Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 6th, 2009
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
DVD released: October 28th, 2008
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English, Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Grindhouse Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
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.
Grindhouse Releasing presents The Beyond in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Grindhouse Releasing had previously released The Beyond eight years before on DVD via Anchor Bay. Outside of some sharpening the transfer for this new DVD release from Grindhouse Releasing looks almost identical to the transfer for their previous DVD release in 2000. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback.
Audio wise all the soundtracks that were included on the previous DVD release have been carried over for this DVD release. The audio options are as follows, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English, Dolby Digital Mono English and Dolby Digital Mono Italian. All the audio mixes are in excellent shape with the standout mix being the Dolby Digital 5.1 English. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow.
For this release Grindhouse Releasing have added two new extras, a one minute into too the film with Catriona MacColl and a collection of interviews titled “Voices from the Beyond”, this twenty one minute segment includes comments from several of Lucio Fulci’s key collaborators who all remember him fondly. This is more a collection of remembrances than a piece about the film The Beyond. The bulk of the extras include on the previous DVD release have been carried over and they are a brief text piece written by Chas Balun, a mini replica poster, a filmography for Lucio Fulci, the International release trailer, the German release trailer, the U.S. re-release trailer, a music video titled “And You Will Live in Terror”, German pre-credits /opening credits, a segment titled “Images from the Beyond”, that incorporates promotional images and music from the film and interviews with Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck and Lucio Fulci and a audio commentary with Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck. This release also comes with two Easter Egg (hidden features), the first Easter Egg is the original U.S. opening credits and the second Easter Egg is trailer for Cat in the Brain (coming soon to DVD via Grindhouse Releasing). Back in 2000 when Grindhouse Releasing originally released The Beyond on DVD, they also released a limited edition tin that includes several text pieces which have not been carried over for this new release and six lobby cards. Overall The Beyond gets an exceptional DVD release from Grindhouse Releasing.