Absurd (film)

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Absurd (Rosso Sangue)
Absurdposter.jpg
Film poster
Directed byJoe D'Amato
Produced byJoe D'Amato
Donatella Donati
Edward Sarlui
Screenplay byGeorge Eastman[1]
Story byGeorge Eastman[1]
StarringGeorge Eastman
Annie Belle
Charles Borromel
Katya Berger
Ian Danby
Kasimir Berger
Hanja Kochansky
Edmund Purdom
Ted Rusoff[1]
Music byCarlo Maria Cordio[1]
CinematographyJoe D'Amato[1]
Edited byAlberto Moriani[1]
Production
company
P.C.M. International
Metaxa Corporation[2]
Distributed byCinema 80 (theatrical)[3]
Release date
  • October 1981 (1981-10) (Italy)
[citation needed]
Running time
96 minutes[citation needed]
CountryPanama
Italy
LanguageEnglish[3]

Absurd (Italian: Rosso Sangue, literal translation: Red Blood; also known as Anthropophagus 2, Zombie 6: Monster Hunter, Horrible and The Grim Reaper 2) is a 1981 Panamanian-Italian horror film directed, lensed and co-produced by Joe D'Amato and starring George Eastman, who also wrote the story and screenplay.[4]

The film is a spiritual sequel to Antropophagus.

Plot[edit]

Mikos Stenopolis is a man who was experimented on in a church-sanctioned scientific experiment that gave him a healing factor but inadvertently drove him insane. The Vatican priest who helped create him pursues the homicidal Mikos to a small American town, attempting to kill 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 friend, 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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

George Eastman, the film's protagonist and writer, remembers that director and producer Joe D'Amato wanted it to be a proper sequel to Antropophagus (1980) whereas Eastman himself was opposed. D'Amato then only asked him to act in it, but when Eastman read the treatment which someone had written, he found it so bad that he decided to write one himself for D'Amato.[3] Eastman then remembers rewriting it "from scratch, like one of those American thrillers, Halloween style".[3]

The shooting took place in May 1981 in a relatively short period of time.[3] Eastman remembers that the whole film was shot at nighttime.[3] The two child actors, Katia and Kasimir Berger, were the children of William Berger (actor).[5]

Michele Soavi, who played a biker in the film, went on to become a successful Italian horror film director in his own right. D'Amato later produced Soavi's first directorial effort Stage Fright (1987 film), which he said was "...out of all the films I produced, my favorite, and Soavi is the most talented out of all the young directors I've launched....I think very highly of him."[6]

Absurd was the first film D'Amato directed spoken in English,[3] as it was conceived almost exclusively for the foreign market[7]

At one point during the shoot, according to D'Amato's personal documents, the film's working title was La porta dell'oltretomba (literally: "The Door of the Beyond").[3]

The house in which most of the film is set was located at Riano Romano near Rome.[3] Donatella Donati remembered it belonged to some girls who used to rent it out as a film set.[3] A few months later, in the summer of 1981, the same set was used in the three adult films Baby sitter, Pat una donna particolare and ...e il terzo gode directed by Alberto Cavallone under the pseudonym "Baron Corvo".[3][8]

D'Amato produced the film with his "P.C.M. International" (the acronym standing for "Produzioni Cinematografiche Massaccesi"), which he had already used to produce Sesso nero and Antropophagus, while Edward Sarlui provided additional funding with his Panamanian company Metaxa Corporation and acted as shield - so much so that the film never became Italian and ended up being officially Panamanian.[3] However, D'Amato later twisted it back his way and distributed it with his company "Cinema 80".[3]

Relation to Antropophagus[edit]

Absurd is in many ways only a spiritual sequel to Anthropophagus. Connections between the two films are the following : George Eastman's and Joe D'Amato's involvement; the presence of a murderer, played by George Eastman in effectively the same role as the one he played in the first film, the disemboweled man and the association with a Greek island in both films[9].


Joe D'Amato attempted to make the film more attractive to the American market by setting it in the United States, even though it was shot in Italy[10][11].

Release[edit]

Italy[edit]

Absurd passed censorship on October 21, 1981.[1]

Theatrically, Absurd was released as Rosso Sangue in October 1981 in Italy.[citation needed] It was distributed by D'Amato's company Cinema 80, which he mostly used to produce hard core pornographic films.[3]

On VHS, the films was released by Avo and Cinemanetwork.[1]

UK[edit]

Absurd was originally released in both a cut and uncut version with identical sleeve design by Medusa Home Video in 1981.[citation needed] The original tape is much sought-after and is an expensive collectable among fans.[citation needed] In its uncut state, Absurd was placed on the DPP's list of video nasties in 1983, but that same year a version was released theatrically with two minutes and 23 seconds of cuts. Still, Absurd was one of the video nasties of the United Kingdom, and became one of 39 titles to be successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Acts in 1984.[citation needed]

In 2016, the UK company "88 films" conducted a crowdfunding campaign for a new mastering of the film in 2k. The goal was reached quickly and surpassed, and the additional budget was used to add four other films. The BBFC rated Absurd with the BBFC '18' classification with no cuts necessary. That was the first time for the film in the UK. Previously, it was censored with that rating. The new Blu-ray, released by 88 Films, had its street date on February 13th, 2017.[12]

Other countries[edit]

In the United States, Absurd was released on VHS by Wizard Video under the title Monster Hunter.[citation needed] The film was also considered, at the time of its home video release, as a "sequel" to the Zombi series, 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.[citation needed] On September 25, 2018, the film was released on blu-ray by Severin Films limited to 3000 copies.[13]

In Germany, the film was released on DVD by Astro.[1]

An uncut DVD version of the film was released under the French title, Horrible, via Mya Communication on July 28, 2009.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

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.[citation needed]

To add to its fame, the film inspired the name for German black metal act Absurd, whose members later switched their interest from gore films to far-right extremism and committed murder in 1993.[14]

In 2001, Peter Dendle called the film a "boring formula-slasher."[15] In his book on slasher movies published in 2004, Jim Harper opined that it was "a marginally better film than Anthropophagous" mainly because of its slightly improved pacing, with "gruelling special effects every twelve minutes or so" - which Harper, however, also criticises as "dull and repetitive". According to Harper, D'Amato's camerawork is "as inept as ever", and "any humour [...] entirely unintentional".[16]

In 2012, Peter Normanton wrote: "While hopelessly limited by the constraints of an inadequate budget, [D'Amato] was still able to deliver the American-styled slasher, with script-writer George Eastman [...] engaging just enough narrative to allow the psychopath to stray between a series of set pieces as he killed off a predominantly youthful supporting cast."[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gomarasca & Pulice 2009, p. 40.
  2. ^ Gomarasca & Pulice 2009, pp. 40–41.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Gomarasca & Pulice 2009, p. 41.
  4. ^ Gomarasca & Pulice 2009, pp. 41–42.
  5. ^ Palmerini, Luca M.; Mistretta, Gaetano (1996). "Spaghetti Nightmares". Fantasma Books. p. 78.ISBN 0963498274.
  6. ^ Palmerini, Luca M.; Mistretta, Gaetano (1996). "Spaghetti Nightmares". Fantasma Books. p. 78.ISBN 0963498274.
  7. ^ Palmerini, Luca M.; Mistretta, Gaetano (1996). "Spaghetti Nightmares". Fantasma Books. p. 78.ISBN 0963498274.
  8. ^ Grattarola & Napoli 2014, p. 373.
  9. ^ "Blu-ray Reviews: Anthropophagous (1980) & Absurd (1981)". Daily Dead. 2018-10-06. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  10. ^ "MOVIES & MANIA | Absurd – Italy, 1981 – reviews". MOVIES & MANIA. 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  11. ^ "A FOR ABSURD AND ANTHROPOPHAGOS: THE BEAST". www.themusicguruonline.net. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  12. ^ "Absurd - Restored Blu-ray in February 2017 - 88 Films releases D'Amato Horror Film in the UK - Movie-Censorship.com". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Absurd Blu-ray". Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  14. ^ Moorhouse, Frank (2006). Satanic Killings. Allison & Busby.
  15. ^ Dendle, Peter (2001). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. McFarland. p. 198.
  16. ^ Harper, Jim (2004). Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies. Headpress. p. 61.
  17. ^ Normanton, Peter (2012). The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies. Robinson. p. numbers not given.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]