Jenny Wright (long lost 80's cutie from Near Dark) becomes deeply engrossed in a series of old dime store novels by Malcolm Brand, some sort of H. P. Lovecraft/Stephen King type. She's so engrossed that she begins imagining herself as the lead character in his books, a feat that becomes much easier when people in her life start turning up dead in ways similar to the victims in the books. Is there some sort of copycat killer on the loose? Is the mysterious Mr. Brand somehow to blame? Does life imitate art, etc etc?
I, Madman plays almost at times like an earlier version of John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness (Lovecraftian hack novelist's stories seem to be coming to life), and although Carpenter's film goes much further and has more fun with the material, there's still a lot to like here. Director Tibor Takacs gives the movie a comic book vibe, creating a world of dark shadowy hallways and corridors, highly stylized with bold colors and dramatic angles. The film boasts a few effective stalk/murder sequences (the finale in a used book store is fun, with characters stumbling over stacks of books while trying to flee for their lives), is told with good humor and has a very likable performance by Wright in the lead. The final result is no classic, but it's a little bit John Carpenter, a little bit Sam Raimi and a little bit Nightmare On Elm Street, not the worst places to look for inspiration.