View Full Version : Euro Horror DVD of the Month (June 01) - The Beyond
06-29-2001, 09:17 AM
Sorry for the long delay, this has been coming for so long but just couldn't find the time, but now I have. This is actually the 8th in the series but I have decided to make it a monthly thing (thanks DVD -Con.) If you are new here, do check out the past posts of DVD's covered.
I chose The Beyond because there are only a few days in the month left to discuss this one and I figured most people have seen this or are familiar with it.
This is Fulci's most well known film, maybe except for Zombie. The Beyond comes to us on DVD is 2 flavors, Tin and well, Non-Tin. I decided to get the tin becuase I love those damn tins and I liked the Artwork.
The Beyond is not my favorite Fulci film, but it is a great film nontheless. From the eerie opening scene from the past, to what comes afterwards, Fulci has definitely treated us to some great gore and a few very memorable death scenes.
And if you don't like the end of this film, well then, I guess Fulci probably isn't for you. Now I like to discuss this film, but as those of you who have read these before know, I don't like to give too much away by coming out and giving you the entire plot. That would be pointless. I like to open up these movies for discussion after everyone has had a chance to watch it.
Anchor Bay really knows how to do things right. I know that Grindhouse did a lot of work, and I appreciate that, but AB put the whole package together, very well done. The film looks simply amazing, especially when you consider when the film was made and the budget that Fulci had to work with.
The Transfer looks great. The sound is good, no problems there. Where this disc shines even further is with the audio commentary. Actor David Warbeck was literally on his death bed as he recorded this commentary. Very moving and you can definitely tell how much respect he had for Fulci, who had died before this was recorded.
From start to finish, ths film rocks. There are some very typical , very eerie Fulci scenes in this film. The atmosphere he creates is amazing. I was throughly engrossed as I watched what unfolded in front of my eyes. As a Fulci lover, I was definitely very happy as I watched the gore unfold.
As always I'd love to hear your comments. I look forward to hearing from everyone.
06-29-2001, 03:37 PM
Couldn't agree with you more Dave.
The extras are really great and Warbeck's comments makes you think what a great guy he must have been. A bit sad also. I wonder how Catriona felt during the recording session.
Van Bebber shot this video? It sucks, even though Necrophagia is a cult band that has been around almost a decade.
If there's one thing I'd like to have on this DVD is a something about the restoration of the film print which I know it was quite a hard thing to do.
The color german-pre-credit scene also is great to have!
06-29-2001, 05:34 PM
The Beyond isn't my favorite Fulci film either, but it is a very good one. The soundtrack is wonderful and melodic, the colors are beautiful made even better by the folks at AB/Grindhouse, and the extras are wonderful. Even the easter eggs are cool. Just when is AB going to release A Lizard in a Woman's Skin :D !
06-29-2001, 08:19 PM
Up until last year I hadn't heard of this movie, but the VHS box looked really cool (this was before I got DVD). Tower Records had it on sale for $9.99 so I bought it. When I got home, I popped it into the VCR and watched the opening scene. I didn't watch any more of it for over 2 months, I was so scared. Damn good film, creepy atmosphere, and how can you not love the ending?
Still need to pick up the DVD, I think I just might buy the tin, seeing as I don't have any, this could be as good a place to start as any.
Where did this movie go wrong?
The opening scene sure is fantastic. Here I am, enjoying the hell out of it (and I'll admit, it's a bit chilling as well). The chains and the crucifixion are plain ol' nasty. But then they throw the wallpaper paste on the guy. Wait, my mistake, not wallpaper paste, but just conviently placed open buckets of acid (who DOESN'T have open buckets of acid in there cellar? Raise your hand). Anyway, the creepiness starts to go away at the same rate that poor ol' Shweick gets melted. I gave Lucio the benefit of the doubt on this scene, but I soon found out it's par for the course in this extremely stylish, but also extremely DUMB movie.
I know the looooong murder scenes are a Fulci trademark. Check the lynching in the excellent film Don't Torture a Duckling. But if you're gonna run the camera that long on a murder scene, the effects better be damned good, and they're not. C'mon....the pipe cleaner spiders? Please.
My next bitch is the constant change of locales. Lucio had something going with that decrepit hotel. Almost every scene in there is a winner. So why shoot so much of the movie in so many NON-creepy settings? Libraries? Hospitals?
I'll tell you why. Atmosphere just isn't enough for Lucio. He's gotta add a graphic murder scene every 10 minutes or so just in case the audience has fallen asleep. If Fulci is ADMITTING his movie is boring, why should we even watch it?
The Hotel motif is almost completely abandoned in that final zombie attack. Yes, there's a good bit where someone "loses her head", but other than that I was rooting for the zombies.
End sequence is great. Would have been even better had the zombie sequence taken place in the hotel as well. Thus, the final 15 seconds is just "too little too late"
Could have been a good movie, but it wasn't. Bummer.
06-29-2001, 09:44 PM
My main gripe with Fulci films is that the characters don't do much to avert being killed. Everytime a character is in danger of being eaten (or killed in some other cartoonish manner), they make no effort to run, hide, or fight. They just stand there, waiting to be killed. It happens in every single Fulci film, and The Beyond had one of the most notorious cases of it (Georgi in the bathroom, standing and waiting to be killed--when the friggin' doorway was behind her the entire time). Then there's the leady guy (whose name escapes me at the moment), firing round after round into the zombies' chests, and it never seem to dawns on him that it has no effect. At one point, he kills a zombie by shooting it in the head, then resumes shooting the other zombies in their chests.
Not as bad as Zombie when it comes to stretching the limits of a script's credibilty, but it's up there alongside it.
06-29-2001, 11:40 PM
I really thought this was the best Fulci film I've seen - I really liked the atmosphere and the imagery. The flaws tend to be the same ones in most of the Fulci films I've seen (as many of you have pointed out) but I think of all those I've seen this is by far the best - I consider this a good movie, not just a good horror movie, if you know what I mean.
And the DVD is top-notch, especially the commentary.
06-30-2001, 12:17 AM
I'll tell you why the victims in Fulci movies don't run, but just stand around waiting to be killed. (-The horror in their eyes, the torture, the prolonged death scenes, etc.) Fulci loved that, and I believe he might've been a bit of a sadist. Also, staging it gruesomely (and un-Hollywood) like that, almost surreal, is a very Italian/European way to do it. It isn't logic, but it makes for great cinema. Bava and Argento have it also, though not as extreme perhaps. (-I'd say "Inferno" is a pretty surrealistic movie, wouldn't you ?.) The often open questions at the end of Fulci movies, I believe, is part of the attraction people feel about his films, and the reason they keep coming back to them. Apart from the gore, they remain fascinating pieces of work because of their downbeat endings. I love most of Fulci's horror movies, but "The Beyond" is without a doubt my favorite.
06-30-2001, 12:52 AM
The Beyond was my introduction to Fulci many moons ago and, perhaps for this reason, it remains my favourite film by this director.
Although Fulci's movies are not always strong on the logic front (a criticism that is often also aimed at Argento), his films succeed in entertaining the viewer because of his excellent use of atmosphere. There's no doubting his ability to create suspense and a sense of impending doom.
There's a feeling of dread from the start of The Beyond that doesn't let go. This isn't a film that's going to have a happy ending but it's still hypnotically captivating for the audience. Although the film is gory, it's not just a blood and guts film. The movie has suspense in buckets and a genuinely surreal sense of "other-worldliness".
This movie continues to hit all the right buttons with me. It ain't perfect but I love it, even despite its idiosyncracies. AB, with Grindhouse, have delivered the definitive edition of this classic and the tin is a joy to behold. Buy with confidence, AndrewBBD!
Ever since I saw a dupe of this film about 2 years ago I have loved this film and every time I see it I like it more and more. Definetly Fulci's masterpiece! But to answer some things people have brought up. The reason there was a lot of gore in Fulci's famous horror films was because the producer's wanted gore, not because Fulci wanted to do it but it was because of Producer's demands so get the facts straight! This is another reason I love Fulci! Even when he's forced to do something he makes it work beautifully in the film. jak
07-01-2001, 12:36 AM
I don't know where you got those facts, but I'd say they're only partially true. True, the producers wanted it, and Fulci went along with it, but it wasn't just his horror pictures that contained extreme violence. So did his westerns, action, and thrillers. Again, you might say it was, like in the case of Hammer, the producers ideas. -The "whatever sells, we'll make it"-mentality. In the case of Fulci, I personally think he was into the gore-aspect a great deal. We never heard him say "that ****** gore; they made me do it", did we ?. I don't want to dig deeper into the rumor, but some say he had a secret hatred of women. Whatever. In my opinion, not even Argento at his best comes close to Fulci at his best. Lucio was the real master of stylished Italian horror at its best. One only has to look at "The Beyond" to realize this isn't your ordinary director.
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