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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ITALIAN HORROR WEEK: Looking for a Love that Is “Beyond the Darkness”

MASTER GIO posts some of the best pictures on Facebook and some of the most intriguing blog entries I've read. He handles adult entertainment like most people discuss baking or automechanics or... horror movies... with the utmost passion, the greatest images and most fun a horny little fucker like myself could ever have on the internet. He also has a love for Italian Horror and each year Gio has created something special for us. This year he tackles Beyond the Darkness aka Buio Omega which is admittedly not one of my favorite movies. After reading his piece I am inspired to revisit this fan favorite. I always did love that damn score from Goblin though.

You can check out Master Gio's Words from the Master on Facebook and his blog.



Here is the heartwarming tale of a boy and his girl, who just happens to be a dead corpse. While it seems Anna Volkl (the beautiful Cinzia Monreale), the fiancé of taxidermist Frank Wyler (Kieran Canter), dies from an illness; it’s actually caused by voodoo by the jealous housekeeper Iris (France Stoppi). Frank misses his girl, so he does what any sane man would do in this situation. He steals her corpse and brings it back home! Did I say sane? I meant insane. Anyways, along the way he picks up an annoying hitchhiker, who passes out in his van after smoking pot. In the meantime, while in his taxidermy room, he removes Anna’s organs and drains the remaining liquid from her corpse. When, our dumbass hitchhiker steps in on this she gets killed for her intrusion. Soon our “hero” kills another pretty girls he picks up, while good old Iris gives him a hand, in one scene quite literally! Iris only wants to marry this clearly charming, young man, while he just wants to keep good old, dead Anna in his room. What did I tell you? Heartwarming!


Also known as Buio Omega in Italy, Beyond the Darkness was originally released in the US on VHS under the title Buried Alive. It was one of those big porn box type boxes, and released by Thriller video, who had also gave us movies like Make Them Die Slowly (AKA Cannibal Ferox). Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, was hosting Thriller videos at the time, but didn’t want to be associated with these two and a few other flicks like it, so she didn’t appear in the intros and outros of the movies. Regardless, I remember seeing the big box with the big warning on it as a kid. I was like shit, I NEED to see that! Sadly, I didn’t know enough about it, so I kept wondering if it was good. By the time, I read about it, in one of Chas. Balun’s Gorezone columns the store had closed. I finally saw it years later on the Shriek Show DVD. And, I loved it!


Elvira pulling out from hosting the VHS is not the only controversy this one had. It was accused of using real corpses, and was/ is banned in several countries, including Australia. And, having seen it, it’s easy to see why. This is one sick little fucker of a film. D’Amato is well known for making porno and horror films, and movies that combine the two. So, this one has no shortage of sex and violence, combined with the undercurrent of necrophilia. The gore includes eye gouging, dismemberment, acid baths, stabbings, cannibalism, etc. But, two scenes really stand out in it the gut-wrenching department: the horrifically realistic aforementioned autopsy and a nightmarish cremation. I can see where some would think that they used really bodies for these scenes. The FX are that fucking good.

Also, good is the acting, especially from our two leads. Canter as Frank is a weird and creepy fucker of a pretty boy, Definitely NOT the guy you want your daughter dating. Even more awesome is Stoppi as Iris. She is creepy, but kind of attractive, in an odd/ insane sort of way. Iris the housekeeper is never above letting Frank suck on her boob, give him a handjob as he looks at his dead girl’s corpse, murder for him, dispose of bodies, or even do the nail’s of his dead girlfriend. In all, she is the housekeeper everyone wants! Well, you know if you are a murderous, handsome, necrophile anyways!


In keeping with the sex part of a D’Amato movie there is LOTS of nudity in this one, much of it full frontal. But, since some of it comes from a dead corpse, it’s not always that sexy. Regardless, with all boobs, ass, and bush skin fans will rejoice! Italian horror lovers will also be ecstatic at seeing the beautiful Cinzia Monreale, who you will recall as the blind girl from Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, in dual roles as the corpse and her twin sister.

There is a very disturbing undercurrent that runs in the film. It is certainly not funny or light in anyway. In fact this one is very happy in lolling in the darkness of the title. But, it’s also well directed and is probably D’Amato’s best made film if not his best, period. I think it is definitely his best movie in repeated viewings as it gets better each time I see it. While, Emmaunelle and the Last Cannibals used to be my favorite of his, that one just does not hold up as well in repeated viewing as Beyond the Darkness does.


Topping it all off is a kick ass score by Goblin. It really manages to take the movie to a whole other level. It’s driving and adds a feel of creepiness and suspense to the elements happening. D’Amato has made a ton of pretty terrible or mediocre movies, but this movie really proves that the man was capable of making a damn good movie. The talent was there kiddies, just maybe he wasn’t always working on the best films.


Sick, twisted, perverse, sleazy, disturbing, but well made on just about every level, Beyond the Darkness is a great film for those into extreme horror cinema but with a demand for quality. It’s certainly not for everyone. But, then you are probably not looking for mainstream features, anyway if you are reading this. Even if you are detractor of Joe D’Amato, you owe it to yourself to see this one. And, on top of that, based on all you have read here, you can see that this is clearly a movie for the whole family to watch! OK, maybe not. Well, you could at least see it as a sweet romantic movie, about a guy who has A LOT of trouble letting go and moving on, right? But, it’s at the very least a better romance than any chick flick your girlfriend will bring up, right? I mean come on; he bites down on his girlfriend’s heart! Isn’t that like the sweetest scene ever? And, on that note, if you meet a hot girl who will not only watch this with you but like it, she’s a keeper! Just don’t hold on to her like our friend Frank here does!

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