HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Beyond, The Oh Hell
Year: 1981
Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola, Maria Pia Marsala, Laura De Marchi
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: In Louisiana during 1927, Schweick (Antoine Saint-John) was a painter who had immersed himself in the Dark Arts, and his latest work was what he considered to be the rendering of his vision of Hell itself. However, word had gotten around of his nefarious activities, and the locals arrived at his house with violence on their minds, dragging him to the basement of his large house and crucifying him on the wall there, all the while whipping him with chains as punishment. And there he stayed, walled up until 1981 and a newcomer, Liza Merril (Catriona MacColl), wished to turn the place into a hotel...

One of the trio of otherworldly horror movies directed by Lucio Fulci around the start of the eighties, The Beyond gained a reputation among horror fans of being one of his finest films, even if they could not adequately explain what on earth was actually supposed to be going on in it. Coherence was not its strong point, but oddly enough incoherence was, building an atmosphere of a vast evil, barely understandable by human minds, that was orchestrating the events we saw, events which largely took the form of shock-based setpieces with variable but enthusiastic special effects offering that distinctive Fulci quality.

Liza is the innocent plonked down in the middle of the mayhem, which she is not any more clued up on than anyone else except the painter, and he's understandably reluctant to reveal much being a dessicated corpse and all. She did have help from a doctor at the local hospital, John McCabe (David Warbeck in one of the roles that won him cult status), but how much help can he really offer when the overall mood is one of futility in the face of enormous supernatural forces that in true Lovecraftian style are not about to share their secrets readily with anyone who isn't one of them. The unleashing of Hell begins when that basement is investigated, and the plumber looking for a leak finds a nasty surprise.

It may sound an odd thing to observe, but in its way The Beyond was the extreme Italian horror version of Ghostbusters, which would soon be arriving in cinemas about the time this was being distributed. Obviously the American blockbuster was fashioned for a more family audience, but they do share a number of intriguing plot parallels aside from the group of paranormal phantom fighters: the old building that was designed as a gateway to some unspeakable horror, the young woman caught up in the middle of it, the introduction of some Elder Gods machinations to a traditional American landscape, you could rescript the Fulci effort as a comedy and it would still be just as successful.

Of course, some do treat it as a comedy, thanks to some truly bizarre imagery that is on occasion betrayed by its lack of resources. The most infamous example of that would be the spider sequence where the hapless victim in the library investigating the proposed hotel ends up getting bitten in the face by a bunch of tarantulas, a few of which have been replaced by stunt doubles which look a bit daft when they start munching on him. But that swaying between concepts that seem geuninely cosmic in the horror movie field and those realisations of said concepts toppling into farce offer a particular texture that not many other shockers have quite achieved, although you could argue most of those others would prefer to be slick than the alternative. If there's a niggle, it's when the zombies finally get up and walk Dr McCabe keeps forgetting to shoot them in the head, which can be frustrating as he wastes his bullets, yet the apocalyptically bleak climax is strong enough to compensate. Music by Fabio Frizzi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3822 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Lucio Fulci  (1927 - 1996)

Italian director whose long career could best be described as patchy, but who was also capable of turning in striking work in the variety of genres he worked in, most notably horror. After working for several years as a screenwriter, he made his debut in 1959 with the comedy The Thieves. Various westerns, musicals and comedies followed, before Fulci courted controversy in his homeland with Beatrice Cenci, a searing attack on the Catholic church.

The 70s and early 80s were marked by slick, hard-hitting thrillers like A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Don't Torture a Duckling and The Smuggler, while Fulci scored his biggest international success in 1979 with the gruesome Zombie Flesh Eaters. Manhattan Baby, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery were atmospheric, bloody slices of Gothic horror, and The New York Ripper set a new standard in misogynistic violence. Fulci's last notable film was the truly unique A Cat in the Brain in 1990, a semi-autobiographical, relentlessly gory comedy in which he also starred. Died in 1996 from a diabetic fit after several years of ill-health.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: