Fulci's THE BEYOND - a deserving classic?

Discussion in 'Euro Cult' started by Someone Weird, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Someone Weird

    Someone Weird An Odious Little Runt

    I dusted down my old Anchor Bay dvd to rewatch Lucio Fulci's zombie flick THE BEYOND the other day, to see how it holds up. Many Fulci fans think it is his masterpiece but I was always more impressed by ZOMBI 2 which remains my personal favourite zombie movie.

    Anyway, I remembered THE BEYOND being kind of strange and surreal, sometimes to its detriment, but also had fond memories of certain sequences so was interested to see how it would hold up to another viewing.

    First the good points: that sepia tinted opening is very effective. Cinematography and music, as with other Fulci flicks of this period, is top notch (I have the soundtrack on Beat records) and I like the climax, from the moment our heroes enter the hospital populated by shuffling dead heads, before winding up in Hell. It's a good ending.

    Unfortunately, give or take a few set pieces, much of the film after the intro through to the hospital stuff doesn't hold up so well. We are introduced to a bunch of kooky ham actors exchanging nervous glances and looking shifty, and lots of illogical incidents occur at such an alarming rate it becomes easy to laugh at the picture. Is it trying to be too clever? If so then it fails. And if not trying to be too clever then it is guilty of being just plain clumsy. Why are doctors putting medical equipment to use on a corpse that has been dead for 60 years? Nothing it seems is meant to make any sense...I don't mind that but you can see why the film can be open to ridicule as a result.

    Special effects range from good to embarrassing. They were faultless in ZOMBI 2 but here they aren't always successful - those pipe cleaner spiders are terrible. They should have just stuck with the few real ones they had.

    Ropey dialogue and bit part actors assault the eyes and ears, resulting in some chuckles, whilst blind Emily and her prophecies of Doom get quickly tiring. Thankfully David Warbeck looks like he is having fun. And every now and then another flash of excellence makes you realise this is actually a fairly competent movie when it sets it's mind to it: those ghoulish cadavers circling Emily prior to dickie the dog savaging her is effective. I love when Joe the plumber rises from a dirty tub making those weird groaning noises and pokes out the cleaners eye ball with a rusty nail. It's all about the set pieces...With plenty of chaff in between. CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD has similar problems but I prefer that over THE BEYOND. THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY remains my favourite of this surrealist trilogy of gore romps, mainly because the final 20m are so relentlessly brilliant.

    THE BEYOND is definately a lesser Fulci flick for me. Good in parts but not brilliant. Certainly not a classic of the horror genre. A messy, goofy movie whose weirdness is essentially it's downfall. But I will no doubt revisit again in a few years time...just not as often as a true classic such as ZOMBI 2...or even such unapologetic trash classicks as BURIAL GROUND...
  2. FilmGeek

    FilmGeek New Member


Share This Page