A lost copy of George A. Romero’s black and white director’s cut of Martin has been located by Michael Gornick, Director of Photography of the feature. The news comes from Ronald Gorewood’s Facebook page, an alias used by Gornick himself.
In his original post, Gornick thanks Kevin Kriess, owner and curator of The Living Dead Museum, for “locating the seldom (if ever) seen, black and white, 16mm version of Martin.” Gornick also explains how the three reels found by Kriess contain a director’s cut with about three and a half hours in length that “was always Romero’s preferred version.” Considering that Martin’s original theatrical release only ran for 95 minutes and was exhibited in colors, the director’s cut might offer an entirely new experience to fans of Romero.
The Facebook post also tells fans that Martin’s lost director’s cut will be delivered to producer Richard Rubinstein and Braddock Associates for restoration and distribution. Rubinstein worked with Romero in several of his films, including 1978’s Dawn of the Dead and the 1980s horror anthology Tales from the Darkside. So, the restoration of the lost cut of Martin is in good hands, and it shouldn’t take long before we’re able to watch it ourselves.
Initially released in 1977, Martin follows the titular 17-years-old boy (John Amplas), who’s fascinated by blood and convinced he’s an 84-years-old vampire. The boy moves to a small town in Pennsylvania, where he tries to control his urges. The original film is getting a 4K restoration by Second Sight in late summer, making the finding of the director’s cut perfectly timed.
It has been an excellent year for fans of Romero. First, the filmmaker’s previously-lost The Amusement Park was fully restored and became part of the horror streaming platform Shudder catalog.
Second, Night of the Animated Dead, an animated remake of 1968’s classic Night of the Living Dead, is now available on digital, Blu-Ray, and DVD. Lastly, an unofficial sequel to Romero’s Dead series of films, Night of the Living Dead 2, is bringing back Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, and Jarlath Conroy, three survivors from Day of the Dead.
It’s still too soon to know when the director’s cut of Martin will be available to the public, but you can expect to read about the restoration right here at Collider.