any vampiric powers, so instead, he stalks around drugging women, cutting them with a razor blade, and then drinking their blood. Eventually, Martin decides to start preying on criminals – but his lifestyle is further complicated when he falls in love with a housewife. Second Sight Films is restoring "Martin" for a new 4K release, but that's not the only "Martin" news. Michael Gornick, the film's cinematographer, has revealed on social media that Romero's rarely-seen three-and-a-half-hour director's cut of the film has just been found. While it doesn't seem likely that the director's cut will be included on the Second Sight release, here's hoping we get to see it sometime in the near future. 

Romero's Preferred Version

Per a story from the fine folks at Bloody Disgusting, it looks like the lost 3.5-hour director's cut of George Romero's "Martin" has been found. The news comes from someone named "Ronald Gorewood," which appears to be an alias for "Martin" director of photography Michael Gornick. Here's what Gornick had to say

I simply can't say enough about the efforts of KEVIN KRIESS and THE LIVING DEAD MUSEUM in locating the seldom (if ever) seen, black and white, 16mm version of MARTIN. This "Director's Cut" of some three and a half hours in length was always Romero's preferred version. May it soon return safely to the custody of Richard Rubinstein and Braddock Associates for digital revitalization and distribution to the world.

Note: This photo depicts Reel #1 of 3. The hand written label is one that I prepared back in 1976. To my knowledge, this is the only existing version of this Romero classic.

First screened at the Cannes market in 1977 before being released in 1978, "Martin" follows a guy who thinks he's a vampire. "Martin is designed to that all those supernatural monsters that are part of our literary tradition are, in essence, expurgations of ourselves," Romero said. "They are beasts we've created in order to exorcise the monster from within us...I tried to show in Martin that you can't just slice off this evil part of ourselves and throw it away. It's a permanent part of us, and we'd better try and understand it."

There's no word on when we'll get to see this cut, but it's not unheard of for lost Romero movies to resurface. The filmmaker's educational nightmare "The Amusement Park" was recently restored and released on horror streaming service Shudder.