HMM Day 23 – The Beyond

Have you ever noticed that most towns have a couple things in common. Sure there’s the obvious shit like a mayor, a school board, a town drunk or even a flagpole. What I mean is a building, in particular one that is a business… most likely a restaurant. Think long and hard about this because I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. This business, or more appropriately, the building is a location that never seems to maintain an owner.

The story is always the same. There’s always a new buyer and they do a good job at painting the walls and bringing in new chairs and tables. The owners are all proud of their food and for a short while, the community is all pumped for the new joint. They hire some local high school kids to run the waiting staff and you and your wife drive by all the time and say stupid shit like “Hey, we should go there some time.” or “We should really support our local restaurants honey!”

So you finally go and you bite into it and the food is absolutely heinous. A blind retarded hippo could have shit better meals and the water tastes like it was straight out of the shitters sink. You know what I mean, it has that bleachy over sanitized flavor that water should never have. You know why the water tastes this way don’t you? It’s because they use those red Coca Cola plastic cups and have washed them on scolding heat so many times that the material has a fine coat of bleach all over it.

You spend the entire meal taking your frustration out on your family. You look at your wife and blame her for wanting to come here. You get mad at your kids, they won’t eat their chicken tenders because they know food is like rabid donkey meat. But it’s still a waste of money which makes you wish you were some place else! So now your family is mad at you cause you can’t control your contempt. Then the meal is over and you leave, completely pissed and knowing the place won’t last. Give it a year or two and the place goes out of business to only be bought by someone else that wouldn’t you know it… does the exact same thing as the previous owners! They painted the walls and brought in some new chairs and guess what, they added outside patio furniture for nice summer nights! Just like before you’re gonna drive by and say “Oh look a new place. You know honey, we should support our local businesses.” like you were some fucking hipster douchebag that can’t remember the last three times you stepped foot in that hellish food pantry for gluttons of fabricated fecal fouling food!

In my neighborhood, we have a place just like this and it’s always a damn Italian restaurant. Now I like Italian food, don’t get me wrong. But there are already two other Italian restaurants in our area. Well, both are more like pizza joints, but they do serve Italian food as well. When I say Italian food, what I mean is… not good Italian food. I’ve had good Italian food and this shit isn’t it. It’s always the generic Italian food like lasagna, raviolis and spaghetti. All of it served on store bought Ragu. But this one place, it’s always a new owner. Either it’s Papa Gio’s, Lil’ Anthony’s, The Luna Bar or some weird name. But it’s always the same, the current place goes out of business and when the new owners come in, everyone in town drives by and notices. The place undergoes some renovation as a statement of new ownership. Usually this means they hire some terrible artist to paint a wall portrait of some unknown Italian coastal town with old buildings. It’s always the same. The same looking big ass menu with the same font face. The same plastic Coca Cola cups that give you that same damn bleach flavor in your same terrible drink of water. The same damn miserable salad with oddly sliced tomatoes and too many black olives on it. The food is as valuable as a used condom!

I don’t even see the point in the new owners reimagining the place. The bank doesn’t care, they’ll just keep making money from it. Nothing in this location works! There’s got to be something to this and I think I know what it is. You see, I’m knowledgeable about places where something extremely terrible once occurred. These terrible events can cause a gateway, a gateway into hell! This… thing… that happened was so extreme, so evil that it ripped a hole between our world and the actual hell. Or something similar to hell. As far as I know it’s hell.

So I am left to believe that this place in my neighborhood must have had some ruthless violent shit go down some time ago. Thus ripping a tear in the our world and the dimension of the dead! My town is just keeping it a secret. They don’t want anyone to know! But the place is cursed and new establishments just keep mortgaging it out on their kids college funds. It’s got to be something with Italian food because nothing else has been in there. It’s always Italian cuisine. Also, we never know where the old proprietors have gone. Maybe they left for new premises or maybe… maybe they’ve crossed over into the great unknown! There’s all of these Italian restaurant owners just walking the eternal fields of nothingness and death just like my friends Liza and John from the movie The Beyond!

The Beyond is a 1981 Italian gothic horror film directed by Lucio Fulci and serves as one of the three (or four) Gates of Hell series. The other films would include 1980’s City Of The Living Dead and 1981’s The House by the Cemetery. However, some people believe the Gates of Hell series is actually a four part franchise when you include 1979’s Zombie. The Beyond stars Katherine MacColl and David Warbeck, marking MacColl’s second appearance as the main lead but not the same character in this series. Upon its release it was given a “video nasty” rating and not open to American audiences. The film would go on to garner a cult following and be seen as one of Fulci’s greatest films.

The Story

In a New Orleans hotel back in 1927, an artist named Schweick is tortured and crucified in a basement of a hotel. Years later a rich entrepreneur named Lizza inherits the grounds and decides to renovate the building. But as strange events take place, Lizza soon realizes that not all is as what it would seem.

Ahh it’s about time I did a Fulci film! Five years and I’ve held them off and for good reason. Fulci is the god father of horror and his movies are like mega boom factors for any horror marathon. At least for hard core horror fans. I love the “gates to hell” series and the best thing is you don’t have to watch them in any order. But each one is good in their own way but between them, The Beyond is my most favorite. This movie is balls to the wall hard core.

What makes The Beyond such an awesome movie is that it’s a zombie flick in disguise. Sure there are zombies in it but they are merely the vehicle for the true horror behind the curtain. The Beyond is far more Lovecraftian in nature and giving us horror far “beyond” a typical reanimated dead film. It’s an interesting concept that extremely violent events can somehow open portals to hell.

So how it all starts is back in the 1920’s when a group of southerners murdered an artist named Schweick. It’s real graphic and intense, most people that can’t handle some good old fashion Bronze Age gore are going to feel queasy. So they torture this dude by thrashing him with chains. Then they crucify him to a basement wall and to top it all off they pour hot plaster all over his head! The dude melts and of course dies. But then we jump to 1981 and a rich girl named Liza has inherited the hotel. Right away crazy shit starts happening like workers see evil faces in windows and a poor plumbing guy named Joe gets his eyes gauged out.

There’s something about Fulci and eyes being gauged out and in this film there are two awesome eye scenes that will make you sick. I don’t know if it’s as awesome as Fulci’s notorious Zombie scene, but it’s pretty damn close. Still the eyes! Why does he always go for the eyes? I don’t care how hard core you think you are, eye gauging scenes are unnerving for any horror fan and Fulci takes advantage of this shit all the time. If he’s not gauging eyeballs then he’s pouring acid on them! Then there are these shots of mysterious people with opaque eyes. Could Fulci be implying that the eyes are the manner of which we enter the great beyond? They say to peer into a mans soul is a matter of looking into his eyes. I don’t really know what that means but it sounds awesome. Eyes are just intrinsically creepy.

There’s something so atmospheric about The Beyond. The colors feel saturated and appears like a Silver Age Hammer horror film. The sounds are soft and impactful. For some reason I always take notice of the footsteps everyone takes. But the story is what drives us onward. Sure it may seem confusing at first but in all reality, Fulci was giving us something deeper than simply “ZOMBIES ARE COMING!” There are consequences for past actions that leave ripples in the present day. We see this today with past wrongs mankind has committed that are still haunting us. Sure we may not open portals to hell but in a sense the past evils leave wounds in the fabric of cultural exhistence. The Beyond explores this idea and what we get is a brilliant display of mayhem and bloodshed. The movie still holds up by today’s standards and is outright the influence behind most horror you see today. I love this movie and sincerely encourage everyone to check this out!

As for the failed Italian restaurant that keeps recycling new owners left and right. I’m gonna stay the hell away from that place. The last thing I need are my eyeballs being popped out by some comatose zombie!

Thanks For Reading!

I hope you enjoyed day twenty two of my Horror Movie Marathon. I take great pride in my marathons and with that in mind, I encourage everyone to look back on the past day twenty two’s. By doing so you can make your horror season way more awesome! Look below! I’ve covered Tremors! Most likely you never thought of Tremors as a horror movie! But guess what, it is and it’s also one of the best horror movies from the nineties! Also, since Christmas is on the way then check out the modern goody called Krampus brought to us by the same guy that made Trick r’ Treat!

You know what, it’s hard writing posts every single day. Man does it take a lot out of a guy. So if you would do me a favor and show me some support by checking out my other posts. Maybe you’re new to this marathon and need to catch up to this day. Either way just check out how the marathon has been going.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. rdfranciswriter says:

    Yes! And a bag-o-chips!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Hells yea. So much awesomeness.

      Liked by 1 person

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