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I hope that you will take this review seriously, and save yourself those painful 91 minutes that was "Beyond the Darkness".
Review by Lauren Synger
Italian Live Action Horror Film
Show (Media Blasters)
Running Time: 91 minutes
Rated: NC-17 (extreme violence, gore, horror, nudity, and sexual situations)
THE FOLLOWING REVIEW IS ONE OF AN ADULT NATURE. PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Francesco, a young man with an unusual occupation (taxidermy) pines in an elaborate mansion nestled in the Italian countryside, for the death of his love. Overtaken and maddened by grief, Francesco puts his taxidermy skills to use by preserving his love's body inside the mansion, and killing anyone who dares discover his little secret or anyone who is foolish enough to venture onto the grounds. Directed by Joe D'Amato, Beyond the Darkness is legendary among the shock horror film craze that gripped Europe during the late 1970's.
DVD VISION TEST
Video: Well, this is a seventies movie, and not much was done to restore the picture. Its very grainy and the color is off-balance.
Audio: The sound was not really improved. It was very muffled. I felt like I was watching a seventies movie.
Edits: I don't think there were any edits. What on Earth could possibly have been cut out?
Extras: They are ok.... here is what you get. The trailer for Beyond the Darkness, Commentary by Art Director Donatella Donati, an interview with actress Cinzia Monreale, and a slide show of concept art, posters, and scenes from the movie.
STORY: It's horrible. It makes no sense or have anything redeeming.
ACTING: I regret to inform you that the voice acting stinks. Why try to be professional? They didn't. Besides, you can't call what those people dubbed over in English "acting". Not that the Italian actors were any good, but the American VA's were beyond terrible. All of them share the same overacting quality that was typical of American dubbing during the 70's. For those of you familiar with it, this was not even worthy of a mention on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Fan Service: You must be a sick and twisted person to enjoy this type of fan service. You also have to like lots of blood, gore, and foreplay with old women. If you are into any of these things, don't tell me about it.
Now all of you know
that I do my best to be as objective as I can. I try to give every movie the benefit of the doubt, so I can provide
you with as much of an unbiased review as possible. However, I can't do
that here. Instead I am going to tear this movie limb from limb, much like
Francesco's victims. It took 91 minutes of my life that I cannot get back,
and I am not going to be very forgiving about it.
As for the story, well you read the summary. From what you just
read, does it sound like a quality film? Let me give you a hint: Open up
the title menu and listen to that God-awful "acclaimed score by the
Italian Rock Band Goblin" and you will get that feeling in the pit of
your stomach. You know the feeling I am talking about. Like in the movies when
the characters are standing on a road in the forest and one path looks
bright and sunny and cheerful and the other path looks dark, foreboding.
You KNOW just by looking at it which one is the road not to choose. When
I popped this movie into my DVD player, I was on that very same road. The bright sunny
path; open the DVD player and putting in another movie. The dark
evil path was pushing the dreaded "play" button on the remote
control. Of course, just like those people in the movies I felt myself
moving towards that dark foreboding path....
But I was on a selfless mission! Oh, yes! I promised myself to write
reviews to broaden people's minds about good anime and good foreign films.
However, the above does not apply to BAD foreign films. So close your
minds! Quickly now! Before its too late and you find yourself desperate at
a video rental store and you stumble across this abomination that dares to
call itself a movie.
Now many of you are probably asking yourselves, "Wow, why is Lauren being so harsh?" Well, it's for your own good. I am trying to save you. It's all bad. Bad acting, bad movie, bad plot, bad music, bad, bad, bad.
Lauren we understand its bad. So, why is it so bad?" All right, I'll
is the plot.
The main character Francesco is trying to preserve his dead lovers
body. He digs her body up, dresses her like a doll, sucks
out her innards, tears out her eyes and puts in fake glass ones, but then
realizes he is missing something. She needs nice fingernails. So, he picks
up a hitchhiker trying to make her way back home. The, he is stupid enough to
take her to the place where his dead lover is housed. Of course she sees
everything. So he pins her down, rips off her fingernails one by one,
strangles the girl to death and then puts the nails on his dead lover. He
then takes his victim and his beloved back home to his mansion in the
hills. There, with the help of his housekeeper, lays his beloved in her
old bed and mutilates the body of the hitchhiker. Then he and his housekeeper
proceed to have an "indecent and disturbing moment" (That's
putting it mildly) with each other (did I mention that she is old enough
to be his mommy and even plays the part?) They dispose of the girl's
mutilated body (that is now been turned into chunks while soaking in a tub of acid)
by putting said chunks into a bucket (wouldn't the acid eat through a bucket?) and then
um, pour them into a hole in the ground. And that's just the first
part of the movie!
As if this and the other ridiculously violent deaths that happen in this movie aren't bad enough, your forced to sit there and
listen to this "acclaimed Rock Band called Goblin" who provides
the so-called score for the movie. Does it set the mood? Not at all. It
sounds way too synthesized and happy to suit a disgusting movie like this
one. The only thing the movie and score have in common is that both of
them are horrendous. There is no sense of foreboding, no sense of terror
or fear or anything to come. NOTHING is left to the imagination. They
actually show the mutilation of bodies rather than just shadows. You even
see old woman breasts, which is not something I find particularly
interesting. Don't you dare tell me that I should give the music a break
because after all it's so old. So? There were many great movies with
wonderful scores out there during that same time period. Even if this
was a B movie, it doesn't mean it had to be a bad B movie. I mean, look at Evil
Dead and Rocky Horror. Those at least had a sense of humor about them.
This movie actually took itself seriously.
All right, I feel better now. I have ranted and raved and gotten what I wanted to off my chest. I hope that you will take this review seriously, and save yourself those painful 91 minutes that was "Beyond the Darkness". Should you not heed my warning and foolishly venture out to rent, or even worse, buy this movie, donít say I didnít try. If you actually have the stomach to watch it, try watching in fast forward! Itís more entertaining that way.
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