Absurd - Absurd( Blu Ray + CD) [Severin - 2018]Following on from the recent Blu Ray reissue of Antropophagus on Severin, hereís Absurd- the second 1980ís horror film collaboration between director Joe D'Amato, and George Eastman( aka Italian actor Luigi Monterflori). Originally released in 1981- the film is a gored-up Halloween rip-off, blending in once again elements of classic horror, with 80ís euro campiness. Here we have the double-disc reissue of the film- taking in a Blu Ray, and soundtrack CD
Absurd( aka Rosso sangue, Antropophagus 2, Monster Hunter, Zombie 6: Monster Hunter) was released a year after Antropophagus, and was meant to be a sequel- though other than Eastman, there is no connection between the two- other than both films have a silent killer. Iíd say the closet comparisons, other than Halloween, would be Lucio Fulci's gruelling & sadistic gore films of the 1980ís- as we get a lot of prolonged, often power tool related killings- though the film lacks the darkly surreal edges of Fulcis work
Absurd is meant to be based on the outskirts of a US small but is clearly shot in Europe- taking in dark wooden roads, villas, and unconvincing police office sets. It opens with wild-eyed & bearded Mikos Stenopolis( Eastman) been stalked by a man in black- he gets his stomach ripped on the gates of a country houses gate- before appearing at the residency door with his guts pouring out. He's sent to the hospital, seemingly near dead- but he heals very quickly, and soon we find out heís a seemingly un-killable & silent killer. And what unfolds is him taking out first one victim after another in a grisly & over the top/euro gore manner- we get heads drilled by a medical drill, forehead on an electric saw, & head put in an oven, etc. With a very thin plot weaved around the gore- that brings in a bed bound pre-teen girl, a demented priest, and a tired chain-smoking cop. It lacks the dread-filled atmosphere of Antropophagus, but as an often shocking, OTT and bare-bones 80ís euro slasher it works fine. With the classical horror subtext coming from implied Frankenstein like monster presence of the killer
The film's soundtrack is by Carlo Maria Cordio- and its cues are a blend of swirling & tense synth sustains. Goblin like soundtracking that moves between pacey bass & keyboard driven work-outs, to more mellow/ yet moody piano-led atmospherics, onto a few straight instrumental prog-rock moments. Itís not the most distinctive soundtracks, and at times some of the cues sail close to other Goblin soundtracks- but itís serviceable & will be enjoyed by those who like scores from this time in Italian cinema. And we, of course, get this on the first CD disc in the set- the CD is the Big Beat records released version of the film's score- which was originally released in 2016 on CD taking in twenty-three tracks.
Moving onto this new Blu Ray, and we get a presentable enough new scan of the film- through the whole thing is still very darkly lit, but thatís down to the originally filming- next the effects pop nicely enough in there redness, though due to the Blu Ray treatment they do look more rubbery. We get two versions of the film- the ninety-four minutes English cut, and an eighty-eight minute Italian cut of the film with english sub-titles. Extra wise we get a new thirty-minute interview Eastman/Luigi Monterflori- and this was most worthy seeing him talk about his time working with director D'Amato- how the films effects where done, and the films other actors.
Next, we get a seventeen-minute archive interview with D'Amato- this is an in English, with him discussing many of his films including Absurd- he doesnít dwell on any one film too long, but gives interesting reminiscence for each
And lastly brought over from the 88 films release of the film we get a 17-minute interview with Michele Soavi, who appeared as one of the bikers in Absurd Ė he later went to direct the likes of late 80ís euro slasher Stage Fright, and respected 90ís Italian horror film Cemetery Man. The interview sees him discussing his role in Absurd, and his general passion for filmmaking.
I wouldnít say Absurd is one of D'Amato more atmospherically effective films, unlike say Beyond Darkness or Antropophagus- so as a result, itís less memorable. But as a stripped-back, at times campy, but often nasty euro slasher itís effective enough. And this new Serevin edition is well worth picking up- as you get both the soundtrack, the film, and some neat enough extras.