28 May 2011

Absurd - Lisa's Review

So this kicks off the 'Video Nasty a week' challenge as undertaken by myself, Will and Darren. I'm relatively new to these kind of movies, so how well I do with regards to watching them all remains to be seen, but as an avid movie fan and someone who likes a challenge, I thought I'd give it a go.

My main thought after watching this movie is why on earth is it considered a 'nasty'? Why was it successfully prosecuted? I have read the background and was quite surprised that it seems a popular choice, it inspired a rock band so much they used the title as their name and it has even been compared to an Italian 'Halloween'. I did watch a lot of horrors in the 80's having a father who is a big horror fan and honestly found those much more horrific than this movie.

I don't expect much in the way of a storyline while watching these movies, but the entire cast here need enrolling for some kind of acting lessons. The adults overact or in the case of the first murder victim don't react facially at all, the actors paid to loan their voices to the movie (as its an Italian movie) sound like they are just reading badly from a page, but the most irritating thing of all is the little boy in the movie... Will. I would gladly take and shake him! That would probably make for some more horrific footage than anything shown here.

The music, rather than set the scene and add to the story, just bloody irritates you. I found myself sat turning the sound up and down the whole way through to block it out when it started. They really pushed the boat out with Bontempi for this one.

I also found this movie was cut together really badly. Rather than pass seamlessly from one scene to another, it sharply cuts from a scene of normality and dialogue to a murder scene.

Another irritation is one of those things a lot of movies feel the need to do which is explain every little thing, either with badly written dialogue or a jerky zoom in to whatever item they want you to realise tells the next part of the story..... I'm not thick.. let me work it out for myself!

With regards to the 'gore', Ok so I realise this is early 80's but having seen a lot of supposedly less gorey 80's horrors, this was nowhere near them in effects and realism. The blood was too red... regardless of where the victim was bleeding from. Surely the movie makers realise not all blood looks like poster paint. The consistency however is not bad. The fake skin is horrendous.. thats probably the worst bit. Rather than leave you feeling squeamish and horrified, it makes you laugh at how ridiculous it looks.

I will give the writer his dues, that the ideas behind the murders were generally good and had promise, had they been executed (no pun intended) properly.

In complete contrast however, the latter half of the film has a 'head in oven' scene which is very well done. Not very gorey but the make-up is great, its very realistic and avoids the temptation to overdo it, the effect works well, the acting is actually good in this part and you do feel the horror of the situation. It really made me wonder why they got the rest of the movie so wrong, when this part was so right?

I won't give the supposed 'twist' of the movie away but you'll probably (like me) see it coming a mile off. I wish they'd put more thought into how they were going to play out this scene as its a bit of an anti-climax to be honest and there is just too much wrong with it (by way of inconsistencies and 'its-a-miracle' like recoveries) to take any of it seriously. The closing scene has probably the best gore of the entire movie, but I don't think its worth wading through the rest of the dirge to get to this bit. On the other hand, its not bad enough to watch for laughs like some of these movies.

In conclusion, I'd say if you want to watch something for the gore, don't bother, theres bugger all in the way of proper gore here. If you want to feel tension and peril, again don't bother, there is more of all of these changing my sons nappy. Sadly if you want to view it for laughs with friends, again, its not quite bad enough to do that with either.

I would only recommend this to someone who, like us, wants to watch our way through this list just so they can see them all, say they have and hopefully find some gems in the process. I know there will be much worse than this movie (I've seen them) but I'm genuinely hoping on day 1 of this challenge, there is much better.

Oven Scene = 9/10
Gore = 2/10
Makeup = 5/10 (mostly for the oven scene)
Disgust Rating = 0/10
Story = 2/10
Acting = 3/10
Overall movie rating = 2/10

Please use the comments below only to comment on this post - to write your own review, please comment on the "Reader Reviews" post for this movie.

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