Friday, May 27, 2011

The Beyond

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Beyond - 2 out of 5

The 2nd film in Lucio Fulci's unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy, The Beyond is just like everything else Lucio Fulci made back in his heyday: Complete and utter crap that, for some mysterious reason, has a major cult following.

After Fulci made City of the Living Dead (read my review of that terrible film here:, he decided to further explore the ideas of the supernatural as it concerns the intermixing of the living and the dead. What he created was The Beyond: a film about a hotel that turns out to be one of the seven gateways to Hell. And, like your typical Fulci film, I found this movie to be utter garbage--BUT, unlike his other films, this movie is bad on such a epic scale, that it is one of those unintentionally hilarious horror films.

The story is weak and don't try to find a plot as the writers felt they didn't really need one. Between you and me, it seems they didn't think to highly of their audience and that by just saying that the hotel was a gateway to Hell would somehow justify the seemingly random events that happen in the Louisiana town where the story takes place. But this really isn't that surprising because, like all Fulci films, passable writing is something that doesn't even take a backseat to what the true emphasis of the films is: the gore. In fact, the writing isn't even allowed to ride in the same vehicle as the gore and is forced to take the bus. For example, the writers decided to give no real depth to the characters (again, another staple of Fulci's films) and are really only given names and that's about it. The lack of depth of these characters is further emphasized due to the absolute horrendous acting (another Fulci staple). Characters' emotional displays will either be nil or cranked up to 11. This becomes quite amusing when one of the bland characters sees another character grabbed by zombies and shows absolutely no reaction on his face.

However, like I stated, this Fulci film is so bad that it's entertaining and made me laugh quite a bit. The make-up effects are painfully atrocious are victims' blood looks more like Kool-Aid and the make-up artists clearly couldn't be bothered to make the latex flesh match the skin tones of the actor they were applying it to. But the one thing that makes this film bearable to watch in its badness, is the teeth-clenching sound. Like all Fulci films, Italian actors were cast to portray American actors and they did their lines in English--HOWEVER, all lines were redubbed and quite obviously so. Some of the actors even try to sound Southern! So, basically, every single line spoken in this film is something to laugh at. But the bad sound doesn't end there--no, wait to you get a taste of the film's music. Never had I heard music more illogically placed within a horror film. Honestly, it seemed that the producers paid a band who makes elevator music and asked them to try their hand at making spooky music. Finally, this film has some of the worst foley work I've ever heard in a movie. Footsteps don't fade as characters walk down halls, blood apparently sounds like bubbles popping when it drips on a sweater and it seems that if you use scissors to cut a shirt, it sounds like a katana being removed from its sheath.

Yes, The Beyond is an complete piece of crap that, for reasons I will never understand, has a cult following among horror film fanboys but the film is bad on such a level with its weak story, lack of plot, terrible acting, and lazy sound that it actually is mildly enjoyable to watch. However, not for the reasons that Fulci intended.

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