ABSURD BLU RAY REVIEW (SEVERIN FILMS)

Absurd (aKa Rosso Sangue, Monster Hunter, Horrible, Anthropophagus 2, Zombie 6, The Grim Reaper 2) is a 1981 slasher film shot, produced, & directed by Joe D’Amato (Emanuelle franchise, Beyond the Darkness, Antropophagus, & 2020 Texas Gladiators). It was written by lead actor George Eastman (Keoma, Escape from Women’s Prison, StageFright, & Metamorphosis), he hated the original script so he did a rewrote a new one from scratch. It was first production done by Joe D’Amato in English rather than being dubbed later on. Michele Soavi (Tenebre, Phenomena, Opera, & Demons) was an uncredited assistant director for this feature. It was one of the original video nasties titles from the United Kingdom. It was originally released in the United States on VHS by Wizard Video & later on DVD by Mya Communication.

Mikos Stenopolis (played by: George Eastman from Anthropophagus, Rabid Dogs, 2019: After the Fall of New York, Blastfighter, & 1990: The Bronx Warriors) is a man who was experimented on in a church-sanctioned scientific experiment that gave him a healing factor but it ends up making him crazy. The Vatican priest (played by: Edmund Purdom from Pieces, The Fifth Cord, Don’t Open Till Christmas, & Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks) who helped create him tracks down the monster in a small American town. He disembowels Mikos but he gets revived at a local hospital. He escapes & goes on a killing spree! The priest tries to warn everyone that the only way to stop him is to destroy the cerebral mass. The Bennetts (Ian Danby from Monsignor & Hanja Kochansky from The Family) leave their kids Katia (played by: Katya Berger from Piccole labbra, An Almost Perfect Affair, Tales of Ordinary Madness, & The Moon in the Gutter) & Willy (played by: Kasimir Berger from Christopher Columbus & Tuareg: The Desert Warrior) with babysitter Emily (played by: Annie Belle from House on the Edge of the Park, Lips of Blood, Forever Emmanuelle, & The Alcove) for a night out. Mikos ends up at their house during his path of destruction, “The Boogeyman” stalks them & giving them a living nightmare that they will never forget. Will the priest show up in time to help them? Can this family survive this unstoppable killing machine????

Joe D’Amato is mainly known for his sleazy & porn flicks but the horror films that he directed were usually pretty good. Absurd has always been called a semi “follow up” or “sequel” to Anthropophagus but it’s nothing like that film besides George Eastman as the villain. Also, at one point a shameless producer included it in the Zombie franchise which is laughable. It’s doesn’t resemble any of those productions either. It’s honestly more like an Italian rip off of Halloween but it’s much darker! This might get me some heat but I actually enjoyed it more than Anthropophagus. Mikos Stenopolis is a re-memorable killer, it’s one of my favorite George Eastman performances. Edmund Purdom was really good as the man who felt responsible for this beast & would do anything to stop him. Both of them really increased the production value here. Absurd is full of gruesome deaths & top notch special effects. Horror fans will be pleased with these familiar elements from the slasher sub genre, their gore appetite will be met with this one. It’s very entertaining, it has a nice pace to it & it keeps your eyes glued on the screen with each brutal moment after another, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!

Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Severin Films! This 1080p (1.66:1) transfer from a 2K restoration blows away all previous home video releases including the recent 88 Films blu ray. It’s definitely worth double dipping if you already own that version. It’s the best it’s ever looked! It has two different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 for the American version & Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 for the shorter Italian version under the title Rosso Sangue on the disc. The sound on this release is a major improvement from past releases. The dialogue is very clean & all the chaos is elevated in this. The best thing about it is the score from Carlo Maria Cordio (Pieces, Shocking Dark, Troll 2, Aenigma, & Touch of Death). It sounds AMAZING! It also has English & English SDH subtitles.

Let’s discuss the special features on this release. It has an alternate Italian cut of the film under the title “Rosso Sangue” that runs a little shorter at 88 minutes. It mainly just removes some additional scenes with the parents, all the gore & violence is still there. “The Return of the Grim Reaper” is an almost 31 minute interview with writer & actor George Eastman. He chats about he how he first met Joe D’Amato. He talks about reconnecting with him after getting offered to rewrite scripts for him. He brings up a few projects that he acted in for him including Absurd. He mentions that he liked this feature but it could have been better with a bigger budget & a better cast. It said they rushed to save money & it mainly only had one location to keep the costs down. He says that Joe D’Amato could have done so much more with his career & wasted his potential on lower movies. He chats about the cast & working with him on this project. This is actually one of the most interviews that I’ve seen from Eastman. He’s usually negative & he seems to regret doing whatever film he’s talking about at the moment but he actually enjoyed this one. “D’Amato on Video” is an almost 20 minute archival interview with the cinematographer, producer, & director Joe D’Amato. He chats about working with Klaus Kinski, Laura Gemser, George Eastman, Tisa Farrow, & others. He goes into great detail about them. He talks about the Emanuelle franchise. He brings up various productions he worked on over the years including his own films like Beyond the Darkness, Antropophagus, & this. He mentions Michele Soavi & producing his first film StageFright for him. He talks about how he helped out lots of young directors & gave them their first opportunity. Porno Holocaust was made up from leftover footage from Erotic Nights of the Living Dead. He says he didn’t like directing hardcore films. “A Biker (Uncredited)” is an almost 18 minute interview with actor & assistant director Michele Soavi. He chats about how he first met director Joe D’Amato. He talks about how he got the role for this. He mentions being a script supervisor & assistant director on various films. He brings up that D’Amato gave him his first directing opportunity. He says he was always helping young directors get their shot at making movies. He talks about the freedom of the business & how he ended up doing different things later on. It has a “Trailer” for the film. It also includes the limited edition soundtrack CD from Carlo Maria Cordio which features 23 tracks & it’s a little over 69 minutes. This is an AMAZING extra, one of my favorites from the release. It has reversible artwork. Hands down, this is one of the best releases from Severin Films, it’s a must own for any horror fan. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!