Beyond the Darkness  (1979)

Octoblur 2015 - #30: Beyond the Darkness (1979)

 
By dorrk, October 26th 2015
Octoblur: If the quality doesn't scare you the quantity will.

Like Jesus Franco and Jean Rollin, Joe D'Amato was one of the preeminent purveyors of Eurosleaze during the 1970s, the decade when filth came into its own as an art form. All three directors specialized in gratuitous sex, graphic violence and inept acting, but I find Rollin's and Franco's work generally dull with only flashes of worthwhile dreamy or kitschy style. For some reason, D'Amato's movies, as bad as I know they are, work for me, and his perverse 1981 gore flick Beyond the Darkness is another dubious success.

Already traumatized by the death of his mother, Frank (Kieran Canter) is dealt another emotional blow as his fiancée (Cinzia Monreale) succumbs to a voodoo-induced illness. So, he does what any privileged dandy with an interest in taxidermy might do: he steals the corpse of his beloved, removes her organs, nibbles a little on her heart, and waits for her to... what? Come back to life? This inexplicable plan frustrates Iris (Franca Stoppi), Frank's matronly housekeeper — who commissioned the deadly curse — as she wants cute Frank to her icky self.

There is barely a plot at work for most of Beyond the Darkness — D'Amato fills the running time by introducing random women for Frank to murder. the theme of Beyond the Darkness could be summed up as, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans to rob graves and dissect women." Bizarrely, it's a character study, but with inscrutably thin and fickle characters performed by actors incapable of making sense out of their inconsistencies. Only Stoppi has real presence as the extremely demented Iris; every shot of her warped smile is chilling. And yet, D'Amato makes it all work. His style is unobtrusive, but he picks his shots well — the filmmaking is not inept — treating most of this disgusting movie as a tender love story, infusing each scene with enough off-kilter perversity that it never gets boring, which is high praise for this type of low-aiming sleaze.

Beyond the Darkness is for specific tastes only and has been banned in Australia for its gross violence.

Great lesser-known horror movies

Fun, weird & dark corners worth exploring.
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

Demon Seed (1977)

Demon Seed (1977)

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

The Funhouse (1981)

The Funhouse (1981)

The Guest (2014)

The Guest (2014)

The House Of The Devil (2009)

The House Of The Devil (2009)

Housebound (2014)

Housebound (2014)

The Johnsons (1992)

The Johnsons (1992)

Kill List (2011)

Kill List (2011)

Little Otik (2001)

Little Otik (2001)

Motel Hell (1980)

Motel Hell (1980)

Orphan (2009)

Orphan (2009)

Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Spider Baby... (1968)

Spider Baby... (1968)

Starry Eyes (2014)

Starry Eyes (2014)

The Stepfather (1987)

The Stepfather (1987)

Suicide Club (2001)

Suicide Club (2001)

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

Dorrk's Top 20 horror movies

The boring list of horror essentials. If you haven't seen these yet, what are you doing?
The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (1973)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980)

Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975)

The Thing (1982)

The Thing (1982)

The Fly (1986)

The Fly (1986)

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960)

Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (1982)

Alien (1979)

Alien (1979)

The Omen (1976)

The Omen (1976)

Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Halloween (1978)

Halloween (1978)

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein (1931)

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

Suicide Club (2001)

Suicide Club (2001)

Repulsion (1965)

Repulsion (1965)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Trailer for Beyond the Darkness (1979)

Beware: Galleries may contain spoilers.
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A.K.A.

  • Buio Omega,The Final Darkness,Beyond The Darkness,Buried Alive,Dark Holocaust

More Info:

Stay tuned here and on twitter @Popgap to see what I choose to inflict upon myself this Octoblur!

Links

Here are my Letterboxd lists for 2014 & 2013:
https://letterboxd.com/dorrk/list/octoblur-2014/
https://letterboxd.com/dorrk/list/octoblur-2013/

Tags

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#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

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Dir: Tobe Hooper
#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

Dir: Frank Capra
#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Dir: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
#20: Zodiac (2007)

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Dir: David Fincher