EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|BEYOND, THE (THE SEVEN DOORS OF DEATH) (E TU VIVRAI NEL TERRORE-L'ALDILA) (director/writer: Lucio Fulci; screenwriters: story by Dardano Sacchetti/Dardano Sacchetti/Giorgio Mariuzzo; cinematographer: Sergio Salvati; editor: Vincenzo Tomassi; music: Walter E. Sear; cast: Cationa MacColl (Liza Merril), Cinzia Monreale (Emily, Blind Girl), David Warbeck (Dr. John McCabe), Antoine Saint-John (Schweick), Veronica Lazar (Martha), Giampaolo Saccarola (Arthur), Maria Pia Marsala (Jill), Anthony Flees (Larry), Al Cliver (Dr. Harris), Giovanni De Nava (Joe the Plumber); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Fabrizio De Angelis; Anchor Bay Entertainment; 1981-in English)|
|"Senseless and plotless horror pic, that's
filled with a series of tableaux
gimmicky sadistic gore."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Italian horror maven Lucio Fulci
("White Fang"/"The House By The Cemetery"/"Zombie Flesh Eaters")
directs this senseless and
plotless horror pic, that's filled with a series of tableaux gimmicky sadistic
gore. It involves a probable
imaginary blind woman,
flesh-eating spiders, a Jesus believing plumber on a job over his head,
a zombie child, a cellar from hell filled with murky water, and a
series of inexplicable bizarre killings.
The film is set at a decrepit and spooky
hotel, it has a character with green contact lenses who stares into the
camera for effect and it features zombies from the beyond. Its main
asset is the gross makeup job to the thesps by Gianetto de Rossi. I
found its wooden acting, clumsy presentation and lack of storyline
coherence, something to laugh at. But those who favor Fulci's
filmmaking style, ignore these faults and instead rave about his
entrancing horror pic images and sometimes stunning surreal ones.
It's based on a story by Dardano Sacchetti and is written by Sacchetti, Fulci and Giorgio Mariuzzo.
It opens in 1927, Louisiana, where a hostile mob whips to
death with chains an artist guest at the “Seven Doors Hotel” -- a warlock named Schweik. Before dying he puts a curse on the joint.
The pic then returns to the
present, in Louisiana, in 1981, where a young woman from NYC, Liza Merril (Cationa MacColl), inherits from her rich uncle the same hotel where the satanist Schweik was killed and moves in. Liza
foolishly starts remodeling. After a
series of supernatural 'accidents', she learns that the building was
built over one of the entrances to the Seven Gates of Hell and learns
this is not a good thing. It
follows along the same lines as Michael Winner's The Sentinel (1977).
This pessimistic pic, which Fulci meant to
be viewed as a 'series of images,' plays out as a weirdo energizer for
the stoner midnight crowd and those lovers of nightmare pics that can't
be pinned down by words. It has become a cult fave and is considered
one of Fulci's best, if not his best. After being only slightly bemused
by such chilling visuals and mostly turned off, you could say either I
missed the beauty of Fulci's gore or was properly repulsed by such
artless efforts to entertain by shock.
REVIEWED ON 7/2/2011 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ