I’ll give I, MADMAN points for giving it the old college try. Not 100% successful it at least has a novel (pun intended) approach to the material and is smarter than most horror films, especially of the late 1980’s.
Starring Jenny Wright (NEAR DARK) and directed by TIBOR TAKÁCS (THE GATE), I, MADMAN tells the tale of Virginia (Wright) a timid bookstore clerk who becomes infatuated with the writings of an obscure pulp author Malcolm Brand (Randall William Cook). Brand only wrote two novels that were published under non-fiction even though they had bizarre stories of serial killers and deformed monsters.
Having trouble tracking down the 2nd book, “I, Madman”, Virginia is surprised when a copy is left at her doorstep. Things start getting bizarre as a slew of gruesome murders plagues L.A. they appear to mimic the events in the book. Virginia is also haunted by the titular maniac, who is stealing facial body parts to reconstruct his face in an attempt to win her love.
The plot is a clever twist on horror conventions but unfortunately the execution is not completely up to par. Some of the acting and direction leave a little to be desired and the plot doesn’t exactly add up. But it’s still worth checking out if you can find a copy.
The film was even obscure when it came out in 1989 (I actually saw it in the theater). Hopefully it will get a SCREAM Factory treatment on Blu-Ray at some point even the DVD I have is in full-frame.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the film contains some pretty cool stop-motion animation courtesy of the Mad Man himself Randall William Cook who has provided VFX for THE GATE, GHOSTBUSTERS, FRIGHT NIGHT and most recently THE LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy.