A Xanadu Production, 1975. Directed, written, photographed, and edited by Richard Merciez. Associate producer, assistant director, gaffer, key grip and special effects supervisor: D.R. Hughes Jr., Locatrion grip: David Merciez. Music: Scherzo Tarantelle by Weiniawski. With: Don W Estes, Sweetie, Lois Whiteside, Star, Don Hughes, and Dave Merciez.
Richard Merciez desrcibed The Martyr as "a symbolic tour de force that avoids the lumpy self importance that mars many other surrealist films. Told with a sly sense of humor, The Martyr should prove to be a thoroughly enjoyable film."
"The film maker's art is often a necessarily ambiguous one, especially when it deals in conceots that have no tangible base in the real, plastic world. Thus, the film artist is forced into a beguiling position and made to execute his intellectual arguments with symbols.
Let us suppose that the human condition can be pictured as a ferris wheel standing at the North Pole. This ferries wheel contains nine seats. They are labeled such: Lower Class, Middle Class, Upper Class, Jealousy, Ambition, Greed, Sadism, Masochism, and Religion.
As one can see, they are bound together. Where one gets on is simply a freak accident. It really makes no difference – all the seats are connected and bolted to the wheel by Choice and Acceptance. So in other words, one may board the wheel on the Lower Class seat and choose to move ahead to the Middle or Upper Class seats. And if one is lucky and plays the self-defeating games of Jealousy, Ambition, Greed and Sadism well enough, he will be accepted and allowed to advance.
Advancement is usually a long, hard process that throws many people from their seats for the benefit of one. Is such a profit worth it? What has been gained other than a sick, tired old body, free of friends and fun? Capital gain! Position! It must be worth the misery since some poor fool is always having himself killed as he hops over the seats of Class, Ambition, and Greed.
Belief and faith in the machine's operator seems to make the run around the ferris wheel a little easier. Bur surprise! There is no operator! The wheel turns round and round and so does the scramble. The last seat may be full of riders, but hell if they have anything to ride on."
– Richard G. Merciez, 1975