ZOMBI 6: MONSTER HUNTER (!?)
ABSURD is a pretty standard Italian take on a HALLOWEEN-ish slasher plot – outrageous gore, decent Goblin-esque prog-rock score by Carlo Maria Cordio (PIECES, MIAMI COPS, CURSE II: THE BITE, TROLL 2), thin characters, lots of boring scenes of people standing around dryly talking about what’s going on, crazy ending.
It begins with two men running: a priest (Edmund Purdom, the dean in PIECES) and a bearded Ron Silver looking guy in jeans and a manly belt buckle (George Eastman, EROTIC NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD, STAGEFRIGHT). The bearded guy climbs over a tall wrought iron fence and shows up on some rich people’s doorstep with a big glob of intestines dripping out of a belly wound.
Doctors treat the man. He heals fast and his brain grows larger for some reason. Some SILENT RAGE shit. Then he wakes up and lobotomizes a nurse. Terrible patient. If you like those grueling Italian gore scenes, this has a part where the drill goes through to the other side and the skin bulges up for a second before the bit tears through it. So you might enjoy that.
He’s like Michael Myers because he doesn’t talk, he’s hard to kill, and he goes around killing for no apparent reason. He’s unlike him because he just looks like a dude and doesn’t stand still in creepy poses. The priest says “He’s not a man anymore, he’s a creature of pure evil,” and the little boy Willy (Kasimir Berger, who looks like Walker, the older son in TALLADEGA NIGHTS) keeps calling him The Boogeyman, but I don’t know. Still just a dude, in my opinion.
The priest guy gets questioned by the police and is obviously hiding something and it turns out to be that the Vatican accidentally created this guy with advanced Jesus science or whatever and her turned out to be non-practicing. So he’s duty-bound to stop him, he’s the Loomis character or the Van Helsing or whatever. (Not Hugh Jackman Van Helsing. No hat.)
The killer guy wanders around attacking a couple people for a little bit and then shows up at the same house he came to before. I’m sure if it had a part II we’d find out he was related to someone there, but since they didn’t it’s just because they had the one location. At one point he tries to kill a guy on a motorcycle and apparently that guy is Michele Soavi, who at that point had acted in several movies and been assistant director for TENEBRAE and a couple others, but wouldn’t direct a feature for four more years.
The character who seems to show the most potential to do something interesting is the teenage girl, Katya (Katya Berger, TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS), who’s confined to a bed due to a spinal injury. In the opening she has an easel hanging above her and she’s drawing circles with a compass until her parents tell her she needs to stop. I was sure this was some obsession or geometric genius that would be used to solve a mystery or something. Actually it was just to set her up using the compass to poke the killer’s eyes out.
In the final act the kids are alone with the killer so Katya has no choice but to unbuckle herself from the bed and teach herself to walk again. It’s a little bit HARD TO KILL or KILL BILL but then she recovers miraculously fast. In the tradition of HALLOWEEN II she manages to blind the killer and he walks around trying to hunt her by sound. It’s pretty cool when she just stands calmly in the corner and his arm swings and goes right over her head because he’s so much taller than her.
I’m going to have to SPOILER the ending, which is by far the best part. Katya chops his head off with an ax. I’m sure there are other examples of this, but I can’t think of any offhand – I was impressed that it took her like nine chops or so. Usually in movies those things just come off with one swing (see HALLOWEEN H20). Anyway it cuts to the other characters outside the house. Little Willy is upset and Katya says, “Don’t worry, you don’t have to be afraid anymore,” and she holds aloft the gory severed head. And it freeze frames and the prog-rock comes in and it says ABSURD, which is not an unfair description of what we’ve just seen. And I have no idea why the kid apparently couldn’t see the head until she raised it but I could just picture the two minutes of straight applause this must get at all night horror marathons, and the movie is arguably worth playing just for that.
The movie takes place in the U.S., but was filmed in Italy, but is officially a Panamanian production, but the killer guy is supposed to be Greek (his name is Niko Tanopoulos), and everybody has accents. Anyway, that’s why everyone is always watching or talking about watching an American football game.
I guess maybe ABSURD is popular in Germany, because the name was taken for a German black metal band who strangled a guy with an electric cord and then became neo-Nazis. Most people who have seen the movie are not that bad.
Director Joe D’Amato also did the movie ANTHROPOPHAGUS with this same star and I guess he’s basically playing the same character but the two disagreed on whether this should be a sequel or not (D’Amato was for, Eastman against, and he rewrote the script himself). I haven’t seen the other movie, I just know it’s the one with the cover that’s a painting of a guy eating his own dangling intestines, which is apparently and ending spoiler. The new Severin edition of this also has a bizarre, disgusting cover but even after seeing the movie I don’t really know what this mutant penis bone blob thing here is supposed to be.
But I guess I don’t regret watching it, raves outlawvern.com.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.