The Beyond(1981)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesdays]
Lucio Fulci is one of the most popular Italian directors in the horror genre. His films are very surreal, feeling like you’ve walked right into a fever dream. They are super gory and full of dread, and often times feature images of eyeball mutilation. ‘The Beyond’ absolutely delivers.
An unsuspecting woman suddenly inherits a large hotel by her deceased, distant uncle. It’s located in beautiful, marshy New Orleans… It’s also located directly over one of the 7 doorways to Hell. In an opening sequence we watch a supposed warlock get whipped and crucified (in a very Christ-like image). And then as he dies, a symbol appears etched into the wall. When the woman visits the hotel and examines it, there is severe water damage in the basement – and the repairman finds the symbol burned into the wall. Here, we watch as a severly decayed corpse arises from the water and rips his eyeball out.
The film then progresses into a series of everyone encountering this hotel dying a brutal death – and my inner nerd loves to highlight that these zombies have no interest in eating their victims (so technically they’re more demon like?). But the deaths are extremely fun and satisfying including someone getting a spike through the head, their face dissolved with acid, and even eaten by tarantulas (in super slow, dramatic fashion!)
In my opinion, this is Fulci’s best film. It’s extremely fun and paced well. The deaths are extremely visceral and creative. And even though I’m sure you’ve already seen more zombie films in your life than you’d ever really want to, this one deserves your attention – it’s easily one of the 10 best zombie films of all time, and if you wanted you could even argue it into a top 5.
‘The Beyond’ is available for streaming on Shudder.
‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra