Absurd (1981)


Overall Rating:

Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Joe D’Amato
Written by: George Eastman

This in-name-only (and then only sometimes) sequel to Anthropophagus is even worse than the first. Apparently, there’s a killer on the loose in a small Pennsylvania town. (I think it’s there because they all seem to love the Steelers.) A Greek priest is hot on his trail in the first scene, but he only succeeds in chasing him over a steel gate where the killer gets poked in the gut by a spire. Then he pulls himself over and scares a child in the house behind the gate. (Why are his guts hanging out?)

In the hospital, the killer heals faster than the doctor has ever seen. (Although in the scene in the recovery room, they seem to leave a gaping wound in his stomach.) When the priest shows up, Killer Dude freaks out. A cop takes the priest off at gunpoint (seriously?) and Killer calms down. Of course, the doctor leaves the nurse alone and Killer does what he does best by jamming a drill through her brain. (Full on gore mode here.)

Eventually, the priest tells the cops what’s going on…and they buy it! Killer Dude is a devil in a not very good disguise! He can’t be killed by normal measures but, like the filmmakers, “it is his brain that is his weak point.” So, he’s a zombie? Or he’s possessed? Not too sure.

Killer takes out some more folks (a janitor gets bandsawed, a motorcycle punk gets strangled/dragged, a babysitter gets pick-axed in the head, etc) and the story moves on. I suppose.
All of this happens while the police chief is watching a football game! He apparently can’t be disturbed because of this. So…fire that guy.

For some reason, he makes it back to the house where he poked his gut. He freaks out the little kid again. (Serves the kid right. He, like all of his Italian film brothers, is irritating.) Then he proceeds to kill everyone in the house except for the little boy and a bedridden girl. Although, bedridden is really the wrong word. She actually appears to be a fucking prisoner! She’s latched into this bed by, seriously, a system of weights and pulleys.

Of course, the prisoner girl saves the day.

The whole movie ends on a rather defiant note with the word “FINE” written on the screen as if to say, “Ok? Fine! You don’t like it? We don’t care!”

(Yes, I know. It’s “the end” in Italian. It just came across that way.)

As I’ve said, this was not a good movie. That being said, star George Eastman (who also starred as the killer in the first film) knows how to bring the menace and director Joe D’Amato is alright with the dread and gore, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that…well, I just didn’t like it. As with a lot of cheap Italian horror films not directed by Argento, it was badly written, the characters are shells of human beings and it just didn’t make much logical sense. It was just gore scenes strung together by people running around, saying lines that really mean nothing to anyone.

But is the gore any good?

It’s passable. There’s a lot of blood in some of those kills, but one of them takes place basically off-screen and, honestly, the victims just stay alive for MUCH longer than they ever would. The first victim, the nurse with the drill in her head, stays alive through the entire process…until the drill comes out the other side! The janitor (who, for some reason has a gun) stays alive until the bandsaw gets all the way through his brain. This is a pretty small problem to have with a movie like this, but it actually did bother me for some reason.

The movie is pretty much just an excuse for D’Amato to work with Eastman again and do some almost creepy stuff. If you’ll remember, the first one was pretty bad with really only one or two good scenes. This one didn’t even really have that going for it.

LOW POINT: Blood-soaked and slightly dazed prisoner/bedridden girl telling the little boy that he doesn’t have to be scared anymore. Then she holds up the head of the “boogeyman.” Thank you, River. Now, please get back on the Serenity and keep your brother safe.

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