Beyond the Darkness (1979) (Severin Films Version) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Joe D’Amato
Starring: Kieran Canter, Cinzia Monreale, Franca Stoppi
Rated: UR/Region O/1:67/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Severin Films
A young rich orphan loses his fiancée to voodoo doll mischief on the part of his housekeeper who is jealous of his attentions. He digs his girlfriend up, cleans her out, stuffs her, and puts her in bed at the mansion. Following this, he tries out and disposes of a series of young maidens, trying to find the right replacement for her, and the disapproving housekeeper helps him with the disposals. So, yeeeeah, it’s a weird one. But I’ll be damn if it isn’t entertaining for what it is.
A grown man breast feeding (that’s how it looked), people being gutted in some very graphic ways, and a very eerie ending all makes up Beyond the Darkness. The film doesn’t seem to pack a whole lot of talking, but that’s not to say that there isn’t anything going on while the film is rolling along. We see an odd and love sick man kidnap the body of his dead loved one, we see him embalm her, and we see some other very nasty and gross stuff that all in all seems like a love letter to necrophilia. Not that there is anything wrong with that if you are into that sorta stuff…I’m joking, I swear. Besides that gory stuff, it comes packed with pretty much everything an Italian horror film from the 70s comes with, just at a better pace and with better content than most. You get tons of nudity, you get some very good looking effects, and you get some weird and twisted sexual stuff that is sure to make some of you squirm. And if I’m, to be honest, some of you may go looking for a barf-bag. But if you looked passed the shock and awe of the whole thing, you have a film that does do a great job of holding you in until the very end.
I know in these movies there isn’t a whole lot of talk about the acting, but Cinzia Monreale does a superb job in this. She plays both a corpse and the sister of the corpse. And while she is in corpse mode, you would think she really was dead because you don’t see a single flinch from her in any of the weird predicaments her body ends up in. That is great acting and it’s cool to find it in odd movies like this. Of course, this all leads up to a very shocking and weird ending that might make you slightly scratch your head and jump all at the same time. The Severin version of Beyond the Darkness sure does top the Shriek Show release in every way you can imagine. If you love this movie already or seeing for the first time, this is the version to have.
– Joe D’Amato: The Horror Experience
– The Omega Woman: Interview With Actress Franca Stoppi (17 Minutes)
– Goblin Reborn Perform Buio Omega Live 2016
– Locations Revisited
– Sick Love – An Interview With Actress Cinzia Monreale
– CD Soundtrack Blu-ray exclusive)
Quality of Transfer: 95%
For the next Screenshots, we have a comparison of the original Shriek Show release on top with the new Severn release on bottom..