Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar
Director: Lucio Fulci
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Lucio "King of the Eyeball Gag" Fulci made his name with a series of gory, gooey horror epics, and The Beyond stands above all as his outré masterpiece. The largely incoherent plot has something to do with a turn-of-the... more »
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"The critics don't get it, and the critics never will."
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 02/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"(Note: the subject line is taken from the DVD booklet, and is all too true.)The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981)Many hardcore fans of Italian horror cinema consider The Beyond to be Lucio Fulci's best film; more than one will likely opine, if you ask, that The Beyond is the finest Italian horror film ever made. While that's probably stretching the case more than a little (I still prefer Fulci's raw, almost unbearably campy Zombie), there's a whole lot to be said for The Beyond as loads of fun. Without doubt, it is one of Fulci's brightest moments. (Note that all description below is from the uncut version on the Anchor Bay limited edition DVD, and as I've never seen the cut version released to theaters, some of what is described below may not sound familiar to those who have already seen the movie, which had a theatrical re-releases in 1998 as Seven Doors of Death.)The Beyond takes place in the Louisiana bayou country. It opens with a scene in 1927 detailing the brutal lynching of Sweik, an eastern European of some sort who the natives believe has placed a curse on the town. During his lynching, Sweik protests that, in fact, he's the only person keeping the town from falling under the curse. Needless to say, they mob doesn't listen to him, or a very short film we'd have. We then skip to 1981, as our heroine, Liza (Fulci regular Catriona MacColl, seen most recently in the well-received 1998 film A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries), inherits the hotel where Sweik was staying at the time of his unfortunate demise. The place is haunted, especially Room 36, Sweik's room. As well, the basement is constantly flooded, and no one can figure out why. A plumber is dispatched to find the source of the water, and in his attempt he instead finds the source of the hauntings. Complications, as they say, ensue.The Beyond works in no small part for the same reason that John Carpenter's contemporary film The Fog works--the events are presented with absolutely no context. The filmmaker hands up a plate of hot, steaming horror and raises no questions as to why any of this is happening. This is an important distinction; whether the film itself raises unanswered questions is often the difference between the success and the failure of a venture like this one. Fulci doesn't raise the questions, and The Beyond works. Argento doesn't raise the questions, and Suspiria works. (Argento tried to raise the questions in Inferno, and boy, did it ever not work.) Fulci throws us an extra bone, however, in
allowing one character to raise one question that no one in the film is capable of answering. Very nice touch, that.Beyond (no pun intended) the film itself, the DVD release falls apart a bit, which is somewhat surprising in any Anchor Bay release, and is especially troubling in such an expensive, limited disc. Most of the extras that come with the release are either soundless (which is quite annoying when the extra is, for example, an interview!) or have a harsh soundtrack overlaid onto them. Might have been nice to use Fabio Frizzi's score for the film, which is up to the usual Frizzi standard and even surpasses it in places.The film itself is definitely worth watching, both for fans of Italian horror specifically and the more general horror-fan population alike. However, you may want to wait for a non- limited release from Anchor Bay or Elite before picking it up on DVD. **** for the film, ** ½ for this particular release of it, so we'll compromise and say ***."
It's all about Atmoshpere!
Damon Hopkins | Houston, Tx United States | 08/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this on the big screen a few summers ago thanks to Quentin and Rolling Thunder Pictures who restored and re-released it. I stood in line for 2 hours to be one of twenty to get a "Beyond Eerie Eyeball." Damn, it was well worth it! This wasn't the only treat. Before the movie they played old trailers: Deep Red, Evil Dead, Murder Mafia Style, Cannibal Ferox, and Blood Feast! Now, if they would only have midnight showings of these as well. There are seven gateways to hell and if opened, the dead will walk the earth. One such door is located in Louisiana's Schweik Seven Door Hotel. In 1927 a Satanist opened one of the seven gateways before an angry mob of townsfolk crucified him and proceeded to do unspeakable acts to him. The townsfolk were too late. The door was left open. 1982. A young woman, Eliza shows up in Louisiana to collect her inheritance, the Schweik Seven Door Hotel. Of course strange things begin to happen. People are mysteriously ding from eye eating tarantulas, impalement, eye gouging, acid, etc. Then the freshly dead at the morgue decide to get up and walk. While all this is going on Eliza befriends John, a local doctor, and tells him about a mysterious blind girl. According to John the girl has been dead for many years. While trying to settle their curiosity, the two search the Hotel and examine a book of Eibon that they found. The book explains the seven doorways to hell. Now they must try and close this gate to hell or become trapped within. It's better than it sounds. The gore is fantastic. I have never seen so much eye gouging in all my days. Were would a Fulci movie be with out it?I don't like to nit-pick films but what's up with the tarantulas looking like they were made out of pipe cleaners?The end is ball breaking. It's very climatic with zombie shooting and a little girl's head being blown apart. I hate happy endings and this is far from happy."
Read this before you decide which version to buy.
Amazon.com Customer | United States | 10/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"European Cinema was the first to release THE BEYOND on DVD. Then Anchor Bay put out their version. To compete with the studios that have more money, Diamond Entertainment released THE BEYOND under its old American title, THE SEVEN DOORS OF DEATH. They did NOT use the old, butchered print of DOORS. Diamond used the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio print that European Cinema used, which is the same one Anchor Bay used. I have all 3 of these DVD's and the title and extras are the ONLY difference. There is NO missing footage in any of these releases. Some people post their comments based on old VHS movies they saw years ago. If you want the economy priced version of THE BEYOND, then get SEVEN DOORS OF DEATH. If you want the version with the audio commentary, you'll have to buy Anchor Bay's version of THE BEYOND. I'll say it once again: This version of SEVEN DOORS OF DEATH is exactly the same, scene for scene, as Anchor's release of THE BEYOND, only the titles and extras are different."
One of the Best Horror DVD Releases Ever!
ragefan12399 | New York | 12/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Beyond flat-out rules! God Bless Lucio Fulci for making this over-the-top zombie gore fest. Never have I seen such an excellent DVD for a horror film before. The story about one of the seven gates to hell being opened, and its contents unleashed in our world is Lucio Fulci's masterpiece. This Limited Edition tin-case set is amazing! The case itself contains a HUGE 48 page booklet with rare photos and a biography of Lucio Fulci. Also included in the case are 6 international poster replicas(which are awesome). The tin is also serialy numbered out of 20,000. Then there is the DVD itself. The picture is pretty good and is presented in anamorphic widescreen, the sound is also good with Dolby 2.0 and 5.1. The disc is loaded with features, including: a rare on-set interview with Fulci, international trailer, German trailer, US re-release trailer, a music video, audio commentary from David Warbeck and Catriona MacCall, a lost German pre-credit sequence and main titles, still galleries, and much much more. If you like horror, and like Lucio Fulci, stop reading this review and go buy it now!"