Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The Beyond (1981, Lucio Fulci)
Continuing on with my Fulci-thon is The Beyond. Most people seem to argue about which is Fulci's masterpiece, this film or Fulci's Zombie. The Beyond deals with a lot of the same themes as Fulci's previous film, City of the Living Dead, and is considered by many to be part of a trilogy with City of the Living Dead and House by the Cemetery. Where Zombie dealt with a more straightforward zombie story, this trilogy features a more supernatural zombie theme. I guess it depends what your bag is. I actually came across this film under the title Seven Doors of Death, which I bought for like $4.00 in a bargain bin at a Strawberries music/movie store. I had already seen Zombie and thought this looked like it could be decent. I had never even heard of the film but I decided to take a chance. Did it pay off?
The Beyond starts in 1927 New Orleans with a group of witch hunters killing a painter named Zweick who they believe to be a warlock. As it turns out, he really is one and his death opens up one of the seven gates of hell under the hotel he is living in. 50-something years later, a young woman Liza (the beautiful Catriona MacColl) inherits the hotel and begins fixing it up. She starts seeing a blind girl who tells her to get away while she still can. In the meantime those who enter the hotel begin dying horrible deaths. Liza and her doctor friend (David Warbeck) try to figure out what is causing these catastrophes and soon figure out what evil lurks in the hotel.
As great as Zombie was, I would have to say The Beyond IS indeed Fulci's masterpiece. Pretty much everything about this film is great. The story, the great cinematography, the characters, the ending. Of course there is one other major thing Fulci is known for: G-O-R-E-GORE! There are so many classic scenes in this film that would make any gorehound's pants tight. Giannetto De Rossi proves himself as one of the greatest makeup effects artist of all time with this film. All of these things together make up one of the best horror films ever made. I can't recommend this film enough. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. If you hate it, go kill yourself because you suck. Just kidding. Don't go kill yourself. But you do still suck.