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The Beyond (1981)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Lucio Fulci

Starring:
Catriona MacColl/Liza
David Warbeck/John
Sarah Keller/Emily
Veronica Lazar/Martha
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A hot chickadee (McColl) inherits an old hotel in New Orleans which happens to be built on top of one of the seven gates that leads to that wondrous place we call Hell. The renovations are imminently interrupted by an exploding piñata of zombies and gory meatballs!
THE LOWDOWN
"Woe be unto him who opens one of the seven gateways to Hell, because through that gateway, evil will invade the world."— Emily

And my Lucio Fulci: 101 class continues! Having been introduced to the Italian Duke of Gore not too long ago via the slick “Zombie” and the slicker “Gates of Hell”, I popped in his most fan-celebrated oeuvre with the joyish anticipation of a grinning Charlie Sheen about to get spanked by twin Playboy Playmates dressed in Flight Attendant uniforms…with no panties on! Yes, I was that excited! Thankfully, the Fulci-Machine, once more, did not let my lust for horror down.

Granted, this totally insane, against mainstream norms, all over the damn freaking barnhouse zombie party was not for everybody. The film had a particular pace, an offbeat sense of humor and a zany structure of its own with a wandering storyline that was definitely left open to interpretation. To be honest, as the end credits rolled, I was somewhat bamboozled as to what I had just witnessed…and you know what…I LOVED THAT! It felt great not to be babied through a film, especially a zombie opus. This one gave my brain a sprint for their cells! But fear not slaughter fiends, even if the substance leaves you in the dust, you’ll still get enough vicious genre kicks to the pallet to warrant toughing it out. Allow me to elaborate.

The endearing atmosphere glued to this film and its ever-changing tone was one of the highlights for me. The thick aura of decay and the hypnotizing surreal vibe (loved the bluish hues) often clashed and in consequence, delivered a delicious novel mood. Horror movies don’t ooze like that anymore, that’s for sure! The cherry on top of that bowl of ice cream was, without a doubt, the chunky, sprayed-about, full-on gore. As the French say: “Ou-la-la-la-la, pass me a bread stick or I’ll kill you fucker”! Not only did Fulci not hold back on the red meat, but his eyeball fetish was also pleasurably solidified here. I have never seen so many nasty ocular mishaps in one freaking movie. Eyes are scooped out, munched on by spiders, impaled out the back of one’s skull…FUN TIMES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY…even the pet dog! Trust me, keep the nachos away from your gaping mouth while watching this one...unless you want to cover it in “homemade” salsa.

To add compliment to compliment, even the flick’s shortcomings and silly moves wound up contributing to its fun factor! I’m talking over-dramatic musical beats, corny yet tasty dialogue, people’s lack of reaction to threatening undead peeps, a doctor's logical disregard for all the unscientific happenings and my favorite: plugging a 6-year old dead corpse to a heartbeat monitor. What???? Trust me, he’s dead dude! I guess there’s something to be said about being thorough. My only “real” peeves with "The Beyond" were that I found some of the scene transitions a bit too choppy for my liking, the music was used in a redundant fashion in places and I felt very frustrated when the good doctor just wouldn’t grasp that “head shots”, not body shots, were what killed zombies. Come on, bro! Work with me here!

Other than that, I have no complaints about this ambitious, unique, super-gory and at times, hilarious genre bruiser. In the mood for some fine Italian cuisine with a side order of human eye balls? Go Beyond!
GORE
The effects by Germano Natali ("Deep Red") and the makeup by Gino De Rossi (Zombie) came through gangbusters! We get a slashed face, nailed wrists, faces melted by acid, a scooped out eyeball, an eyeball popped out by a spike inserted behind the head, ripped out throat, feasted on head, a whopper of a head shot, more head shots, gun shot wounds to the body, spiders feasting on eyeballs and lips. ALL YOU CAN EAT!
ACTING
Catriona MacColl (Liza) held her own like a champ and was gorgeous to boot! David Warbeck (John) was perfect as the straight-faced no-bull “hero”. Sarah Keller (Emilie) was dead-on as the mysterious blind woman. Veronica Lazar (Martha) did what she had to do adequately.
T & A
Nothing…that’s odd….did I forget a peek-a-boo nipple or something?
DIRECTING
Fulci stayed true to himself by injecting this affair with countless close-ups of eyes, lots of zoom ins and outs and extremely close shots of gory happenings while coating the whole in either a morbid or a dream-like feel. NOTE: I was salivating in joy when that “car scene” with the blind woman came about. Now that’s a well put together bit! Surreal, well shot and simply captivating. The real deal!
SOUNDTRACK
The strong score by Fabio Frizzi was very varied in terms of ambiance, giving the movie many flavors. I did find its use redundant in places though.
BOTTOM LINE
o echo the great Johnny Depp in “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”: Guys, you really must try this original and off-kilter Undead Italian dish. It's an incredibly gory and intentionally/un-intentionally funny offering and it just happens to be one of my favorites. I order it with a tequila and lime in every dive I go to. In fact, it's too good. It's so good that when I'm finished, I'll pay my check, walk straight into the kitchen and shoot the cook. "The Beyond" is that kind of movie!
BULL'S EYE
This film cost roughly $400,000 to make.

Fulci has a brief, unaccredited cameo as a librarian.

Avoid the butchered R-rated version of this film entitled "Seven Doors of Death".

80’s Meal band Europe have a song inspired by this film called "Seven Doors Hotel".

Actress Catriona MacColl also worked with Fulci on "Gates of Hell" and "House by the Cemetery".
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5:32PM on 10/17/2012

This is a good, strange, horror movie despite some flaws.

I just got the two-disc set from Arrow Video. One is the movie, which it is region free and second disc, you might a region free DVD player or computer to watch the additional special features. "The Beyond" is all about atmosphere but the movie makes very little sense. Fulci certainly loves his zooms and creating different ways ripping off eyeballs for fun! There is some great horrific set-pieces here and some of the most memorable images comes from the third act. Despite some serious flaws. It
I just got the two-disc set from Arrow Video. One is the movie, which it is region free and second disc, you might a region free DVD player or computer to watch the additional special features. "The Beyond" is all about atmosphere but the movie makes very little sense. Fulci certainly loves his zooms and creating different ways ripping off eyeballs for fun! There is some great horrific set-pieces here and some of the most memorable images comes from the third act. Despite some serious flaws. It is worth a look.
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8:10PM on 05/22/2010

Finally saw this film...

for my first time and it exceeded my expectations. I loved the film. It was gory yet almost intelligent. I loved the soundtrack and I was behind the heroine the entire time. There was some even REALLY well done suspenseful scenes along with the gooey gore. One scene even gave me the major willies (spider scene).
Any flaws? It annoyed me how the doctor just wouldn't accept what was RIGHT in front of him.
for my first time and it exceeded my expectations. I loved the film. It was gory yet almost intelligent. I loved the soundtrack and I was behind the heroine the entire time. There was some even REALLY well done suspenseful scenes along with the gooey gore. One scene even gave me the major willies (spider scene).
Any flaws? It annoyed me how the doctor just wouldn't accept what was RIGHT in front of him.
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3:40PM on 10/17/2006
If you're looking for a plot in a Fulci film, or most Italian horror for that matter, look elsewhere. The man isn't concerned with telling a fantastic story, but assaulting your senses with dead-on atmosphere and terrifying visuals. The problem most people have with Fulci is that they're so used to being spoon-fed a plot, they get fussy when they don't get it. Just sit back and let the film take you where it wants to take you. This is an underrated classic of the genre that fans should
If you're looking for a plot in a Fulci film, or most Italian horror for that matter, look elsewhere. The man isn't concerned with telling a fantastic story, but assaulting your senses with dead-on atmosphere and terrifying visuals. The problem most people have with Fulci is that they're so used to being spoon-fed a plot, they get fussy when they don't get it. Just sit back and let the film take you where it wants to take you. This is an underrated classic of the genre that fans should definately see.
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11:37AM on 02/05/2006
This movie was not what I expected it to be at all. Having watched my first Fulci film the night before (City of the Living Dead), and labeling it one of my 'worst movies ever made', I was hoping this one would be much better. Well, it was halfway there. It didn't let up on gore, which was good, but I need some plot, folks! I got the basic gist of things, but there were so many turns and twists that my head was on fire trying to think about what the hell was going on. I would suggest this
This movie was not what I expected it to be at all. Having watched my first Fulci film the night before (City of the Living Dead), and labeling it one of my 'worst movies ever made', I was hoping this one would be much better. Well, it was halfway there. It didn't let up on gore, which was good, but I need some plot, folks! I got the basic gist of things, but there were so many turns and twists that my head was on fire trying to think about what the hell was going on. I would suggest this movie if you're a gorehound and don't really care about plot thickness and/or substance. But, many consider it a classic, so don't just judge it by what I say.
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