My Life In Horror 1981 part 2 – The Beyond

beyond3

If you read part 1 which you can do by clicking HERE! You’ll know that through a series of Twitter polls my aim is to watch or rewatch two films from every year I’ve been on the planet and then review them. So 1981 started with An American Werewolf in London and picked second is Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond.

Beyond2

Writer: Dardano Sacchetti

Director: Lucio Fulci

Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck and Cinzia Monreale

Run Time: 87 minutes

Budget: $400,000 estimated

Tagline: The seven dreaded gateways to hell are concealed in seven cursed places… And from the day the gates of hell are opened, the dead will walk the earth.

IMDB.com Link

Trivia – The zombie rampage was done at the insistence of the film’s German distributors whose movie market was going through a zombie craze.

Trivia – ‘The Book Of Eibon’, featured prominently throughout the film, is the creation of American pulp fiction author, poet and fine artist Clark Ashton Smith and is a recurring text associated with the so-called “Cthulhu Mythos” cycle of literature. The book, which deals with various arcane subjects including the resurrection of the dead, demonic magic, parallel dimensions and other black magic subjects is alleged to have been imparted to the infamous necromancer Eibon by the ancient devil-god Tsathoggua in a remote prehistoric epoch.

Beyond1

The Beyond had a fairly convincing win the be the second film from 1981 that I’d watch and review, I had not seen this film before so was looking forward to giving it a go. Before my blog I had a good interest in horror but there were some things I’d never watched, when signing on to Twitter and chatting to fellow horror fans one name that continually popped up was Lucia Fulci. I’m glad I got the chance to watch one of his films and see if it lived up to what I hoped for.

beyond5

The story is pretty simple, a woman from New York finds she’s inherited a hotel in Louisiana after her uncle’s death. Before this we’re already shown a pretty brutal murder of someone who stayed in the hotel, they were accused of being a warlock and the locals had taken them out quite nastily, so we know straight from the off there’s something wrong with the hotel. Although it’s quite obvious anyway I mean it’s a horror film based around a hotel what did we expect!

beyond4

From the moment Liza tries to clean up the hotel things go wrong, workmen die, a plumber gets into a sticky situation, the corpses pile up and they don’t stay dead either. We’re introduced to the Dr who later becomes Liza’s love interest, this is also the place where we are treated to a face meltingly good scene! Things get worse and worse for Liza, her blind friend Emily can sense something is dreadfully wrong. Liza starts to have visions after visiting one of the locked rooms in the hotel.

In side the room is a book the previous occupant of the room had been reading, the book pops up all over the place disappearing when Liza tries to explain things to her romantic interest Dr John McCabe. However they start to investigate they find out that the house has been built on top of a gateway to hell aka The Beyond.

MSDBEYO EC004

The last part of the film turns into more of a regular zombie movie with John shooting zombies left, right and centre as they try to escape from a hospital full of the things. As they try to exit the hospital they are some how taken somewhere else, their only option is to enter the gateway under the house!

From the moment Liza tries to clean up the hotel things go wrong, workmen die, a plumber gets into a sticky situation, the corpses pile up and they don’t stay dead either. We’re introduced to the Dr who later becomes Liza’s love interest, this is also the place where we are treated to a face meltingly good scene! Things get worse and worse for Liza, her blind friend Emily can sense something is dreadfully wrong. Liza starts to have visions after visiting one of the locked rooms in the hotel.

In side the room is a book the previous occupant of the room had been reading, the book pops up all over the place disappearing when Liza tries to explain things to her romantic interest Dr John McCabe. However they start to investigate they find out that the house has been built on top of a gateway to hell aka The Beyond.

The Good

  • The gore is fantastic! There’s loads of melting faces, gun shots to the head, dogs ripping people up, there’s also a focus on eyeballs with a few deaths involved them being ripped out or poked through!
  • If you’re afraid of spiders there’s a fantastic scene that you should probably cover your eyes for.
  • The whole premise of a gateway to hell being in the basement of a hotel in Louisiana is a great idea even if apparently there’s no basements in Louisiana due to risk of flooding.
  • The musical score is brilliantly done, the music fits every scene and action perfectly.
  • The eerie atmosphere of the entire film that Fulci creates for the first hour or so I loved.
  • I like the uncertainty of the end scene.
  • The dog attacking scene was gore wise one of the very best horror scenes I’ve watched in a long time.

beyond7

The Bad

  • Some very very dodgy acting in places.
  • I’m not sure if it’s true but I read that it was requested that Fulci add more zombie action to the movie before release. This would have been fine if the whole film was like that but the last half hour or so with zombies being shot everywhere just doesn’t fit with what was created for the first hour of the film.
  • At times the film feels disjointed like it’s a series of scenes rather than a movie, the flow to the film is very odd.

Overall I feel that this film is pretty average there’s an issue with pacing for me and as I mentioned it doesn’t seem to flow that well. The musical score is great and the gory scenes are done superbly although there’s maybe too much of a fixation on people melting but is that ever a bad thing? I can see why people like this film and for the gory deaths and plot outline alone it deserves a decent rating but it doesn’t quite hit the mark for me!

Overall Rating – 6.5/10

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “My Life In Horror 1981 part 2 – The Beyond

  1. I guess I never really embraced the whole zombie phenomenon. That is probably why I voted for Dead & Buried. After your review, I doubt I will be rushing out to watch this one. Good review!

    Like

  2. Pingback: My Life in Horror 1982 Part 1 – Poltergeist | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

  3. Pingback: My Life in Horror 1984 – A Nightmare on Elm Street | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

  4. Pingback: My Life in Horror 1984 – Firestarter | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

  5. Pingback: My Life in Horror 1985 – Demons | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

  6. Pingback: My Life in Horror 1986 – Little Shop of Horrors | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

  7. Pingback: My Life In Horror 1986 – The Fly | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

  8. Pingback: My Life in Horror 1987 – Hellraiser | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s