This review comes from our friends over at the "Here Comes The Spooky" Podcast!
A family is interrupted one afternoon by a knock at the door from a man who is holding his own guts in his hands. After being chased by a priest and taken to a local hospital, he escapes and goes on a night-long killing spree to get back to that house. Who is he, how did he survive his wounds, and what does he want with this seemingly innocent family?
If you have heard of Anthropophagus (aka The Grim Reaper) then you have undoubtedly crossed paths with the film Absurd as well. Directed by Joe D’Amato (Anthropophagus, Troll 3) and written by George Eastman (Anthropophagus) is the “spiritual successor” to the first movie they made together, Anthropophagus. Another film on the infamous Video Nasties List (or as we like to call it the “Hello Nasty List” cause we are dorks who worship The Beastie Boys) but I don’t really feel like it deserves its spot. Unlike their previous film together, D’Amato and Eastman delivered a pretty straight and narrow film with just a few touches of gore that essentially could have been edited to keep the film out of the crosshairs of the DDP. For being a more well-known horror movie, this certainly is a more mundane member of the “Spaghetti Horror” club. Once you see it for yourself, by the 30 min mark you will likely notice that this is nothing more than an Italian rip-off of the original Halloween from 1978. While that might not necessarily sound like a bad thing, as imitation is the purest form of flattery, this whole thing could have been edited down to 23 min and I still would have struggled to watch it but that ending (while much more tame than their previous film) does stand out as one of the best parts of the movie.
You’ll notice a pattern here as this movie is constantly compared to its supposed “predecessor” and you cannot help but fall into that trap. As with the same writer and director team, is also the cast of mostly unknown actors. George Eastman (Anthropophagus, Call of the Wild) is back as pretty much the same killer again but with almost no motive and is chased by Edmund Purdom (Pieces, Don’t Open Till Christmas) who is our Dr. Loomis type character but is literally only credited “Priest” here. Other than those 2, we have a small bit part of a Biker played by Michele Saovi (The New York Ripper, Demons, and director of Cemetery Man) as the only other recognizable cast member. The rest were small time fodder who didn't make much of an impact. Even though we are set in the USA, Absurd was filmed in Italy but this time we have an all English speaking cast as this film was made with the foreign market in mind but the acting comes off as awkward as you can imagine, specifically when a group of adults at a party stand around and watch American Football (LA Rams vs Green Bay Packers). While light on the special effects, what really stands out well is the physical acting that takes place in the 3rd act of the film. At one point I had to re-watch a scene because I really left like I was witnessing a woman being stuffed into a hot oven at one point and that’s all that you can ask from any movie, just one great scene that you will never forget.
In the end, this was just another 90 min movie that I can check off the list, but I don’t really feel like it's time well spent. If you are like me and have a list just to say that you’ve “seen em’ all” then by all mean go for it, there is certainly worse movies you could spend your time watching but if you are looking for something a little more memorable, enjoyable, or down right bloody then this is a pass. Recommended for anyone who has already seen Anthropophagus or someone who is a fan of foreign horror but do not Fexpect the schlock and gore that comes with those previous experiences. Like sex on prom night, your expectations will be let down. You can find this many streaming services (Tubi, Amazon) or get a Blu-ray copy from Severin Films for a high-quality transfer and a few special features to gnaw on.
Overall Rating 5/10 (add one point if you really, really like the last 30 seconds)
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