The Beyond (1981)

   

Directed by: Lucio Fulci

Written by: Dardano Sacchetti, Giorgio Mariuzzo & Lucio Fulci

Starring:

.... Liza Merril
.... Dr. John McCabe
.... Emily
.... Schweick
.... Martha
 
Release Dates: Theatrical: April 29, 1981 (Italy); The Weekend of Terror: March 21, 1987 (Netherlands); Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival: April 22, 1996; Uppsala Horror Film Festival: November 9, 2002; NatFilm Festival: March 30, 2003; New York Museum of Arts and Design: July 16, 2010; Tokyo Intenational Zombie Film Festival: March 1, 2011; New Orleans Film Festival: October 28, 2014; Night Visions Film Festival: October 30, 2014

Rating:

 

Liza Merril () inherits an old hotel in Louisianna but discovers strange supernatural incidents as well as others being killed in gruesome ways in which she discovers that the place was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

 

The story offers a nice shocking prologue which had a black and white sort of feel to it all with some people in a boat holding torches while coming after a person at the hotel as well as close up shots on these locals torturing him to death as this can be a pleaser who likes this kinds of stuff in an italian horror flick. It certainly makes things look truly mysterious and making you wonder what will happen later on while watching this furthermore.
Present day strikes as both Liza Merril and Dr. John McCabe are arriving at the hotel they inherited and one of the painters suddenly spots some sort of a mysterious woman and he falls with a bloody injury as this was supposed to make you jump out of your seat but yet doesn't cut it at all.
However there's an exciting and suspenseful moment when a plumber goes down in the cellar of the place and hammers holes where some bricks are and carefully looks through an area with a demonic hand coming through towards him and offering some good gruesome results. This almost made me jomp but just not quite. It was well done nevertheless.
Liza drives along a stormy roadway and spots a blind woman and her dog in which we spot her eyes which doesn't look normal at all like the devil's eyes which drew my attention as to what will unfold here.
Things get insanely twisted at a hospital when some sort of formula spills on a corpse and the outcome here with a young girl being pitted against all of this which looked impressive in a strange horror tale.
Great effects with Liza being pitted in her mansion and there seems to be lightning effects or other sorts happening there as well as a foggy scene adding a great touch to a ghostly moment while watching this.
Another situation was supposed to make you jump is when someone is on a top ladder in a library looking for a book and the lightning incident happens and he falls then passes out which misses once again but then a real creepy moment happens to him as there's great close up shots on tarantula's creeping up towards him as well as the outcome of this which would make you every right to be scared of spiders.
A maid enters a grimy bathroom and tries to unclog a tub and of course something creepy lurks from this which a deadly consequence occurs due to this as this was done in fair taste.
Emily is pitted against a ghoulish type of zombie with her screaming and pleading as well as her dog attacking this monster as there's great intensity with this unravelling as well as this dog returning to her but it for sure looks shocking as to what the dog does next which I didn't expect this to happen. Plus it looked graphic too which should please any gorehounds.
The terror unleashes greatly when John explains to Liza as to why these moments are happening and the ground rumbles with more lightning and they struggle to get out of the mansion as this was a perfect touch indeed making me want to watch for more.
They flee to the hospital only realising the dead corpses that reside there have come to life as zombies attacking as there's good shots on some of them breaking through a window of a door to try and get to Liza and so fourth.
The ending was very twisted which didn't do much for me as I wondered if they entered hell. It could've been a bit better and the ending isn't a happy one at all.
Bottom line is that this tale is definetely out of the ordinary and I take an interest in italian horror flicks since they have a more unique style as well as having more of everything in it than american flicks. I enjoyed half of it but some of it lacked a bit and wasn't thrilled on how it ended. Still it was a fun one to watch if you like demonic moments as well as zombies too as it has both of this.

The acting is overdubbed in english so it's hard to tell the talents so much and only a few to mention so I will do my best here ..... (Liza Merril) seemed to show her stuff here in a decent fashion as she seemed to have a good fearful and emotional attitude when the terror strikes as well as showing some good energy within whatever she had to do. Had the right healthy looks and appeal to her role.
(Dr. John McCabe) had the good looks for his role which helps in a movie as well as coming across as convincingly intelligent throughout all that he did here. He seemed to show off a nice seriousness into all that he did here and was on the ball as to what he did during the terror and suspense that happens around him.
(Emily) certainly drew in a mysterious presence to her role looking expressionless as well as emotionless since she knew on how to do both of these in a nice fashion. Also breaks that moment nicely when she is struggling against someone else showing great fear and rolling with the punches.

Flesh is melting off someone while liquid is poured on him as well as his body nailed against a wall.
A painter is bloodied after falling from a ladder.
Eyes are poked out of a plumber.
Liquid is dumped on a corpse in a hospital with gruesome results.
A maid is impaled with her head against a nail with eyeballs plucked out.
Tarantula's tear off flesh on a guy's face.
A dog tears flesh off a blind woman's neck.
Girls head is blown off.
Bloody gunshots on zombie's trying to attack.

There's four different composers to this film as most of them did a bang up job with their focus on each scene of this flick having a good versatality in which there's great unique piano pounding and nice adventureous beats which I found pretty impressive. Also there's the odd flute playing along with odd chanting. The people responisble for all of this are Fabio Frizzi, Walter E. Sear, Ira Yuspeh and Mitch Yuspeh as they are talented italian composers and used the same formula in other films such as City of the Living Dead.

Emily: Attack, Dickie!