One of the most under-rated horror films of the 80's, yet his fans agree that this is Lucio Fulci's masterpiece.
"The Beyond" is an opulent and grotesque film. It's like a dream about a nightmare. It's a surreal, elusive viewing experience, a film that merges great beauty with extreme horror. The Beyond seduces the imagination in a way that transcends comparison with other films of it's era...
"The Beyond" showed that a genuinely unique film could spring from the Italian film industry. The splinted, deserialised narrative, common in Italian horror films, see Dario Argento & Mario Bava, flourishes to create a fevered intense irrational reality of dream-logic.
"The Beyond is an inescapable magnetic destination - yet unreachable but paradoxically visible in the malefic geometry of the Seven Doors Hotel." Thrower S,. Beyond Terror, (Fab Press 1999)
New Orleans, Louisiana, 1927. A vigilante group of local men carrying flaming torches descend upon the Seven Doors Hotel looking for Schweik (Antoine Saint John) the artist and safeguarder of one of the seven deadly gateways to hell. The vigilantes drag him to the basement and ignoring his warnings of the gates of hell opening, they precede to attack him with heavy chains, before crucifying and murdering the "ungodly warlock".
New Orleans, Louisiana, 1980. Cartiona MacNoll, cult actress of director Fulci's finest work is Liza, the unfortunate heiress who arrives from New York to claim the Seven Doors Hotel as her inheritance. Her attempts to refurbish the aging hotel are thawted as the people she has hired all seem to meet with unfortunate accidents or death; the painter falling from scaffolding, citing 'the eyes... the eyes' and Joe the plumber having his eye gouged out by an unseen ghoul, while working in the basement, are the initial victims of the mounting violence.
David Warbeck is Dr. McCabe who arrives at the hotel to treat the injured workman and meets Liza, whom he will later partner in a desperate yet futile attempt to escape The Beyond.
Warbeck gives the film it's quintessential rugged, square jawed hero and later utters one of the great lines of the film when he says "I won't accept irrational explanations" (as a viewer you must sacrifice such prejudices, in order to appreciate this film) --This after we've viewed man eating spiders devour a inquisitive architect in broad daylight in the town's library, a container of acid turning itself over in the morge and disintegrating an unfortunate mourning relative or the memorable scene where we see Liza driving along before blind girl Emily (Keller) appears, with her German Shepherd guide dog in front of Liza's car in the middle of an isolated costal bridge road and says "You are Liza, aren't you?... my name is Emily... I've been looking for you..." how the hell did she get there?
...In this film nothing really makes sense yet like a dream, there is a thread which links all the bizarre set pieces into, paradoxically, a seemingly coherent form. Sergio Salvati's photography creates a Louisiana which is enchanting, luscious and beautiful location for the macabre story of The Beyond.
If you haven't seen this film then hunt it out, as The Beyond is a strikingly original film made at time when horror films weren't formulized, franchised and targeted for large multiplex audiences, as they are in the 90's.Notice any mistakes? Review
Good suspense, script and drama. Horror for horror fans.
Low-ish production values. Pace can be too slow.Our rating:
7.5 out of 10Review Written by Stuart Fitzgerald: Contact | More Reviews by Stuart Fitzgerald