3 Stars  1981/X/90m

A.k.a. Anthropophagous II; The Grim Reaper 2; Horrible; Monster Hunter

Director: Joe D’Amato [as Peter Newton] / Writer: George Eastman [as John Cart] / Cast: George Eastman, Katya Berger, Annie Belle, Charles Borromel, Edmund Purdom, Hanja Kochansky, Ian Danby, Kasimir Berger.

Body Count: 7

Dire-logue: “I’m no doctor, but that doesn’t look good.”

An as-yet un-re-submitted (!) resident of the infamous Video Nasties List of the early 80s, this sort-of sequel to the crappy Grim Reaper takes a lot of cues from Halloween, stirs in lashings of gore, and is therefore about 642% better than its predecessor.

Eastman is the beardy-loon on the run from Purdom’s priest Pleasence-clone when he is injured atop a spiked gate at the home of the “all-American” Bennett family: mom, dad, aggressively punchable brat-of-a-son Willy, and paralysed teenage sister Katya, who is confined to a cot-contraption upstairs until she can summon the strength to walk again. You can guess what’s coming later.

Beardy-loon is rushed to hospital where the doctors working on him comment that it’s “absurd” how his body repairs itself against the laws of science. He later wakes up and thanks the staff by driving a drill through the temple of a nurse and then feeding some other poor idiot’s bald head into a saw.

Naturally, he gravitates back to the Bennett house and does away with the stand-in babysitter before going after poor Katya and the replacement babysitter. All the while, Willy stands around like a tool and whines about things as everybody watching hopes that the reason this film found its way on to the Video Nasties List is because it did away with the insufferable little prick with extreme prejudice.

Alas, it doesn’t come to be. But Absurd is full of gratuitous violence all the same: the first two kills are the most splatterific, and things DO get tense towards the end as Katya – as we suspected – finds that inner strength to hobble around and takes on the maniac with a compass of all things and a game of hide and seek ensues.

Of all the Halloween Xeroxes out there, it’s certainly one of the most obvious, full of “I’ll go look, you stay here” dialogue, but it does pack some interesting moments, including a funny final shot, rendering it a fair retread through familiar surroundings and a mini Holy Grail for gorehounds and masochists who like to endure the presence of bad child actors who won’t fucking die.

Look out for Stagefright director Michele Soavi as the young biker victim.

Blurbs-of-interest: Purdom was also in Pieces and Don’t Open Til Christmas (which he also directed some of); Soavi also acted in A Blade in the Dark.


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