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The Beyond

 
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beeebon
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:37 am    Post subject: The Beyond Reply with quote

Ok, I'm assuming everyone's seen it, but I'm really interested in hearing what you have to say about it. Y'know, accounts of when you first saw it and what it means to you and how your feelings have changed over the years (if at all)?

I'm a bit of a late comer to Italian horror and this was the first I saw about 3 or 4 years back. I picked up an uncut version on 23rd Century very cheaply and to be honest I wasn't expecting very much especially after lots of reviews I had read by non Euro horror fans who said that it was just a series of unconnected events linking the gore scenes together (or something to that effect).

I was pleasantly surprised and thought it was a decent film, yet over the years since, it's grown on me more and more since and I now regard it as being in my top 5 all time favourite horror films.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I first saw The Beyond under the title of Seven Doors of Death. That was a heavily-cut "R-Rated" version on VHS that some company released in the mid 1980's. The movie didn't make much sense, and I knew at the time that I was watching a chopped to hell version of a much better movie. So, with that in mind, I forged onward. It wasn't until about 1990 or so that I finally saw The Beyond in its uncut form. The movie still didn't make much sense, but at least all of that beautiful gore was intact. The thing amazed me at the time...and continues to amaze me to this day...about The Beyond is how well it works in spite of its nonsensical structure, lack of characterization, and sometimes silly set pieces (spider attack!). When he worked inside the horror genre, Fulci was a master at generating tone and mood, even without the benefit of a decent script. While I tend to be partial to City of the Living Dead (aka The Gates of Hell), The Beyond still works as a surreal, unintentionally hilarious, and wildly gory masterpiece.

There are a few things about The Beyond that will ensure that it always holds a very special place in my heart. They're small details, but they always crack me up. First of all, the door to the morgue has a badly-translated sign that says "Do Not Entry". Hilarious stuff. Also, though David Warbeck is clearly using a six-shooter revolver at the end, he manages to get off at least 20 consecutive shots before his weapon clicks empty. I also love the fact that, at the end, when our hero and heroine finally make their way into the titular "beyond", and we see all of the corpses lying around...well, all of those corpses were played by drunks and hobos whom were paid in liquor. That's just good ol' fashioned Italian ingenuity, if you ask me! The list just goes on and on.

I love The Beyond. I watch it about once every month or so just to remind me of the good old days, ya know?
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severedsurvival
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'The Gates of Hell trilogy' (City of the Living Dead, House by the Cememtery, The Beyond) was Fulci's artistic experiment and had a different mood from the rest of his filmography. Fulci was a huge fan of a playwright named Antonin Artaud; a Surrealist who did most of his writing in the 1920s and 30s. Artaud's theory on theater was to present cruel and shocking images in order to shock his audiences. The original outline for The Beyond was to take Artaud's theory and link it with a non-linear storyline about the dead leaving hell...basically a story about a haunted house. The German company that originally owned the rights to The Beyond wanted to capitalize on the zombie craze again and forced a rewrite which is why the hospital scene seems so disjointed from the rest of the film.

When I first got ahold of the uncut version on laserdisc in the early 90s, I honestly thought that The Beyond was probably one of the dumbest Italian horror films ever made ( I preferred City of the Living Dead). But over time and repeated viewings, I have come to appreciate alot more. I wouldn't call it my favorite Fulci film but there is a place deep in my black soul that loves a good eye gouging...
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