FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Nov 6, 2019

BLOODvember Day 6: THE BEYOND (1981)

Y'all, I have had Fulci on the brain for quite some time now. At some point in the last year or so, I went from being a "some of his movies are okay" kinda gal to a "I REALLY LOVE SOME OF HIS MOVIES" kinda woman. I don't know how it happened, exactly, but I feel like some rom-com person who finally realizes that that nerd in glasses I've known forever is actually the love of my life, but then I realize I'm just looking in a mirror or something. I don't know. The point is, Fulci! I've got him on the brain but I've super got The Beyond on the brain because (GASP) I'm going to see it next month in a thee-ay-tur for the very first time, and Fabio GD Frizzi will be there performing the score live. I tells ya, I am so excited I could puke up my guts like I'm some lady in City of the Living Dead!

The Beyond is the second film in the Gates of Hell trilogy, which...what a trilogy. I really adore the concept of it, that somewhere out there (beneath the pale moonlight) there are seven gates to Hell just a-waitin' to be opened so the dead can spill forth and lay waste to us all. It's a terrifying thought! And not only because, according to Fulci, the deadpocalypse would be really, really gross.

But for all the memorable blood and goo and guts and eyeball trauma in The Beyond, it's this image from the movie's ending that really sticks with me. Non-believer John and Liza–poor Liza, who just wanted something to go right in her life for once–are struck blind and stranded in the dismal wasteland of Hell.

"And you will face the sea of darkness and all therein that may be explored!"

I mean, there are bleak endings, and then there's The Beyond. Not only will our hero and heroine suffer unjustly for an eternity, it's also that, as I said, Hell is a wasteland. No fires, no brimstone, no demons...the landscape isn't drenched in red, nor is it some Event Horizon-style bacchanalia of torture (or sex-torture, even) and gore. There is nothing. It all feels so hopeless, and the thought that this is what awaits us after death is enough to get me looking into cryogenics options. Or heck, maybe it's time for me to become the blood baroness I've always fantasized about being. Yeah, that's it. You're not gonna get me, sea of darkness!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go take a bath. You know. In blood.


Nicholas Kaufmann said...

Aside from being a gore film, which it most definitely is, THE BEYOND also contains some of the best and most haunting imagery in the genre. The scene at the end stands out as a highlight, and to me so does the scene where Liza first encounters Emily and Dickie on the bridge.

Stacie Ponder said...


Astroboymn said...

For me the music in the puddle-of-acid-and-blood-is-coming-to-get-you that is the absolute pinnacle of The Beyond. Why I can hear that groovy tune now as I type this, oozing towards me, inexorably

Nicholas Kaufmann said...

You're right,that is an incredible scene and the music makes it even more so!