Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 21st, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1981
Director: Lucio Fulci
Writers: Dardano Sacchetti, Giorgio Mariuzzo, Lucio Fulci
Cast: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola, Maria Pia Marsala, Laura De Marchi
BluRay released: March 24th, 2015
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Mono English, Dolby Digtal Mono English, Dolby Digtal Mono Italian
BluRay Release: Grindhouse Releasing
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $39.95
Synopsis: A woman inherits a hotel that is plagued by mysterious accidents. After the death of her handy man she enlists the help of a reporter. Together the start to uncover the dark past of the hotel that she has inherited.
The Italian language title for The Beyond is “E tu vivrai nel terrore – L’aldilà”, which translates into “And You Will Live in Terror – The Beyond”. The Beyond was released in the U.S. under the cheesy title “Seven Doors of Death”. The Beyond was co-written and directed by Lucio Fulci whose notable films include Beatrice Cenci, Don’t Torture a Duckling, The Eroticist, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Massacre Time, The Maniacs, My Sister in Law, New York Ripper, Perversion Story, The Psychic and Zombi 2. The Beyond features a brief acting cameo from Lucio Fulci in the role of the town’s clerk. On the production side The Beyond, features many of Lucio Fulci’s key collaborators like composer Fabio Frizzi, Cinematographer Sergio Salvati, Editor Vincenzo Tomassi and Producer Fabrizio De Angelis.
The plot for The Beyond is basic and only serves as the skeleton for the layers of flesh intricately applied on by director Lucio Fulci. The film is filled with many breathtaking and lingering set pieces, most notably the film’s ending is a haunting coda that perfectly brings together all the preceded it. Gore wise this film has plenty of it and the special effects are well done (well except for the spiders). The film’s opening pro-log is the most violent death scene in the film and it sets the tone for all the carnage that follows.
The film’s two leads Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck give strong performances that quickly draw you into their plight. Performance wise the film has many familiar faces in secondary roles like Cinzia Monreale (Beyond the Darkness), Veronica Lazar (Inferno) and Al Cliver. The Beyond is a solid example of what Lucio Fulci could do as a director if given the proper resources to work with. Ultimately The Beyond makes up for its basic plot narrative with a tour de force visual feast for the eyes that ranks among the most atmospheric horror films to ever grace the silver screen.
The Beyond comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. On the surface this transfer appears to have to come from the same source as Arrow Video’s Blu-Ray release from 2011. With that being said, there are many areas where this release improves upon all previous releases and they are as follows, color saturation and work in general on the colors is evident as colors have never looked as consistently good as they for this release. Other areas this transfer stands out is its improved clarity and black levels are a marked improve as shadow detail now much stronger. Also there appears to be no noticeable manipulation of the image as in softening of the image due to edge enhancement, grain structure looks intact and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with a wide array of audio options, with the strongest audio track being the DTS-HD mono mix in English. The dialog comes through with crystal clarity and though said dialog does stay mostly front and center. Range wise this audio mix does a very good with more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Not far behind this audio track is the film’s Italian language, unfortunately it has not been given uncompressed audio.
Extras for this release are spread over two Blu-Ray discs.
Extras on disc one include, U.S. re-release radio spots, U.S. TV spots under the title ‘7 Doors of Death’, the release International trailer, German release trailer, the original U.S. trailer under the title ‘7 Doors of Death’ and the U.S. re-release trailer, color pre-credit sequence in German and English and an audio commentary with Catriona MacColl and .David Warbeck. This audio commentary is carried over from Grindhouse’s previous DVD release for the film. Also included on disc one is the first Easter egg which is titled ‘Images from The Beyond’ an extensive image gallery with music from the film playing in the background.
The first of these sections is all about images and here are the sub-category’s that this section is broken down into, ‘Stills Galleries’, ‘Production Stills’, ‘Behind the Scene’, ‘Promotional Materials’, ‘Italy’, ‘German’, ‘French’, ‘U.S.’, ‘Various’, ‘Video Releases’ and ‘Beyond the Beyond’.
The second of these sections is a collection of interviews with the cast & crew, two audio interviews with Lucio Fulci from 1988 in Italian with English subtitles (20 minutes 4 seconds) and (13 minutes 4 seconds), two clips from Eurofest, the first one from 1994 with Lucio Fulci and David Warbeck (46 minutes 4 seconds, in Italian / English with English subtitles), and the second one from 1996 with Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck (5 minutes 24 seconds), two clips from the 1996 Festival of Fantastic Films, the first one with David Warbeck (21 minutes 6 seconds) and the second Catriona MacColl (12 minutes 16 seconds) and an interview with independent U.S distributor Terry Levene titled ‘Beyond Italy’ (19 minutes 4 seconds).
This section also contains five newly created for this release, the first of these four include an interview with actor / handyman Larry Ray (44 minutes 32 seconds), the second interview is titled ‘Making it Real’ with special effects artists Giannetto DeRossi and Maurizio Trani (32 minutes 29 seconds, in Italian with English subtitles), the third interview is titled ‘See Emily Play’ with actress Cinzia Monreale (21 minutes 56 seconds), the fourth interview actress Catriona MacColl titled ‘Beyond and Back’ that covers all three of her collaborations with Luico Fulci (34 minutes 5 seconds) and the fifth interview is more like a documentary and it is titled ‘Looking Back: The Creation of the Beyond’ (47 minutes 34 seconds, In Italian with English subtitles). Participants in this extra include cinematographer Sergio Salvati, screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti, producer Fabrizio De Angelis, composer Fabio Frizzi, Lucio Fulci’s daughter Antonella Fulci and artist Enzo Sciotti.
The final of these three sections of trailer gallery for Grindhouse Films.
Other extras include a third disc a CD which includes the film’s complete score.
Rounding out the extras is a twelve page booklet with two essays about the film, the first essay simply titled ‘The Beyond’ written by Chas Balun and the second essay titled ‘The Beyond as a Treasury of Quotations and Source of Inspiration’ written by Martin Beine and included on this releases inner sleeve is Lucio Fulci’s filmography. The wealth of extra content ensure that no stone is left unturned and everything you ever wanted to know about this film is here and then some. Overall Grindhouse Releasing give The Beyond its best home video release to date.