Jessica Barrett lives a peaceful life in San Francisco. With two kids, a record exec husband and a baby on the way, life is pretty full. When Jessica finds out that her new baby belongs to the prince of darkness, she becom... more »es a demonically possessed beast. Her ex-boyfriend, Dimitri, a Satan worshipper must sacrifice her child in order to renew his own twisted existence.« less
"Yes, this is a knock-off of "The Exorcist", but despite that, it's still a cool movie. It was virtually a staple of drive-in theaters during the latter half of the 1970's as well as the Late Late Show on CBS as another reviewer pointed out.
Juliet Mills (from "Nanny & The Professor" fame) completely abandoned her squeaky-clean image in favor of cursing in a guttural voice & regurgitating blood & green goop. The dubbing is a bit on the cheesy side, especially from the children; the little girl in particular comes up with some pretty hilarious lines. Replying to the little boy when he cries after seeing Juliet Mills hurling an ashtray & destroying the fish tank: "You're blowing my mind, man!! You gotta stop that or you're gonna have a bad trip", sort of like an 8-year old hippie!
"Beyond The Door" was filmed partially in Italy as well as San Francisco & has several different titles: "The Devil Within Her", which appears at the beginning of this version, as well as "Chi Sei?" (which means "Who Are You?" in Italian, a reference to one of Mills' lines in the film) & "Diabolica". Director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis was directly involved with Code Red in making this available on DVD, providing the original uncut camera negative. Transferring it to anamorphic widescreen, the overall quality is amazing, considering that this film has turned up in some poor quality, grainy & edited versions on VHS over the years.
There are some cool extras on this DVD, including a short featurette "Beyond The Door: 35 Years Later" featuring recent interviews with Mills, Richard Johnson & Ovidio G. Assonitis. Mills mentions that she hasn't seen or heard from costar Gabriele Lavia since after the film was shot in 1974. Also featured are the original theatrical trailer & TV spot, still photo gallery, & candid, funny interview with Richard Johnson called "An Englishman In Italy".
70s Drive-In Classic
jetboy77 | Far Hills, NJ United States | 01/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sure, it's a rip off ... But does that mean it's not enjoyable and/or scary ??? ... NO ... Just as 1978's HALLOWEEN borrowed from 1974's BLACK CHRISTMAS, ( no one complained ) BEYOND THE DOOR does take from other possesion films .... But it is mandatory viewing for fans of horror, 70's filmmaking, and low budget afficianatos alike ... Juliette Mills' character is so creepy and disturbing, and the low-budget quality only adds to the impact .... While THE EXORCIST is far superior in a technical perspective, the obscurity and all-out weirdness of BEYOND THE DOOR make it more creepy .... I have to say that the first glimpse we get of Mills' character in full possesion mode is one of the most terrifying and scarring ( in a good way ) scenes Is've had the pleasure to witness .... This baby is well worth tracking down if you're into odd/strange/low budget scares ..."
Great Fun...Finally on a Proper DVD
Peter | Sioux Falls, SD | 07/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this is a blatant Exorcist rip-off. Who cares? It's terrific fun and a great throwback to the wonderful exploitation Italian horror flicks of the 1970s. I think its just fantastic. And, those who know have been waiting patiently for this DVD which was announced years ago."
Casper | Phoenix AZ | 02/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am hoping "Beyond The Door" will one day be released on DVD. I saw this film in the theater back in the mid 70's and I liked the possession scenes along with the deep voice that sounded like someone gargled with razor blades.
Please listen and release this movie on DVD!"
A very poor attempt to ripoff "The Exorcist".
HorrorMan | The Marsten House | 06/11/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"With overwhelming evidence of being heavily influenced (to put it nicely) by both "The Exorcist" and "Rosemary's Baby", "Beyond the Door" starring Juliet Mills is an exercise in futility and incompetence. Indeed, this movie is essentially pointless in motivation as well as in substance. The plot involves a housewife named Jessica, played by Juliet Mills, whom is pregnant with an abnormally fast-growing fetus and appears to be tormented by some psychological and emotional problems. The abnormal pregnancy certainly brings to mind memories of the far superior "Rosemary's Baby". However, what was probably supposed to be some kind of a mix between "The Exorcist" and "Rosemary's Baby" clearly develops into an embarrassing display of horrendous film-making. As far as the plot goes, it becomes quite obvious as the movie progresses that Jessica's problems extend beyond that of any medical condition. The only question is how can Jessica and her family be saved, but while watching this movie, does the viewer even care? This statement may seem harsh, but after watching this movie, I can assure you that this particular issue with this movie is undoubtedly legitimate.
The problems with "Beyond the Door" are fundamental and plentiful. First, "Beyond the Door" completely lacks fluidity from scene to scene. In other words, it appears to the viewer that he/she is watching a frame by frame selection of scenes that are rigidly put together and completely uneven; this is very tedious and frustrating for the viewer. The consequence of this flaw is a poor plot and theme development, and the viewer never gets a taste of the atmosphere that should be associated with such a flick. Anyone who cares anything at all about possession films cannot help but long for "The Exorcist" which was an example of perfect film-making. Unfortunately, "Beyond the Door" represents an attempt to ride the coattails of classics before it in the hope of cashing in.
Second, the acting in "Beyond the Door" is nothing short of deplorable, especially the man who plays the husband of Jessica's character, but he is just the tip of the iceberg in that the entire cast appears to be completely inept at executing this type of film. Juliet Mills appears to be adequate at times, but her character lacks spirit and is largely undynamic just like the rest of the characters in this movie. As a result, there is a lack of suspense in this movie. The viewer is supposed to sympathize with Jessica's character and the family in general, but the viewer's frustrations with the movies poor thematic and plot development cause an indifference as to the fate of the family or, rather, the viewer is so bored, he/she just cannot get into it. Clearly, this movie is unable to generate the emotive and intensity elements that it needs in order to be successful. Again, this is a direct result of the poor acting, but it also due to a general lack of direction, a very poor script and pathetic plot development associated with this cinematic disaster of a movie.
"Beyond the Door" is a perfect example of a movie that simply never gets off the ground in spite of itself. However, there are some scenes that are worthy of being mentioned, namely the possession scenes involving Jessica's character, which would have been scary but for the fact that the requisite atmospheric tension and situational horror necessary for the effectiveness of this type of horror movie is completely absent. Therefore, these scenes appear in a vacuum of an emotionless screenplay that cripples the ability of these scenes to inspire horror in the audience. Of course, anyone that knows anything about horror movies immediately recognizes that these scenes are pretty much a direct ripoff of "The Exorcist".
"Beyond the Door" is an absolute cinematic disaster that I cannot recommend to anyone who enjoys good horror movies. There is nothing scary about it whatsoever. The way the story of this movie unfolds to the viewer is fundamentally flawed. Also, I must say that from a personal standpoint, I thought Dmitri's character was pathetic and largely unnecessary, but this was one way that the creators of this flick tried to distinguish itself from "The Exorcist"; it did not work at all. I had high hopes for this film for some reason. Maybe it was the 70s feel to it or perhaps my hope for some intense possession scenes within the confines of a good story, but "Beyond the Door" is nothing short of a major disappointment for me.
As a side note, it is my understanding that Mario Bava's "Shock" is the sequel to "Beyond the Door". In this case, the sequel certainly is a lot better than the original, and the sequel is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination.