The Beyond (1981)

OCTOBER 30, 2008


And so, around 11:50 (cutting it WAY too close for my taste; I actually pondered leaving after Gates of Hell so I could run home and put something on before midnight), the third film of the triple feature finally began: The Beyond (Italian: E tu vivrai nel terrore - L'aldilĂ ; aka The Seven Doors Of Death), which was the only one of the three that I never saw in its entirety. I had gone to see it at the New Bev sometime ago (pre HMAD anyway), and dozed through about half. But even though I stayed awake tonight, it didn’t help much: this movie doesn’t make a lick of sense.

I mean sure, you can follow what is happening to a degree, but WHY anything is happening is beyond me, and things just seem to happen for the hell of it, rather than the result of any plot machinations. Like when the zombies surround the blind girl in her house. They don’t DO anything, they just stand there like mannequins. So she has her dog attack one of them, and just screams KILL! (or something to that effect) over and over. Then I guess the dog gets zombified too (it’s all offscreen), because then, after 30 seconds of him enjoying a nice backrub, he suddenly goes apeshit and eats her face off.

Non-humans are particularly vicious in this movie. There’s also a scene where a few spiders also eat a guy’s face off. Why would they do this? When did spiders decide that stinging/biting a guy wasn’t enough, and that they had to actually devour him? And then there is also a painting of a Rhinoceros. Not sure what the fuck that’s about, but it’s a nice painting. Or was that in Gates of Hell? This is the problem with being half-drunk and watching three zombie movies from the same director in a row; they all blend together. Oh well. It’s definitely not from Zombi, I know that much.

There was some unexpected hilarity to tonight’s viewing though, courtesy of a loud crowd mishearing a guy’s name. The hero’s name is John McCabe, but of course we all heard McCAIN when it was first said. This wouldn’t have been too much of an issue if not for a scene roughly 2 minutes later when a truck pulls up with “Joe’s Plumbing” written on the side. Yes, Joe the Plumber has a cinematic legacy, that of a bearded moron plumber who I think is the one to actually cause all these problems, as he goes into a flooded basement and begins knocking down entire walls, and is the first to die. Anyway, this caused a near riot in the theater. It’s too bad that Sarah Keller’s character didn’t share her first name; it’s possible that we would have collectively began to spontaneously combust.

This one doesn’t have as many memorable gore gags as the other two. There’s the aforementioned face-rippings, but they are nothing spectacular for Fulci. The best is a ridiculous bit where a woman, after unclogging a drain by pulling out a hairball bigger than her fist, is killed by a zombie who was in the tub (how she didn’t nudge him while feeling around for the hairball is anyone’s guess). He pushes the back of her head against a nail that is extruding for no reason other than to provide a gore highlight; this results in her eye flying out (this portion of the gag was ripped off in Friday the 13th 3, but at least they made it 3D so it’s not an exact copy).

The funny thing about this movie is that I actually own a copy on DVD, along with House By The Cemetery (it’s dubbed “Fulci Collection Volume 1”). I won it at Comic Con last year (2007) for being one of the guys who were parading around yelling "CROWLEY LIVES!" or something in support of Hatchet. It’s been out of print for years, so it was a nice get (and makes me suspect just HOW out of print these DVDs really are, if they can just hand em out to morons at Comic Con). I still haven’t opened it, and now that I see used copies going for 80 bucks or so on Ebay (and I am currently on the brink of unemployment), I don’t think I will be. The damn thing might have to be used to pay my electric bill in a few weeks. But I guess Grindhouse has just re-released it on their DVD label, with all the same extras, so maybe it’s not worth as much now anyway. Oh well. I’m still not opening it; there are a lot of features but I’m way behind on stuff as it is. Tomorrow is Halloween! You know what that means... 150 minutes’ worth of asteroid-drilling awesomeness! Plus a horror movie. Plus dressing up. Plus hopefully a Halloween movie. Plus...

What say you?


  1. I can promise you, the film doesn't make any more sense when you're not drunk. Of course, that's the thing I like most about Fulci: The supernatural in his films brings its own disregard for logic into the real world.
    That, or Fulci just didn't care, but I prefer the other explanation.

  2. It really doesn't make sense when you're not drunk.

    That said, there's something about it...I loved it. I saw it for the first time a couple weeks back and I just absolutely loved it.

    Plus, it has the best head shot in a movie EVER.

  3. sounds like a fun, confusing movie!

    that on the brink of unemployment bit sucks though

  4. "DO NOT ENTRY" has always been a personal favorite.


  5. Fulci rarely ever makes sense. Even back when he was still doing giallos, they were confusing as hell. I think it's an Italian thing. Argento doesn't always come across as coherent. I still love the both of them though. Fulci's problem is that he doesn't have Goblin scores.

    P.S. I prefer to be drunk when watching these flicks. The brain cells only slow you down.

  6. mouse g ionia nisiaFebruary 10, 2009 at 5:14 AM

    you gotta love the soundtrack

  7. I watched this just this week for my blog - yes, it was one of the banned 'video nasties' here in the UK (although not one of the final 39 that actually gained procecutions). I was full of flu when I watched it and had originally thought that was the reason it hadn't made sence.

    That said, I enjoyed it; I found that it made no sense in the same way that j-horror doesn't make sense, and for much the same reason ie. etherial spookiness being more important than liniar story telling.

    And the eyeball gags were awesome!


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