The 13th Floor

Slashback! This Gory Italian HALLOWEEN Clone Lives Up to its Name: ABSURD!

This splattery oddity goes by about half a dozen different names — most of which, not surprisingly, have little to do with the content of the notorious film itself, which earned a dubious spot on the UK’s infamous “Video Nasties” list of banned titles.


Many fans of vintage Euro-horror first discovered ABSURD during the bootleg tape-trading days, under the title ANTHROPOPHAGUS 2. This handle was an attempt by distributors to link the film to cannibal gore-fest ANTHROPOPHAGUS: THE BEAST — which has nothing in common with this film, apart from the presence of actor George Eastman and famed Italian exploitation mogul Joe D’Amato (a.k.a. Aristide Massaccesi) in the director’s chair. Others may know it as MONSTER HUNTER, as released by Wizard Video in the 1980s — with box art that has crap-all to do with the film itself, but is awesome nevertheless.


But that’s all beside the point. What I’m getting at is that ABSURD is the perfect title for this blood-drenched bugshit project, which basically lifts the central premise of John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN and drops it clumsily into the lush Italian countryside, where splattery mayhem promptly ensues.

Eastman (a.k.a. Luigi Montefiori), a popular villain in dozens of Italian thrillers, police dramas and exploitation films, plays Mikos, a slight variation on the mute cannibal killer he played in ANTHROPOPHAGUS… but apparently the same guy, and without the bizarre makeup appliances that made him resemble a Neanderthal with a serious skin condition.


For reasons unknown, we first see Mikos on the run from a Greek priest (Edmond Purdom of PIECES), when he’s nearly disemboweled climbing a spike-topped iron gate. It turns out he’s an escaped mental patient with supernatural regenerative abilities (much like a certain Michael Myers). Just minutes after the doctors stitch him up, our enthusiastic villain returns to the business of killing… and business, as they say, is good.


I won’t even try to explain why a priest is overseeing the care of a superhuman serial killer — or how he manages to “serve God through biochemistry” — but those pesky details don’t really matter, do they? This thing is called ABSURD for a reason.

While recognizable Italian actors try valiantly to pretend they’re living in small-town USA (seriously, what red-blooded American eats pasta at a Super Bowl party?), the film’s attention shifts to a teenager (Katya Berger) convalescing in her family’s lavish mansion, laid out in traction due to some unspecified ailment.


Along with her babysitter, a visiting doctor and an incredibly obnoxious kid brother, the girl finds herself targeted by Mikos… for no particular reason, it seems. As you’ve probably figured out by now, the loose plot is simply a vehicle for delivering as much carnage as possible… and that’s where this film excels.


The gore is occasionally cheap-looking (except for a messy table-saw murder), but certainly plentiful, and dished up with gusto; D’Amato was always known for pushing every possible boundary of acceptable taste (if you doubt me, check out BEYOND THE DARKNESS or PORNO HOLOCAUST… but remember, you were warned), and the plentiful kills are grueling, gruesome and gross.


While it’s still waiting for the proper Blu-ray treatment, ABSURD did receive a passable DVD release from Mya Communication (under the title ROSSO SANGUE), composited from multiple elements — including a few briefly extended scenes cobbled together from dark, murky tape sources. Fortunately, it’s in fairly good shape, with all the gory bits intact; graphic violence is, after all, the movie’s raison d’etre.

If you’re doubting just how insane this film is (and because you shouldn’t begin your research of D’Amato’s work with PORNO HOLOCAUST), check out this vintage Wizard Video VHS trailer (under the MONSTER HUNTER handle):