Clinging desperately onto the coattails of Friday the 13th and The Burning, Madman, along with the likes of The Funhouse, Rosemary's Killer, Happy Birthday To Me, and The Final Terror, was part of a glut of largely forgotten, but no less enjoyable slasher films which filled the horror section of many a video rental shop in the early 1980s.
While sitting around a typical woodland campfire, the counsellors at a summer camp tell scary stories to spook each other. One of the stories, however, seems to be based more in fact than the others and features a character known as Madman Marz, who (for no known reason) went loopy one night and chopped up his whole family.
The story goes that if you say his name above a whisper in the woods where he roams he will find you and kill you. Well, of course one chap yells it out as loud as possible and you can pretty much guess the rest.
Throats are slashed, people are hung, heads are found in unusual places, and fridges are used as hiding places. It's all very predictable and silly of course, with people running off and doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing, but one of its highlights is the insistent synthesiser music score, and (taking its cue from My Bloody Valentine) its accompanying creepy folk song.
We have all the usual killer POV shots, some well shot night-time camera work (you can actually see what's going on for a change), a couple of genuinely effective red herring moments, and some very well handled suspense sequences. In fact, most of the time it's actually the shock payoff which almost ruins the good work.