The Beyond (1981)

The Australian DVD release of this film (not the one pictured, obviously) is distinguished mainly by being possibly the only Siren/Shock DVD I’ve come across whose advertised aspect ratio actually matched the disc’s contents. As for the film, it’s distinguished by its superabundance of gore (face meltings, eyeball gougings—it’s Lucio Fulci, after all—spiders from another dimension, zombies running rampant, etc) and a comparable plenitude of incoherence… there’s a hotel built over the entrance to Hell (this much I understood first time around), and a girl who’s escaped from Hell, and a bunch of zombies have been sent to retrieve her (this much I finally understood after reading El Santo’s review the other day), and a heap of other shit happens (the point of which I still don’t get). El Santo reckons Fulci’s City of the Living Dead makes even less sense, which would be a pretty fair achievement… although, that said, the fact that it barely makes a lick of sense seems to be part of its appeal for many; unfortunately for me, though, I don’t find the style compelling enough to compensate for the substance (it’s no Suspiria in that regard) and instead I just found myself annoyed by it again. I can get a loan of City of the Living Dead so will watch that; otherwise I’ve got Lizard in a Woman’s Skin at hand so I can see if I like Fulci better in giallo mode instead. Not hopeful, though.

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