Despite his high standing in the hierarchies of cinema -- mighty paragon of the glistening visual arts lest we forget -- Jeff Fahey nevertheless remains incessantly trapped in a stalled shell of persistent attack, subject to a wealth of opposition from each and every direction. Whether it’s the pangs of jealousy, the screams of contrariness, or the judders of repressed sexual desire, Fahey’s foes are numerous and take many forms. From the naysayers who misconstrued his phenomenological critique of value in Darkman III: Die Darkman Die, to those weighty consonants that have populated hurtful review after hurtful review, the assailing forces laugh at suggestions of détente, taking the moment’s quiet for an additional underhand jab at Fahey’s illustrious mane of perfection.
Paramount to the continuing sustainability of these attacks is the capacity to evolve, forever assuming new guises to muddle the danger senses of Fahey’s corona blue. It’s due to this dynamic that Absolute Zero sees Fahey’s nemesis don a garment of massive proportions, for in this film the man sporting the blonde chords of virtue atop his head must engage in combat with, and defend mankind against, the blustery retchings of the Earth’s climate.
Like a string section swelling but not yet high enough in the mix to be audible, Fahey’s presence in Absolute Zero is initially concealed whilst an opening scene unravels in the vicinity of the screen. The dish we are served features a coterie of scientists rummaging around that vast ice pop we call Antarctica. Inebriated by the array of instrumentation that graces the walls of their research hut, the crew are in high spirits. But when the land on which they reside begins to fall into infinity, ruining a perfectly good barbeque, conclusions are reached approaching the negative.
What does one do in this situation, underpaid researchers spooked by the possibility that next time they venture outside they’ll end up plummeting to depths not seen since Haim and Feldman’s last outing? Well, you throw in a Fahey, of course. And throw him in they do. Dropped by a helicopter in hasty retreat, Fahey meets an old buddy and they set to work exploring a subterranean cave newly-found nearby. Conditions worsen and moods receive a blow of melancholy when a raging storm rolls into camp midway through the reconnaissance. Death befalls all except Fahey, who is left pondering cave scribbles deep below the surface, ancient scribbles that may prove to hold the key to explaining the climatological affliction set to envelope the planet.