July 25, 2002
Dissecting Fulci's "The Beyond" Email this entry
There's an intentionally ironic scene in Italian horror filmmaker Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond" involving a hospital cart with excruciatingly squeaky wheels. This cart is wheeled by a soon-to-be victim of Fulci's special-effects crew. Listening to the weird, erratic soundtrack, I found myself praying for those sqeaky wheels to return.
See below for the rest of the article. Click here to buy "The Beyond".
Lucio Fulci is the Italian gore king that brought us such classics as "The New York Ripper", "Zombi", "The House By the Cemetery", "The Gates of Hell", "City of the Living Dead", and the inexplicably titled "Don't Torture Duckling" (?!).
"The Beyond" isn't so much a film as, say, an excuse to show off 14 or 15 really cool gross-out scenes. Acid on face, plastic tarantulas eating face, acid on face again (Fulci apparently had a thing for acid), and various scenes where eyes are popped out of their sockets.
I mentioned the music. The schizophrenic music varies between very chilling, effective mood pieces to completely confounding horror-disco. Nothing funkier than a scene that builds, and builds, and builds until the shocking acid-on-the-face climax is accompanied by the Italian equivalent of the Bee Gees.
Watching this "film", one is left with several questions: why film in Louisiana if all the actors are all British and Italian? Why is it that Bob the dead plumber rises from the dead in a completely new outfit? When did he change his clothes? Are the dead that conscious about fashion? Is the video store still open so I can go rent something better?
If you enjoy watching dogs tear out people's throats, chain-beatings, and bad overdubbing (and who doesn't, I ask?) then Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond" hits the spot.
Since I'm reviewing the DVD version, I'll mention the extras. Each schlocky, unbearable frame of the original print is lovingly restored for the DVD. There are lots of other goodies, like a slide show of the posters, articles, and promotional materials. Of course, the experience of suffering through such a wretched film may leave you asking yourself why you're watching the extras about a film you wish you'd never seen in the first place.
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