Archive for Joe D’Amato

Contamination . 7 (1993) Review

Posted in Contamination .7 with tags , , , on April 15, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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CONTAMINATION .7

** Out of 5

Tagline- They Hunt, They Feed, They Kill, You’re Next

Release Date- October 18th, 1993

Running Time- 91-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Daniel Steel & Albert Lawrence

Director- Martin Newlin (Fabrizio Laurenti)

Starring- Mary Sellers, Jason Saucier, Bubba Reeves, Chelsi Stahr, Vince O’Neil

Released in 1993 Contamination .7, which also goes under the titles, Creepers, the Crawlers, Troll III and Troll III: Contamination Point 7, is a rather poor flick and the multiple titles is probably a way to trick people into seeing this junk. The credits list Martin Newlin as director, which is Fabrizio Laurenti under an alias (can’t say I blame him for using one), but other sites also list David Hills as one of the directors, which is none other than the infamous Joe D’Amato. Regardless of if both directed the film or not its just terrible and at this point the Italian horror film, which gained some popularity on the international market in the 60s and remained popular through most of the 80s was dying by the end of the 80s and was dead by 90s, as the top filmmakers were either dead or lost their touch and in some cases the hack filmmakers were still putting out their junk with even worse results and really the only exception was Dario Argento and outside of the underrated Trauma the rest of his work from the 90s on was hit or miss. With Joe D’Amato throuh his career he bordered decent filmmaker to hack and while I personally dislike the good majority of his work he did make a truly excellent film with Beyond the Darkness and while I don’t like Grim Reaper I did like what he was aiming to do with the film, which was very mixed in execution.

The plot revolves around the dumping of nuclear waste is a forest, which results in the trees in the forest coming alive and killing people. Basically there is your plot with little else except the subplot of a former couple working on their relationship.

The screenplay was written by Daniele Stoppa under the name Daniel Steel and Albert Lawrence. According to other sites Rosella Drudi & Fabrizio Laurenti also took part in the writing and its amazing that this film needed this many writers for such a poorly plotted film. The script while has a decent idea never fully works and characters are lifeless and dull with others being complete morons that are better off dead. Dialogue is often silly and while at times its meant to be funny, but a lot of the times the comedic aspect isn’t intentional. The screenplay is simply a bore and while Italian horror may not always mentioned for their writing (though the 70s had some well written films) the script for Contamination .7 is complete garbage and its no surprise Italian horror died a painful death when trash like this was made.

Since only Martin Newlin is listed as director I’ll only mention him. The pace of the film is quite sluggish and the overall production sloppy. There is zero suspense and tension and as the film goes on it can be quite a task to get through. As I mentioned earlier at this point Italian cinema was dead and buried and when seeing films like this it really isn’t difficult to understand why. The film is poorly made the direction flat, pacing is slow and boring and with the exception of 1 scene the lack of gore further sinks this film.

Contamination .7 is a very poor film that for the good portion of the running time is a total bore and even the most die hard fans of Italian cinema probably won’t feel much different than I do. This was one of the last films by Joe D’Amato as after this the good bulk of his work would be porn films and based off what I read he didn’t fair much better.

Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper (1980) Review

Posted in Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper with tags , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review by Dave

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Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper

** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- It’s Not Fear That Tears You Apart. It’s Him!

Release Date- August 9th, 1980

Running Time- 91-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Joe D’Amato & George Eastman

Director- Joe D’Amato

Starring- Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Zora Kerova and George Eastman

Released in 1980 The Geim Reaper was heavily censored and was part of the video nasties for its graphic acts of violence. Over the years the movie has built up a large cult following and many cite this as one of Joe D’Amato’s best movies and in general outside of Beyond the Darkness I was never really fond of his work and the Grim Reaper might be one of his better movies in terms of filmmaking, but at the end of the day the film is quite boring and made more frustrating is it had all the elements to really be a true classic of the genre, but instead it ends being a movie that fails in general and the shocking scenes are surprisingly not as shocking as one might have heard.

Joe D’Amato was best know for his gore flicks such as Beyond the Darkness or his sleazy XXX flicks such as the Emmanuelle series and Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, but with the Grim Reaper while there is plenty of gore on display, D’Amato opts to go for more atmosphere and it was an interesting idea, but as I stated it doesn’t really work as much as I had hoped. As I mentioned this film is sometimes noted for its extreme gore, but anyone that has seen enough of these films what you see here isn’t as shocking as many reviews state. If anything this flick does show D’Amato had a little more talent than might realize, but again the film at least for me doesn’t fully work.

The screenplay by Joe D’Amato & George Eastman has a group of tourists stranded on a deserted island where all the people have been murdered by a crazed cannibal killer (played by Eastman). And that is basically the plot in a nutshell. There is a backstory on the killer, but the plot is light, which is typical at times with the horror genre, but that’s not where the movie fails. The problem is the script by D’Amato & Eastman is rather dull with poor characters. I highly doubt anyone will remember the names of any of the characters. Nothing the characters say or do is very interesting and sure slasher movies aren’t exactly founded on great characters, but these are some of the weaker ones and none really have their own identities either basically all the characters are interchangeable.

As director Joe D’Amato actually crafts a fairly well-made movie; rather than focus on sleaze and gore, which was D’Amato’s trademark, he attempts at creating an eerie atmosphere with a film built on suspense. The problem though is the characters are so weak it’s impossible for them to carry the movie and therefore what D’Amato attempts fails and instead of atmosphere and suspense, Grim Reaper is just kind of slow and boring. With that said there are some nice touches and there are moments when what D’Amato was doing works well, but in general the pacing is just too sluggish. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me the films I find the most suspenseful are the ones I can get some kind of attachment to the characters, but the fact they are so faceless it hinders suspense and tension.

The film has often been cited for its gore F/X and while to the more casual viewer the film would be quite graphic, but for anyone that knows these films it’s actually not as gory as many have made it out to be, but with that said the Grim Reaper does have some nice gore scenes. But just don’t expect as much as you may have heard.

The casting for the movie is excellent with a number of actors that appeared in countless Italian horror flicks in the 70s and 80s. We have Tisa Farrow, Serena Grandi (under the name Vanessa Steiger), Zora Kerova and of course as mentioned earlier George Eastman. Despite the solid cast they’re pretty much wasted here since the film is quite slow.

Overall Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper has slightly grown on me and while I like what D’Amato was attempting to do with the movie, but it is a little too sluggish in pacing and the poor script hurts the movie. While I never hated the movie I do enjoy it a little more now, but its still mostly sub-par. This was followed by a sequel of sorts the following year again directed by D’Amato and George Eastman returns as well playing the villain, but he isn’t the same person and I’m not quite sure why its billed as sequel since it really doesn’t have anything to do with the Grim Reaper outside of a semi-similar plot.

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Zombie Series AKA Confused Yet?

Posted in Zombie Series AKA Confused Yet? with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Is there anymore of a confusion set of films than those titled Zombie? I’m gonna try and keep it as simple as possible without confusing anybody. But most people don’t realize most of the so called sequels aren’t sequels at all, but were marketed as sequels in certain places.

It all started in 1978 with the release of Dawn of the Dead; when released in Italy Dawn of the Dead was called Zombi. There are movies that actually predate Romero’s Dawn of the Dead AKA Zombi that are billed as a sequel, but those movies used the Zombi title during a re-release, but it still creates a confusing mess for most people.

So we set up Romero’s Dawn of the Dead going under the title Zombi in Italy and the movie was a big success and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters was already shot and the producers changed the title to Zombi 2 and was released in 1979 so now people thought it was a sequel. The sad part is due to the Zombi 2 title, Fulci’s film is called a ripoff, which does make me laugh since if you’ve seen both movies they couldn’t be anymore different besides having Zombies. And again Fulci’s film was already shot.

In 1988 Lucio Fulci would release Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 and in Italy it would go under the title Zombi 3. By right Zombi 3 is actually the 2nd part since Zombi 2 isn’t really a sequel to Romero’s film.

I might have missed a few movies, but its not easy to find every movie under the title Zombi also I have no idea when any of these movies used the alternate title Zombi. In most cases the distributors changed the title for theatrical or video releases and most likely re-releases.

So in Italy the series would go like this.

Zombi (Dawn of the Dead)
Zombi 2 ( Fulci AKA Zombie, Zombie Flesh Eaters)
Zombi 3 (Fulci’s movie AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 2)

In the UK the series is slightly different and different titles well sort of. Zombi 2 is called Zombie Flesh Eaters, which of course is the original title. Zombi 3 would be called Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 so thus far the UK releases are the correct ones until we get to Zombie Flesh Eaters 3. The 3rd part is called After Death, but in the UK it carries the Zombie Flesh Eaters name even if it isn’t part of the series.

So the UK series goes like this.

Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (Zombi 3)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (After Death)

Upon their release in Germany they would be slightly different. Once again Romero’s Dawn of the Dead would be called Zombi, but in Germany, Fulci’s Zombi 2 isn’t considered part of the series. Instead Zombi 2 is actually Day of the Dead, which is the actual follow up to Dawn of the Dead and Zombi 3 would be well the 1988 film by Fulci Zombi 3, which is Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 since once again Fulci’s Zombi 2 (Zombie Flesh Eaters) and Zombi 3 (Zombie Flesh Eaters 2) are the only official parts.

Are we confused yet? Kind of odd how Fulci’s Zombi 2 isn’t seen as part of the series.

So in Germany the series goes like this.

Zombie (Dawn of the Dead)
Zombie 2: Das Letzte Kapitel (Day of the Dead)
Zombie III (Zombi 3)

I find the Germam series the most interesting since its correct on the first 2 movies, but weird how they would include Fulci’s Zombi 3 rather than Fulci’s Zombi 2.

Over in Thailand like the UK they are almost correct. The first film is Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2) then comes Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (Zombi 3), but than they have 2 more films. Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (After Death) and Zombie Flesh Eaters 4 (Killing Birds).

The interesting thing here is After Death was released in 1990 and Killing Birds in 1988 yet in Thailand After Death is part 4 of the Zombie Flesh Eaters series. But different parts of the world gets these films at different times so I guess they got After Death before Killing Birds or the distributors for whatever reason could have just changed up the order.

So in Thailand the series goes like this.

Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (Zombi 3)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (After Death)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 4 ( Killing Birds)

Over here in the US the series is the same as it is in Thailand only with different titles and perhaps more confusing. So we’ve already established this all started with Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which in some places is called Zombi. But here in the US it only goes under Dawn of the Dead.

Some releases of Lucio Fulci’s film goes under Zombi 2 and other releases Zombie. I can’t tell you how many times I have read people buying Zombi 2 then seeing Zombie unaware they are the same film under a slightly different title. Or how many people have asked I have Zombi 2 is Zombi 1 out?

So the series in the US is Zombie with some releases as Zombi 2. Then comes Zombi 3, which like Thailand is correct until we get to parts 3 and 4. Like Thailand the series goes in the same order with different titles. After Death is now called Zombie 4: After Death and Killing Birds is now Zombie 5: Killing Birds and remember Killing Birds came before After Death, but like Thailand After Death gets the 4 and Killing Birds 5.

So the US series is the same as Thai only different titles.

Zombie (sometimes Zombi 2)
Zombie 3
Zombie 4: After Death
Zombie 5: Killing Birds

Are we confused now? Well I’m not done yet. By the end of this you’re head will probably be spinning much like mine was trying to write this.

The film by Joe D’Amato called Antropophagus sometimes goes under the title the Grim Reaper or Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper. There was also a sequel of sorts released, which is called Absurd. Yet some video releases link these movies in with the Zombie series and screw up the order.

Now remember folks, Antropophagus comes first than Absurd yet some release Absurd is billed as Zombie 6: Monster Hunter and Antropophagus is called Zombie 7: The Grim Reaper.

None of these films are even zombie movies they are slasher flicks. Also despite the order being wrong when called Zombie it doesn’t matter since there is no connection between the 2 films. If anything look at them as their own movies and not sequels, but they follow a similar plot and that’s why Absurd is called a sequel even if it has no real connection.

You didn’t think I was done yet right? Well in 1974 Let Sleeping Corpses Lie was released, which also goes under the title Living Dead at Manchester Morgue and for some reason Don’t Open the Window and the poster and trailer make it look like a slasher flick, but its a zombie movie. Here in the US it went under all 3 of those titles. I believe the theatrical release was Don’t Open the Window and Anchor Bay released it in DVD as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie and when Blu-Underground released it they also released it under Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, but then re-released it on DVD and blu-ray as Living Dead at Manchester Morgue.

Why am I bringing this up you ask? Well it has also gone under the title Zombi 3. It actually predates both Dawn of the Dead (Zombi) and Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2).

Then we have Zombie Holocaust, which also goes under the title Dr. Butcher, MD and also Zombi 3

Burial Ground has also been called Zombi 3.

Still not done yet.

Nightmare City also called City of the Walking Dead also has been called Zombi 3

Wow so many movies called Zombi 3 lol. There are posters for Let Sleeping Corpses Lie as Zombi 3 as well as obviously Fulci’s Zombi 3 and Burial Ground. I will include those posters at the end of the post.

As for the others I assume there are posters somewhere. But can’t find them. Odds are the other movies called Zombi 3, were called that during video releases or re-titled for a theatrical release as I stated earlier. It’s very common for Italian horror movies to go under a number of different titles, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie I believe was from a production company in Spain, but had a few Italian crew members same for City of the Walking Dead, but while a Spain production was directed by Italian filmmaker Umberto Lenzi.

And lastly we have Hell of the Living Dead, which is also called Virus, Night of the Zombies and Zombie 4 lol

Well I hope I didn’t confuse anybody here lol if I did sorry lol. Writing this I got confused lol

Dawn of the Dead posters

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Fulci’s Zombie 3 AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 2

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Fulci’s Zombie AKA Zombi 2 AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters

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Day of the Dead AKA Zombi 2

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Don’t Open the Window AKA Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, AKA Living Dead at Manchester Morgue AKA Zombi 3

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Burial Ground AKA Zombi 3

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After Death AKA Zombie 4: After Death AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 3

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Killing Birds AKA Zombie 5: Killing Birds AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 4

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Zombie 5: Killing Birds (1988) Review

Posted in Zombie 5: Killing Birds with tags , , , , on October 8, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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ZOMBIE 5: KILLING BIRDS

* ½ Out of 5

Release Date- July 13th, 1988

Running Time- 92-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Daniele Stroppa & Sheila Goldberg

Director- Claudio Lattanzi

Starring- Lara Wendel, Timothy W. Watts, Leslie Cumming and Robert Vaughn

Whenever I review any late 80s Italian horror I always mention how they were on a major decline and it’s quite amazing how it seemed all these filmmakers lost their edge at the same time with the exception of Dario Argento who continued to make quality films and you can even throw Michele Soavi into that as well even if I’m not the biggest fan of his work. Zombie 5: Killing Birds easily rates as one of the worst to come out of Italy and movies like this was proof Italian horror was dead; Killing Birds is the kind of movie that makes you wanna rip out your eyes and stab yourself in the ears so you don’t have to see or hear anything. To say this movie is bad would be a major understatement; truth is the movie does have some fun moments, but overall it’s just a waste of a film.

Zombie 5 has no connection to Fulci’s Zombi 2 or Zombi 3 just like Zombi 4: After Death has no connection either. It’s simply a marketing ploy and I guess with a movie this horrid you need some kind of hook to sell the movie. Its kind of confusing with the Zombie movies, but the only official parts are Fulci’s Zombi 2 and Zombi 3. Zombie 5: Killing Birds was actually released before Zombie 4: After death. Confused yet? Normally when I write a review I always try and find something positive to say as I don’t like to just piss all over someone’s work, but I really cannot think of much to say good about this film. I’m not sure the movie has any redeeming qualities.

The screenplay if you can call it that by Daniele Stroppa & Sheila Goldberg is terrible; the script makes zero sense and has some of the worst and most idiotic characters to ever grace cinema, but we’ll get more into that in just a bit. Killing Birds starts out as a slasher flick than it seems it has something to do with birds than in the middle it becomes a haunted house movie, but we aren’t done yet as now it’s a zombie flick and finally we go back to the birds. All I wanna know is what the birds had to do with anything? And what was the deal with the haunted house aspect? At times the movie also attempts some comedy and a John Hughes film this is not. It’s like several different scripts were written than merged to one.

As for the characters ok granted horror films aren’t always known for having smart characters, which sadly is accepted far too much by the audience, which allows lazy writing. But I don’t think there is a word to describe the characters in Killing Birds. Calling them idiots would be an insult to idiots. These people are just complete morons! Sometimes that can add to the charm, but other times it’s just too much and this is one of those times.

Example being; one guy gets stuck in a generator and as he struggles to break free while his friend watches in horror. Here’s an idea Einstein how about you go and perhaps try and help him instead of standing there like an idiot. After the guy dies the friend runs away to tell the others and when he gets to them he says “they got him.” Who exactly got him? He got stuck in a generator and you stood there like a complete dolt, ain’t nobody got him. It’s just little moments like this that drive me crazy with Killing Birds.

Some reports have Killing Birds directed by the legendary Joe D’Amato best known for the cult classic Beyond the Darkness. From what I read his name was left off and someone else was credited to avoid over exposure. Not sure how true that is since many Italian filmmakers used alias and Joe D’Amato whose real name is Aristide Massaccesi was the DP of the movie under the name Fred Sloniscko so if he was actually also the director why not use one of his many aliases? It’s not like now with so much technology for us info is easy to find so most people back when this film was released wouldn’t even know it was Joe D’Amato if he used one of his many aliases.

Claudio Lattanzi was credited as director and this is his only directing credit and well I can’t say I’m shocked. Killing Birds is horribly paced and more often than not the movie is quite boring and focuses on the characters, which would be great if they were interesting, but they are idiots and the faster they die the better, but sadly we spend a good chuck of the film with them. Lattanzi has no clue on pacing or suspense as the movie goes from idiotic scene to idiotic scene. Lattanzi does attempt suspense, but it’s quite laughable as its so horribly done. Everything is poorly staged and the gore we get is quite pathetic.

This was truly a low point in the career of Robert Vaughn; also his character at the end is the hero. Um didn’t he brutally kill some people in the beginning? Also his relation to the character of Steve is quite idiotic. Either Vaughn really needed the cash at the time or just needed to get away from a nagging wife or something. His performance was horrible, but that just keeps true to all the other actors in the movie as well. Half the time the actors mumble their lines and you can’t pick up what they said, but seeing as pathetic the script was I suppose it’s not a bad thing if you don’t hear it.

Zombie 5: Killing Birds was just a pathetic attempt at a movie and it really isn’t a surprise Italian horror was mostly dead by this time, but the really scary thing is this movie makes Zombie 4: After Death look good and that isn’t an easy task.

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Beyond the Darkness (1979) Review

Posted in Beyond the Darkness with tags , , , , , , on July 31, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

By Dave Kaye

(This movie goes under several different titles and I have posters or lobby cards under some of the alternate titles).

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BUIO OMEGA AKA BEYOND THE DARKNESS

**** Out of 5

Tagline- A Fate Worse than Death

Release Date- November 15th, 1979

Running Time- 93-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Ottavio Fabbri

Director- Joe D’Amato

Starring- Kieran Canter, Franca Stoppi, Cinzia Monreale, Sam Modesto, Anna Cardini, Lucia D’Elia

Released in 1979 Beyond the Darkness has built a large cult following and is often dubbed one of the most gruesome exploitation flicks of the 70s and I would have to agree with that comment. I’m not an expert when it comes to the films of Joe D’Amato and has much as I know of him I’ve only seen a handful of his work. Of all his films I’d have to rate Beyond the Darkness as by far his best work. This movie truly is from another era as we don’t see movies like this and even in its era it still stands out as more is actually implied than shown when it comes to certain subjects.

Beyond the Darkness is driven more by the characters and the story than it is action and while both characters and story might be lacking a bit this isn’t the type of movie with constant action and while the movie is very gory it’s only a few scenes that feature any gore. If you’re expecting a constant gore-fest one might be disappointed, but there are still some cringe worthy gore scenes, but I love the way the movie turned out and for me this is one of the best exploitation flicks out of Italy or America for that matter as well.

After the death of his girlfriend Anna (Monreale), Frank (Canter) a rich orphan is driven mad and steals her body and takes it back to his mansion and keeps it perfectly preserved; Frank also begins killing young women he comes across and his housekeeper Iris (Stoppi) helps him dispose of the bodies.

The screenplay by Ottavio Fabbri focuses more on the characters, which was a nice idea and while this works it also hinders the movie in certain areas. When we first meet Frank he seems a bit weird, but was he always so crazy? When someone you love dies the first idea isn’t to steal their body and murder people, but we never really get much of an idea on what Frank was like prior to Anna’s death. Regardless for an Italian exploitation flick, Fabbri actually delivers a fairly well written script with a few shortcomings. The characters are odd, which helps keep them interesting and while necrophilia is the main basis for the story we actually never see any such actions.

Director Joe D’Amato delivers an excellent and eerie flick; D’Amato makes perfect use of his locations and delivers a movie loaded with atmosphere. Rather than focus on gore scenes, D’Amato lets the story unravel, but when it comes to the gore, D’Amato really delivers a sick and gruesome movie and some scenes may even have the most hardened gore fans a little squeamish. The pacing of the can be a little slow in some spots, but due to the eerie feel and the total weirdness of the movie, D’Amato almost always keeps things interesting.

I’m not really an expert on Joe D’Amato’s career and while I know a lot about him I’ve only seen a handful of his directorial efforts and while they had their moments I was never really impressed with him as a filmmaker, but Beyond the Darkness shows D’Amato was a filmmaker with talent as he makes one of the best Italian horror flicks of the 70s. Besides directing D’Amato was also the cinematographer and he’s credited under his real name Aristide Massaccesi, D’Amato was also the cinematographer on the cult classic What Have You Done to Solange also using his real name and I think he’s a much better DP and really knows how to get the most out of each scene and I think that also is what elevates this movie perhaps more than his direction.

It’s quite difficult to rate the acting seeing the movie dubbed in English, but based on movements and all the other things that go into acting besides dialogue Kieran Canter does well in the lead, but it’s Franca Stoppi as Iris that steals the show; Stoppi delivers one of the most strangest performances I’ve ever seen and she’s really creepy; Franca Stoppi is truly memorable in the role of Iris.

One of the things Beyond the Darkness is best known for was the score by Goblin; most fans of Euro horror no doubt are big fans of Goblin from their great work in the genre and best known for their work with Dario Argento. Beyond the Darkness just might be their best work or at least the main theme. Goblin has had many different line ups and this one is without Claudio Simonetti, but even without Simonetti, Goblin is still solid and with their score for Beyond the Darkness they add a whole new dimension to the movie.

Overall Beyond the Darkness is an excellent movie and while it has a few shortcomings it has more than enough going for it to make up for it. This is classic exploitation cinema.

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Absurd (1981) Review

Posted in Absurd with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review by Dave Kaye

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ABSURD

** ½ Out of 5

Release Date- October, 1981

Running Time- 96-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- John Cart (George Eastman)

Director- Peter Newton (Joe D’Amato)

Starring- George Eastman, Annie Bell, Charles Borromel, Katya Berger, Kasimir Berger and Edmund Purdom

Released in 1981 Absurd is a sequel of sorts to Anthropophagus released the previous year; Absurd isn’t very well known, but has built up a cult following and the plot for the movie is clearly inspired by John Carpenter’s Halloween as it takes several plot points from that film and there are even many similarities to Halloween 2, but I’d say it’s just a coincidence since both movies were released the same year and the same month. Absurd was directed by Joe D’Amato under the name Peter Newton and I like some of D’Amato’s work, but in general I find most of his flicks to be sub-par with the exception of Beyond the Darkness, which I felt was an excellent flick.

Absurd also goes under the title of Horrible, which just might be a better fitting name for the movie; ok so maybe Absurd wasn’t horrible, but quite honestly I didn’t think it was very good. The movie has its moments, but more often than not I found myself a bit bored throughout most of the running time. We have a killer (Eastman) escaping from a hospital and roams around killing a couple of people before setting his sights on Emily (Bell) who is baby-sitting, meanwhile a Priest (Purdom) is on search for the unstoppable killer. So as you can see the movie takes its basic premise from Carpenter’s film and several times the little kid in the movie refers to the killer as the boogeyman.

The screenplay by George Eastman under the name John Cart is the standard slasher flick of its era; I’m a big fan of Italian horror flicks, but I often find the screenplays very lacking and true you can also say this about many of horror flicks of the 80s in particular slasher flicks, but for the most part I often find the Italian horror flicks to be some of the more weaker ones in terms of writing. The characters are rather one-dimensional and also kind of boring at times. I love Italian horror and many films out of Italy easily would rate as some of my all time favorites, but these movies at least in the 80s sure weren’t known for their writing.

The Priest is sort of the Dr. Loomis character, but the character is rather boring and goes MIA during the 2nd half of the movie, which isn’t much of a loss. The only real likeable character here was Emily who is pretty much a clone of Laurie Strode. As the writer Eastman doesn’t really add much to this flick to really separate it from Halloween and while there were other 80s slasher flicks that totally copied Halloween more so than this, but at the end of the day it’s one of the weaker Halloween clones.

Director Joe D’Amato delivers an uneven movie that has some decent atmosphere, but it can also be quite boring during most of the running time. Absurd lacks any real direction and both D’Amato & Eastman are quite content with taking elements from Halloween. Joe D’Amato is a cult favorite, but as I stated earlier I find most of his work to be sub-par and Absurd is no different. There really isn’t much happening here and the pacing is quite sluggish. But when there is some action D’Amato delivers the goods; Absurd isn’t the goriest flick I’ve seen, but most of the death scenes are brutal enough to satisfy.

Overall Absurd was a nice attempt, but the movie is lackluster that’s poorly paced with boring characters. Absurd has built up a nice cult following and while I understand why so many enjoyed it I just found it rather dull, but it does have some decent moments and George Eastman is fairly creepy as the villain, but the movie is brought down by the sub-par production.