Titles: Absurd (also known as Rosso Sangue, Anthropophagus 2, Monster Hunter, Horrible, and The Grim Reaper 2)
Release Date: October 1981 (Italy)
Absurd was one of the infamous Video Nasties of the United Kingdom, and became one of 39 titles to be successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Acts in 1984. It was originally released in both a cut and uncut version with identical sleeve design by Medusa Home Video in 1981. The original tape is a sought after and is an expensive collectable among fans.
It was released in 1980s in the United States as Monster Hunter by Wizard Video. To add to its questionable fame, the film inspired the name for German black metal act Absurd, whose members later switched their interest from gore films to right wing politics and committed murder in 1993.
The film was considered, at the time of its release, as a "sequel" to the Zombi of horror films, under the title Zombie 6: Monster Hunter. An incorrect description on the back of the box promoted the film as a sequel to those zombie films for a period of time.
The plot involves a near invincible man known as Mikos, a Greek citizen who was given a healing factor and driven insane by church-sanctioned scientific experimentation. A priest pursues Mikos to a town in America, and attempts to destroy him by impaling him on a set of railings which disembowel him, but he is revived later in a local hospital. The madman escapes after brutally murdering a nurse, and goes on a killing spree. The priest informs the hospital and authorities that the only way to kill Mikos is to 'destroy the cerebral mass'.
While attacking a motorcyclist after escaping from the hospital, Mikos is struck by a hit-and-run driver. The driver of the car, Mr. Bennett, and his wife are going to a friend's house to watch a football game, leaving their two children at home with a babysitter. Their daughter Katia is confined to her bed because of a problem with her spine, while her younger brother believes that the 'Bogeyman' is coming to get him.
Mikos makes his way to the Bennetts' home, and begins to murder everyone there. Peggy, a family helper, is stabbed in the head with a pickaxe, and the babysitter has her head forced into a lit oven and is stabbed in the throat with a pair of scissors, but not before sending the brother off to get help. Katia struggles from her bed to take on the killer herself. Mikos breaks into Katia's bedroom and attacks her, but she manages to stab him in the eyes with a set of drawing compasses. She then stumbles down the hallway as the blinded killer staggers after her. He stalks her through the house, but Katia manages to elude him. The priest arrives and struggles with Mikos, and Katia grabs an axe from a decorative suit of armor and decapitates Mikos with it. The police and the rest of the family arrive to discover Katia standing in the doorway, covered in blood holding Mikos's severed head. - from wiki
- Absurd is in many ways a 'non-sequel' to Anthropophagus, as the only real connections between the two films - besides George Eastman and Joe D'Amato - is the presence of a homicidal man (played by George Eastman in effectively the same role as the one he played in the first film) who is disemboweled in both films, and who comes from a Greek island.
- On its release some critics accused the film of being nothing more than an Italian version of Halloween. There are some similarities between the two films - references to a 'Bogeyman' and a babysitter and her charges in peril from a silent and seemingly indestructible killer. Director D'Amato also attempted to make the film more attractive to the American market by setting it in the States, even though it was shot in Italy.
- Absurd was placed on the DPP's list of video nasties in 1983 in its uncut state in the UK, but a version was released theatrically with two minutes and 23 seconds of cuts to it that same year.
An uncut DVD version of the film was released under the French title, Horrible, via Mya Communication on July 28, 2009. Also, an uncut DVD version including a long version of the film was released under the German title, Absurd, via XT-Video on December 15, 2010. An old VHS release exists under the title Monster Hunter.
'Absurd' is Joe D'Amato's follow-up to the notorious 'Antropophagus' and it often referred to as its sequel. However, apart from the same director and having the looming George Eastman once again wandering around killing people, there is very little similarity save the fact they are both poor films…with 'Absurd' definitely trumping its predecessor in the low quality stakes. Gone is the setting on a remote and eerily empty Greek island which characterised 'Antropohagus ', instead supplanting the (so-called) action to a small American town. In doing this, 'Absurd' is clearly going for a 'Halloween' nightmare-in-suburbia vibe…but in lacking any of the character development, script, or technical craft of Carpenter's flick, 'Absurd' flails about limply with a lame premise, zero suspense, and only manages to glimpse redemption (albeit unattained) with the make-up effects on the kills…which is no doubt why is got on the DPP's list of Video Nasties.
The plot (as some would have it) is that Eastman has undergone a scientific procedure which has enabled his body to regenerate itself quickly (a la Wolverine) and consequently can only be killed with a shot to the head. Oh, and he's insane. As such, a killing spree ensues and the Priest-cum-scientist who "created" him hooks up with the town Sheriff to hunt him down. The showdown takes place in a house with a girl (for some reason) recovering from a spinal operation, her nurse, and a really annoying kid. I've always found a house to be a great setting for a suspenseful horror movie (e.g. 'Last House on the Left' (1972), 'Black Christmas' (1974), 'Halloween' (1978)) but the pacing of 'Absurd' is so slow and the acting so bad on all counts that none of the suspense and tension which is so abundantly present in these other movies even threatens to show its head…let alone eviscerate you.
Okay, putting on my positive cap: some of the kills are pretty cool e.g. the buzzsaw-in-the-head scene as well as the oven scene, and the soundtrack has its moments…but even in a 90 minute film with competent acting and a decent story this wouldn't cut it, let alone a movie as deplorable as this. The film is quite hard to come by as it hasn't been reissued in the UK, which maybe adds a mystique to it but, as far as video nasties go, it's clear that boredom more than moral outrage is the reason why.
Review by: Roman James Hoffman from United Kingdom 3 December 2012
|Directed by||Joe D'Amato|
|Produced by||Joe D'Amato|
|Screenplay by||George Eastman|
|Story by||George Eastman|
|Music by||Carlo Maria Cordio|
|Edited by||George Morley|
|Distributed by||Medusa Pictures|
|Release dates||*October 1981 (Italy)|
|Running time||96 minutes|
- George Eastman as Mikos Stenopolis
- Annie Belle as Emily
- Charles Borromel as Sergeant Ben Engleman
- Katya Berger as Katia Bennett
- Kasimir Berger as Willy Bennett
- Hanja Kochansky as Carol Bennett
- Ian Danby as Ian Bennett
- Ted Rusoff as Doctor Kramer
- Edmund Purdom as Father
- Cindy Leadbetter as Peggy
- Lucia Ramirez as Angela
- Mark Shannon as Man on TV
- Michele Soavi as Biker
- Martin Sorrentino as Deputy
- Goffredo Unger as Machine Shop Owner
- James Sampson as Black cop (uncredited)