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Old 10-04-2011, 12:08 PM
Absurd (1981)

Absurd (1981)

Directed by Aristide Massaccesi (Joe DīAmato)
Starring George Eastman, Annie Belle, Charles Brommel

+++ review might contain minor spoilers +++

Under the pseudonym Joe Dīamato, former cameraman and cinematographer Aristide Massaccesi got a name in cult circles with splatterfests like "The Grim Reaper" and "Beyond the Darkness" as well as some post-apocalyptic action movies and lots of porn. His directorial debut "Die Mörderbestien aka Death smiled at Murder" happens to be one of my favorite horror films, although he never made anything even moderately resembling that movie ever again. He never thought of himself as an artist but rather a businessman that does whatever is profitable and his filmography clearly prooves that point. "Absurd" is an obvious cash in on the then-rising slasher trend and should be viewed as nothing more than that. As I often say, thereīs a fine but definite line between eurohorror and eurotrash and "Absurd" is one of the many films that crosses that line more than once.

George Eastman is our slasher in this movie. Heīs going around killing people. His motive is that heīs a contaminated mutant. Thatīs the plot in a (big) nutshell, thereīs some guy that chases Eastman thatīs obviously a dip on Halloweens Dr. Loomis but itīs so badly written chances are you wonīt even notice. Thereīs a little kid that makes you want to whack little kids, thereīs a blonde babysitter, there are inefficent cops. The best thing about absurd isnīt really the graphic kills but the sheer presence of Geroge Eastman. The guy isnīt even wearing a mask and looks more creepy than Freddy Krueger and Pinhead combined. Heīs the prototype of the big evil man that comes to get you if you open the door for him. Yep, Eastman is a big bad motherfucker and heīs got plenty but not enough scenes to proove it. And it also prooves that having a guy playing a slasher that can actually act (Eastmanīs aka Luigi Montefioriīs acting credits include Felliniīs "Satyricon" and Pupi Avatiīs "Christmas Present") is a good idea. Another big plus of "Absurd" is is mean streak, the film is way more brutal than the average slasher, even if some of the gore is ripped off from better films (the drill to the head bit). It also has an ass whopping score. The Mansison were the later action takes place also looks absolutely gorgerous and I bit a monthīs rent would be more than the entire budget of this film.

So, is "Absurd" a cosmogenetic masterpiece of the slasher-genre? No, definitely not. Like "Man Eater" (to which it was marketed as a sequel but bears no relation) the pacing is awful. The entire first half of the film is completely sub-bar and half-assed, the dialogues are laughable, the dubbing is shit (and I doubt the film sounds any better in italian), what passes for character development (also, all of it in the first half) is akin to watch someone talk about stuff you donīt give a shit about in real-time. Keeping in mind that Massaccesi wasnīt about art but profit (a virtue he shares with famed directors like Roger Corman and Michael Bay), none of this is really original but intentfully run of the mill. Itīs a good thing that things take shape in the last twenty minutes or so where the buttons of suspense and hysteria are pushed right and in your face. Another thing is film has in common with "Man Eater".

As a "Video Nasty", "Absurd" acchived a bit of a status for cult cinematists and itīs not entirely undeserved - George Eastman, the gore, the score and the last twenty minutes make it worthwhile after all. But itīs far rom a must-have, slasher films should still give it a view though.
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