Project DeadPost

Beyond the Darkness (1979)

A fate worse than death!

Directed by Joe D’Amato

Reviewed by Deep Red

Aka Buio Omega aka Blue Holocaust aka House 6: El terror continua

Joe D’Amato also directed Emanuelle in Bangkok [1976], Sexy Nights of the Living Dead [1980], Anthropophagus [1980], Porno Holocaust [1981], Absurd [1981], Killing Birds [1987], Cop Sucker [1996], Torero [1996] and House of Anal Perversions [1997] among others and some of which are hardcore porn. However, it’s his horror films I’m interested in and anyone who’s seen Anthropophagus will know why.

Now, first of all, why is this called House 6: El terror continua, it’s Spanish video title?

To be honest I’m a bit confused. One of the unofficial La casa series in Italy was called Beyond Darkness [1990] aka La casa 5, that’s a different film to this made 11 years later. Beyond Darkness [1990] was also called House 5 in the U.S.A.. However La casa 6 was House II: The Second Story [1987], at least in Italy, all I can think is that the series ran differently in Spain, I can’t find anything about it. Basically The Evil Dead [1981] was La casa (The House) in Italy, Evil Dead II [1987] was La casa 2, later on the La casa series incorporated the “House” (U.S.A.) series with House II: The Second Story [1987] being La casa 6 and House III: The Horror Show [1989] being La casa 7. If anyone has any idea what the Spanish “House” series was please leave a comment.

Anyway, Beyond the Darkness, well, apparently it’s banned in Australia and several other countries and once you’ve seen it in its entirety it’s pretty easy to understand why certain people might take exception to it. I don’t agree it should be banned though. It’s actually a remarkable film, if you have any love for Italian horror at all it’s a must-see.

Kieran Canter stars as Frank Wyler, a taxidermist, whose fiancée Anna Völkl (Cinzia Monreale) dies in hospital after his jealous housekeeper Iris (Franca Stoppi) gets someone to use a voodoo doll on her. Frank is in a sexual relationship with Iris. Anyway, Frank digs Anna up, I bet you didn’t see that coming – taxidermist. I’m not saying anymore about the story, you must see this, it is every horror fan’s solemn duty.

First of all, a superb soundtrack by The Goblins.

The cast is great, especially Kieran Canter as Frank, Cinzia Monreale plays a beautiful corpse in the role of Anna and also plays Elena Völkl, her sister, Franca Stoppi is just plain creepy as fuck as Iris and Lucia D’Elia as Jan the hitchhiker is Ok but the dubbed cockney voice was fucking funny.

It’s beautifully made, locations, pacing, atmosphere, utterly amazing for the 70s. The effects are surprisingly disturbing, sick stuff. There is a very watchable film between the gory stuff though, the story, though twisted as hell, draws you into this strange little nightmare, well it did me LOL. This is why I love Italian horror films, at their very best they just don’t give two fucks, they’re horror films and proud to be and the worriers can worry about it later. That’s great filmmaking in my opinion.

I would pay £20+ for this on Blu-ray, this is nastier than most of the official video nasties. This and Anthropophagus are proof to me that Joe D’Amato is up there with Fulci and other masters of horror, easily. This is one of those films that you shouldn’t remake, just enjoy the original, it can’t seriously be bettered. Dare I say it? Yes, I dare. A masterpiece.

Check it out, uncut obviously, I hate it when films like this are destroyed by the censor’s scissors, the vision is lost and you’re left with the pieces of something that doesn’t make sense. These films want to take us somewhere different, let ’em. Celebrate don’t desecrate.

Also stars Simonetta Allodi as Disco Girl.

 

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