I've said it before and I will say it forever; you can't watch old school Italian Horror flicks expecting them to be coherent, or have a strong plot, or make a lick of sense. You watch them because despite many of them being shitty movies, they work exceptionally well on a visual and atmospheric level.
The Beyond will absolutely confuse the shit out of you, but it's so crazy good that you won't care. Even if you do, you'll forgive it it's trespasses, because you almost have to.
As a director, Lucio Fulci is seen by many as a creator of cheap exploitation movies, and is not regarded as highly as some of his Italian contemporaries like Argento or Bava. There may be some truth to that, but to dismiss Fulci's work as exploitational trash is selling it way short.
The bottom line is that the man knew how to draw an audience in, dazzle them with audacity and creative insanity, shock and sicken them, and then leave them wanting more. Fulci's films are amongst some of the best the Horror Genre has to offer when it comes to atmosphere and raw effectiveness, and The Beyond may well be the best of them all.
*Be warned: Everything below this point is very spoilerish!
|I will entry if I damn well please, thank you very much.|
|Aww, naw. Now you up and done it.|
On her way into town, Liza runs into Emily (the hot blind chick) and her dog, Dickie, just standing there in the middle of a really long bridge, with no regard for traffic whatsoever. You see, Emily has been looking for Liza, which doesn't really explains why she's waiting for her in the middle of a bridge, when she could have just said hi to her when she was already in her house... which she was... literally scaring a painter to death.
|They apparently like really, really long walks.|
|Two girls, one Dickie.|
|It looks like she doesn't care for cherry slushies at all.|
|Jill keeps her eyes closed through much of the movie, just so that she can dramatically, ominously open them.|
|"Are you familiar with the Book of Eibon?"|
|No, Dickie, no! Roll over!|
Shit eventually starts to go haywire at Hotel Hell, and Liza and John (the helpful town Doctor) face a crazy lightning storm/random strobe-light attack in the basement, after which the mysterious painting that cut Emily's hands starts bleeding and talking some ominous and creepy shit. Also, I feel like I'm on acid right now.
|That is one powerful flashlight.|
|Dude, just give her the gun, would you?|
Jill ends up gorking out on Liza, prompting one of the best kill-shots in Horror Movie History. Seriously, it's brilliant. Also, for a guy who can't shoot for shit, John sure turned into one hell of a marksman in the span of about 3 seconds, didn't he?
The Beyond is one hell of a ride that is packed with all kinds of Horror goodness. If you love Italian Horror, or if you have a predilection for all things Zombie, then this movie has got to be a part of your lexicon.
Arrow Video is releasing a new Blu-ray version of The Beyond in October, but only in the U.K. Seeing as it may be the only BD version of this movie available for some time, we may just have to import a copy for ourselves. Yes, it's really that good.
Europe wrote a song called Seven Doors Hotel, because lead singer Joey Tempest loved The Beyond so much? No? Well neither does the rest of the world, so don't feel bad.
|The song is the B-Side of Rock the Night.|