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.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 at 8:01 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

12 Responses to “Absurd”

  1. Well now I wanna see this. Thanks Vern.

  2. Now we’re talking! I love both this and ANTHROPOPHAGUS (which, under its American name, THE GRIM REAPER, was Joe Bob Briggs’ debut review). In fact, I gotta be honest and admit that, nine times out of ten, I prefer 80s Italian Trash to 70s Italian Trash. Nothing against the classics of that earlier era, but a lot of the gialli and gialli-esque stuff from that period leaves me cold. You get these amazing stylistic set-pieces surrounded by oceans of monotonous scenes of opaque Euromodels walking around piazzas in miniskirts and high heels and indistinguishable honkeys in brown suits talking about phony psychology. I’m in that mood every now and then, but in general give me a cheeseball Fabrizio De Angelis ripoff of a recent American hit or some Filmirage soft-focus splatter hokum starring Linda Blair. The two films in question are great examples of what I love about this era of Italosploitation: they’re just as committed to the credo of sensation over substance as their 70s predecessors, but without any delusions that any of this crap means anything. There’s an endearing bluntness to these films that I think can make them creepier than their art-damaged forebearers. George Eastman in this role (its the same character as far as I’m concerned) is one of the more effective silent slashers, in my opinion, because of how basic he is. He’s here, he’s big, he’s just a dude, and he’s gonna eat your face and there’s nothing you can do about it. It means nothing and that’s why it’s scary. I think he 100% works in the role. The weirdly banal doldrums between murders just makes the sudden eruptions of hilariously callous violence all the more shocking and entertaining. Yeah, nothing’s gonna beat the style of a vintage Argento or the savage psychedelia of a classic Fulci, but when it comes to your garden-variety Italotrash, give me the unpretentious slop of the 80s over the surprisingly bourgeois sophistication of the 70s.

  3. I can’t speak for the super gorehounds and horror fanatics of Germany, who buy every splatter shlock, doesn’t matter if it’s only available as bootleg or as special extra deluxe overpriced Mediabook-in-a-steelbox edition, but I have never heard of that movie.

    I never heard the story of the band either, but I’m neither into black metal or Nazis

  4. My fav ‘80’s Italian horror that no one talks about is Paganini Horror. Found it by accident by doing a google image search for the Japanese CHILD’S PLAY poster and the poster for it came up and I knew I had to see it. Really great and weird little movie and if anyone is into the weird Italian horror of the ‘80’s I think you might dig it. Has Donald Pleasance in a small recurring cameo phoning it in if you’re not sold already.


  5. CJ, if you don’t speak for the super gorehounds and horror fanatics of Germany, who will?!

  6. Majestyk, you seem to know a thing or two about Italian 70s movies. I’m in Fopp (a store) in London looking at a Ruggero Deaodato dvd called LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN. I’m definetively buying it, but is it worth the money?

  7. I gotta admit, I am not the world’s biggest Poliziotteschi fan. They have great sequences and a grimy, sleazy feel David Ayer would kill for, but in between all the good stuff there’s a little too much of that “dudes in brown suits sitting around talking about stuff” thing that bogs down many a 70s genre film. That said, LIVE LIKE A COP, ETC is definitely one of the faster and more entertaining examples of the genre, full of Deodato’s trademark meanness and some pretty excellent motorcycle stunts. And it’s got a great theme song. Don’t overspend but I doubt you’d regret your purchase.

  8. @Pegsman, LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN is definitely worth your time. Falls under the Hairy Macho Bullshit category, which I personally love.

    Might I suggest, for more Poliziotteschi, Gang War in Milan, Caliber 9, and my personal favorite–The Italian Connection (directed by Di Leo), which features a great Mario Adorf pimp role, and the team of Henry Silva and Woody Strode as hitmen (supposedly inspired Pulp Fiction’s Jules and Verne).

  9. “Hairy Macho Bullshit” is exactly how I would describe the entire Poliziotteschi genre. I’m gonna reuse that. Nicely done.

  10. Thanks for the feedback, guys. There wasn’t much else I fancied, so I moved over to the Asian section. Didn’t cost much, though.

  11. “Absurd” actually came out as “Anthropophagous II” on pirate video, and even some official VHS releases. “Anthropophagous” is a much better flick, by the way. Of course, it’s still a Z-rate piece of shit made by a porn maker, but it takes place on a cool, spooky island, and has many nice shots that give it a decent atmosphere. It has a nice, chilling soundtrack, too (soundtrack being the only decent part of “Absurd”). I’m ashamed to admit that it’s actually one of my guilty horror watches, and I’m even more ashamed to admit that I even bought its recent (and pretty great) Arrow Bluray release.

    By the way, Mobus, the nazi killer from “Absurd” the band, spent quite a while hiding in USA a while ago. Pierce, the author of “The Turner Diaries”, had his inbred nazis protect him in their compound. I think your US marshals eventually caught Mobus’s ass, but he’s definitely free today.

    (I would say that under Trump, you should probably expect Bard Faust or Varg Vikernes to show up in USA soon, but the former is usually too drunk to do anything, and the latter is nowadays in one of his new phases; AFAICR, he currently believes that true warrior people evolved from bears, and is shooting shitty videos to prove that scientific breakthrough. No, I’m not joking).

  12. I saw this one Sunday afternoon at my Nan’s place at the age of 10. My Nan’s partner had a stash of video nasties and this was on a double with Who Can Kill a Child. The main part I remember is the babysitter and the oven. Crazy film.

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