BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Absurd (1981) - Blu-ray Review

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Absurd - Blu-ray

3 beers

Death by kitchen oven!  A band saw straight to the skull!  Headaches caused by drills!  Leave it to Joe D’Amato, Italian exploitation and porno filmmaker, to take the emerging slasher craze in America and grind the shit out of it for Italian audiences.  Absurd, his faintly familiar remix of John Carpenter’s Halloween (complete with babysitters and a towering person in the role of THE SHAPE), is yet another collaboration between himself and actor/writer George Eastman and, yet again, they somehow manage to screw it up.

But not the carnage.  Oh no.  That is perfect.  The gore, as this is exploitation filmmaking, is top notch.  The blood doesn’t merely drip here.  IT GUSHES!  Thanks to a solid 2K transfer from the original camera negative, Severin Films gives fans of all the bloodletting something to give a solid two thumbs up to, before even those fucking thumbs get whacked off. 

"At its best moments, Absurd can be appreciated as merely a carnival of gore tucked inside a slasher flick.  Why it bothers with all the other offshoots in its longwinded narrative is beyond me.  Just stick to the gore, man, and wear that Video Nasty label with pride!"


The movie begins promising enough.  There is a madman (Eastman, Hands of Steel) on the loose and only a mysterious Greek priest (Edmund Purdom, Pieces) knows enough about his regenerative background to stop him.  Yes, regenerative because, as explained by the cagy priest, the catholic church has entered into genetic creations and this towering figure is one of theirs.  And this monstrosity of human flesh can heal himself.  Intriguing!

The healing properties come in handy because the clumsy oaf gets impaled early on.  Walking into a domestic setting, complete with a child watching, as you hold your intestines to keep them from spilling out, is a pretty intense opening.  Unfortunately, we quickly fizzle on the good and the gruesome.  Because now, instead of addressing why the Vatican is all about creating monsters, we must set the table for a long and boring dinner party.

ERMAHGERD.  We don't care about any of this, Eastman!  Get to the killing, man.

D’Amato did make some awesome genre-type films, notable for more than just the boobs and the sleaze that is.  Beyond the Darkness is one example.  Of course, we’d have to wait until 1983, though, with Endgame before he got REALLY good at making solid flicks.  Here, we have D’Amato doing his level best to not answer ANY questions we might have and try to get us invested in some pretty mundane plots. 

Egads, man.  One would think that a murdering asshole let loose in a quiet American town by the Catholic Church would be a bit more exciting.  I mean what exactly is Police Sergeant Engleman (Charles Borromel, Ladyhawke) doing with his time?!  We can forgive the paralyzed Katia (Katya Berger) for all her lying around.  She gets an AWESOME finale with the murdering Mikos which, truly, is why you NEED to see this one.  Horror fanatics will lose their shit over the final head-hacking scene. 

Absurd - Blu-ray

But, again, there is simply too much filler.  I mean, for fuck’s sake, do we really need a plot that involves people sitting around watching American football for 40-minutes at a time?  Or what about the subplot where a guy whines about bumping someone with his car?  Christ, D’Amato, just get to the gore if that’s the case because, outside of an accidental impaling and a bunch of gory kills scenes, Absurd is tedious at best. 

At its best moments, Absurd can be appreciated as merely a carnival of gore tucked inside a slasher flick.  Why it bothers with all the other offshoots in its longwinded narrative is beyond me.  Just stick to the gore, man, and wear that Video Nasty label with pride!

Absurd - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Joe D'Amato
Writer:
George Eastman
Cast:
George Eastman, Annie Belle, Charles Borromel
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
A film by Joe D'Amato.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Didn't you say that boy's body was found in the north quarter?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Megastar Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
October, 1981
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 25, 2018
Synopsis: Toss away those inferior bootlegs and experience sleaze maestro Joe D’Amato’s infamous follow-up to ANTHROPOPHAGOUS like never before: Borrowing heavily from HALLOWEEN, D’Amato unleashes gut-spewing Greek boogeyman into suburban America for a saga of doomed nurses, butchered babysitters, bio-chemical clergy and some of the most insane splatter scenes in Italian gorehound history.

Absurd - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray
- September 25, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.66:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: English: LPCM 2.0; Italian: LPCM 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Severin Films boldly goes where few dare with their 1080p release of this bloody movie.  Absurd, while a bit fuzzy in areas, looks terrific in HD.  If there’s a limitation to the upgrade, it’s due to the budgetary restrictions and the mishandling of the movie throughout its lifespan.  Colors are saturated and warm.  The wardrobe items on the actors are crisp.  Shadows are defined.  The house in the story is also more vibrant than remembered.  The release includes both the English uncut version clocking in at 94 minutes and the alternate Italian cut as 83 minutes.  The audio is presented in either an English LPCM 2.0 or the Italian LPCM 2.0 track.  Another win from Severin Films.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Severin’s blu-ray release is pretty special indeed.  It includes an interview with George Eastman, an interview with D’Amato, another interview with Michele Soavi.  A trailer is also included.  It should be noted that the first 2500 copies of this release include Carlo Maria Cordio's AWESOME score on a separate disc.

  • • Rosso Sangue: Alternate Italian cut (with optional English subtitles)
  • • The Return of the Grim Reaper: Interview With Actor / Writer / Co-Producer Luigi Montefiore (George Eastman)
  • • D’Amato on Video: Archive Interview With Director Aristide Massaccesi
  • • A Biker (Uncredited): Interview With Michele Soavi
  • • Trailer
  • • First 2500 copies includes Bonus CD Soundtrack
  • • Reversible Cover

Absurd - Blu-ray

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