Or: Horrible / Anthropophagus 2 / Rosso Sangue / Zombie 6: Monster Hunter / Psychose Infernale / Terror Sin Limite / The Grim Reaper 2 / Ausgeburt der Hölle as its also know.
Swedish wisdom has it that the fond child has many names, and by that measure there must be hella-lotta-love for the first Video Nasty on the list. Not living up to its suggestively surrealist British title – Absurd, it does live up to other titles such as Rosso Sangue and the truly descriptive Horrible. Cheap & Cheerful could have been another option for the Italian filmmakers, but instead the given title seems to be Anthropophagus 2, vaguely related as it is to Anthropophagus (1). Ironically that’s next on the DDP list, so more on that soon.
Using John Carpenter’s Halloween as its basis, Anthropophagus 2 adds one dash of crusading priest from The Exorcist, a pinch of axe-wielding action from The Shining, and a bearded quasi-invincible Greek maniac from… Greece. It’s never made clear quite what drives this Hellenic psycho, but he seems to relish killing people in particularly gruesome ways. But then again, I guess that’s the point. Yet, you can’t say he –enjoys- killing, as he just seems to be angry and frustrated about the matter. He takes particular care and attention to do things as slowly and tortuously as possible, and his complete lack of visible reaction to these gruesome actions is what probably irked the censors in the first place. Lord knows it irked me.
The horror of the relentless and driven killer is the key to any good slasher film, but the unmasked, Puma sporting, bearded Greek took some time to be established. To all appearances he seems normal, he’s just being chased by a mysterious and quite sinister priest. He debilitates himself in surprisingly unspectacularly fashion on a spike fence, stumbles in dying in a family home, but then regenerates magically on the operating table. The doctors are stunned, the mute Greek rises, and goes on a wrecking campaign against the good medical folk who saved him. Most ungrateful.
While the priest and the police talk in circles about the why’s and the what-for’s the Greed Greek takes to killing some more innocents in brutal fashion. He eventually returns to the family he initially stumbled in on, and terrorizes them, shoving the poor wife’s head in an oven. The bed-ridden, compass-twiddling daughter then breaks free from her restrictive medical gear to launch into the ‘last-woman-left’ role with absolute gusto.
The results speak for themselves in the delightful screengrabs. The motivations behind the killer, and the whole story itself are wholly beyond me. The plot lurches from scene to scene, and while the repetitive scale-racing soundtrack is cheery enough, the film just isn’t Absurd enough to be just plain funny. Fingers crossed syllable heavy Anthropophagus (1) can shed some light and what kept this manic Mediterranean sort going.