Tuesday, 8 January 2013



Always the way: you wait years for a movie by the unsung genius of Joe D'Amato, and then two come along in the space of a week. This one actually made the video nasties list thirty years ago and has still to be released back into civilised society, though if someone did bother to pick up the rights and submit it to the BBFC I'm not sure there'd be much of a problem, considering what gets through with a 15 these days. None of the horror is sexual, it's not remotely scary, and the gore may be enthusiastic but it's also crass and unconvincing, with the blood entirely the wrong colour and consistency.

Absurd (aka Rosso Sangue, aka Horrible, aka Anthropophagus 2) may have incurred the displeasure of the DPP, but it's considerably less revolting than Beyond The Darkness despite the senseless violence. It's a straight bogeyman slasher movie in which an unkillable Greek homicidal maniac kills everyone he encounters while priest Edmund Purdom tries to stop him. He drills through a nurse's head, shoves a janitor through a bandsaw and butchers a guy on a motorbike before heading for the house where he was last captured. In the house are two kids: one a teenage girl bedbound with a spine condition and the other a prime example of the Annoying Whiny Little Brat who turns up in far too many Italotrash movies: see City Of The Living Dead and The House By The Cemetery for other AWLBs you honestly hope get pickaxed....

None of it makes sense: the town's effectively closed down for the night because everyone's at home watching the big football game on live TV - yet the game is clearly taking place in broad daylight. Despite the presence of an indestructible mass murderer hacking people up, the cop on duty daren't alert his chief because "he's at home watching the game and it'd be my ass". And the kids' parents have quite happily left them alone with a useless babysitter so they can go to the neighbours' house....to watch the same football game on TV, even though they spend most of the time not actually watching it. Much of it is also incredibly boring when George Eastman (real name Luigi Montefiore) isn't butchering people for no good reason, and it's not all that exhilarating when he is. And the showstopping sadistic gore moments go on too long aren't enough to make it any good.

Despite the alternative title, it's not really a sequel to Anthropophagus, which is available in the UK as The Grim Reaper in a cut version and is utter rubbish. I think I probably prefer D'Amato to Jess Franco for horror movies (I have no idea about their porn movies): while Franco's best are probably better than D'Amato's, his worst are absolutely unspeakable, and D'Amato at least doesn't have an obsession with random crashzooms into ladies' pubes. Mostly terrible, and its commercial unavailability to UK audiences is hardly surprising and frankly no great loss.


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