The Beyond (1981) Movie Review
Written By: FZ
Edited BY: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Lucio Fulci
Writers: Dardano Sacchetti (story), Dardano Sacchetti (screenplay)
Producer: Fabrizio De Angelis
April 29, 1981
November 11, 1983 (not confirmed)
Catriona MacColl as Liza Merril
David Warbeck as Dr. John McCabe
Cinzia Monreale as Emily
Antoine Saint-John as Schweick
Giovanni De Nava as Zombie Schweick
Veronica Lazar as Martha
Larry Ray as Larry
Al Cliver as Dr. Harris
Michele Mirabella as Martin Avery
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana. She works on restoring the hotel. Immediately following the restoration process, a series of supernatural “accidents” started happening. After several deaths, she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell. When she escapes to the hospital of a friendly doctor she doesn’t know what a nightmare is waiting there.
The film contains not a lot of truly scary scenes, but the high amount of graphic, bloody gore and other nasty images may gross out or disturb some viewers. There are a lot of special effects on melting facial skin. There is a lot of bloodshed caused by the gunshots to the heads and bodies of zombies. A man’s face is mutilated by tarantulas; his lips, nose and tongue are all ripped up in close-up view. A man is stabbed in the face by pieces of broken glass as blood squirts. A man’s eyes are gouged out; seen in a close-up. A man is viciously tortured to death; he is whipped with chains, crucified with stakes to the arms, and his body melted with a boiling hot liquid substance.
The Grave Review
The Beyond (1981) opens up in 1927 Louisiana showing a suspected warlock being lynched and tortured with chain lashings and ultimately exiled of this earth by impaling his wrists in crucifix fashion all within the depths of an old hotel basement. Years later the hotel is left to Liza (Catriona MacColl), working feverishly to restore the rustic resort. As soon as restoration starts, eerie events started happening. A laborer plummets twenty feet off of a scaffold after a zombie-like creature peers through the window. Just a taste of what’s severed as one by one anyone who enters the hotel under renovation checks out to a gruesome, untimely demise. Emily, a local blind woman warns Liza to leave, go back where she came from. She alludes to the dark secret of a seventh gateway to hell that is nestled within the confines of the basement.
There are a few illogical scenes in this film. One is the attack of the bottle of acid. It gets poured on the woman who passed out exactly under the cabinet where the acid was located instantly melting her face in the process. There is that scene which involves the quicklime-decomposed corpse, which is now seen in a hospital next to an oscilloscope that flat-lines, indicating death. Yes, the rotting cadaver is indeed dead, but why attach it, at this late, to an oscilloscope?
The script does somewhat lack balance and consistency as it jumps precariously from scene to scene. There are plenty of death scenes and each is more innovative than the former. The musical score is silly at times but is congruent with the genre and is an eerie warning of things to come. The sound effects are perhaps not exceptional but effective and nerve wrecking, knowing full well something is about to be unleashed. But of course, that makes it too predictable.
The Beyond (1981) tries to maintain an eerie mood with a darkened cinematography. The special effects are somewhat unreal or fake. However, it is entirely unfair to critique this film by 21st cinematic standards.
Because of the above reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Beyond (1981) one and half graves out of five graves.
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