Let Me Make You A Martyr featured on our list of films we wanted to watch at this year’s Fantasia festival. We’ve finally seen it and can confirm it’s a strong entry in the line-up and did not disappoint.
Drew Glass (Niko Nicotera) returns to his home town after a period away to confront those that have wronged him. At the top of his list is adopted father figure Larry (Mark Boone Junior). He wants Larry out of the way so that he and his adopted sister June (Sam Quartin) can finally be together. However, what Drew doesn’t realise is that he himself is being hunted by the enigmatic Pope (Marilyn Manson).
Let Me Make You A Martyr has a very interesting story to tell. It’s a simple tale, boy wants to right the wrongs acted upon him and runaway with the girl, but it’s told in a complex and intricate way. The tale is told to us by Drew, a man sat handcuffed in a shadowy office. As the story develops what once appeared as straightforwards morphs into something much deeper and rewarding.
There’s strong performances from all players. Nicotera leads proceedings nicely, Drew isn’t exactly lovable but he is our story narrator and you can kind of understand his standing in the world. Quartin gives great support as the paradoxically strong-willed and fragile June. The pair playing beautifully off of one another.
The star of the show though is Marilyn Manson. Often cited as one of the most controversial artists in the music industry, this isn’t his first turn at acting. Manson shines throughout as Pope skulks around in the background, leaving victims in his wake. His performance is measured and restrained, something not usually attributed to the star. Pope functions in a similar fashion to Javier Bardem‘s No Country for Old Men character and he’s just as menacing. They say it’s the quiet ones you have to watch and Pope is exceptionally monosyllabic. Manson commands attention in every frame he appears, if ever his music dries up, he really could have a strong future in the acting world.
The world of Let Me Make You A Martyr isn’t too far away from that of Sons of Anarchy, a show in which Nicotera, Boone Junior and Manson all appeared in. It’s a gritty slice of the American wasteland. A place forgotten by the world, heavily corrupted by drugs, sex and greed. It’s a melting pot of sin and poverty and is sadly an apt reflection on our society. The cinematography captures the dusty, dirty locales in such a way that, despite the gloom, the viewer can appreciate the beauty of.
A stunningly captured, well-written revenge drama that hides a host of surprises behind strong powerhouse performances. Let Me Make You A Martyr is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
Let Me Make You A Martyr screens as part of this 2016’s Fantasia International Film Festival programme.
Find all our of Fantasia 2016 coverage here.