Plot: A killer is on the loose, but this is no ordinary manic, instead Mikos (George Eastman) is a lumbering, seemingly unkillable force of nature. He can be wounded, but his regeneration is superhuman, so he recovers fast and continues on with his violent rampage. This poses some real concerns, as such a behemoth is a genuine menace and he has already left a trail of corpses in his wake. As if the murders weren’t bad enough, no one seems to care about this lunatic’s madness, as the Super Bowl is on television and has enraptured the locals. But he will face some resistance, as a strange priest, a pair of odd police officers, and a young woman with a spinal injury might have a chance to end Mikos’ reign of terror.
Entertainment Value: This slasher from Joe D’Amato has it all, George Eastman on a rampage, wild gore effects, bizarre characters, and even gratuitous Halloween references, not to mention the movie passes off Italy as the American suburbs and the Super Bowl unfolds in the background. The narrative is simple enough at first glance, with an invincible madman stalking victims, but soon things spiral out of control and all kinds of oddball threads get woven into the mix. I love how the Super Bowl is almost a character itself, distracting the locals from the impending death dealer loose on the streets, but that is just one of numerous mind bending twists here. The movie is populated by several bizarre, colorful characters, but as usual, George Eastman is able to steal the show and while he doesn’t do a whole lot in Absurd, he is just a spectacle unto himself. The wild look in his eyes as he shambles about the movie is pure magic, as only Eastman can provide. I do think the pace here is inconsistent, with some slow stretches broken up by bursts of wackiness, but this is never a dull ride, just one that could be a little snappier. In any case, Absurd is one of the stranger Halloween knockoffs and a movie that delivers a wealth of outlandish elements, all of which combine to craft a fun, out of this world slasher movie.
No nakedness. This might be a shocker for some folks, but this D’Amato slasher has no real sleaze to speak of. But while the sleaze is absent, the violence steps in to balance out the madness. I mean, Eastman runs a bald man’s head through a table saw and to me, things don’t get much better than that. That scene alone makes Absurd worth a look, as the cheap, but effective gore techniques are on point and look quite good, splashing around the red stuff as the skull is cleaved in twain. But that’s just one spotlight scene, as we also have a nice drill through the dome sequence and a brutal oven burn that turns up the heat. There’s also some ax handling, gut ripping, eye gouging, and a super fun decapitation, so Absurd deliver in this department. As I said, the effects look cheap, but also quite cool and the kills are creative to boot. The dialogue is odd, especially if you go with the English language version, with some stilted and lost in translation moments that stand out. Not a tidal wave of wild or confusing lines, but a few zingers and strange exchanges surface in this one. If you can’t tell by now, Absurd is indeed on the absurd side, so it earns some solid craziness points. The Halloween lifts, splashy gore, dead eyed Eastman, and inexplicable narrative elements ensure that cult film fans should find a lot to like here.
Overall Insanity: 6/10
The Disc: Severin Films’ Blu-ray release sports a new 2k scan from the original negative, so the movie looks impressive, to say the least. The print is clean and shows minimal signs of age or wear, which is the foundation that allows Absurd to look better than it ever has. The detail level is much improved over previous editions, but the image still has that film-like texture, so it hasn’t been over scrubbed. I was delighted by this new visual treatment and I doubt Absurd will ever look better. The extras on this disc include the alternate Rosso Sangue cut of the movie, interviews with Luigi Montefiori, Joe D’Amato, and Michele Soavi, as well as the film’s trailer.