Friday, May 13, 2016

Beyond The Door

Hiya folks! Yeah I know you have had a dry week for reviews which is a tad ironic considering how much rain we got here. Admittedly I have had a couple of days of just no idea to write about so I am preparing to get a P.O. Box for movie submissions, suggestions and I guess punishment for getting even with me for not writing every work day of the week. So why not dive into an Italian Horror film? From director/produce Ovidio G. Assonitis (Tentacles, And When She Was Bad, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning, Forever Emmanuelle, Steigler and Steigler, Iron Warror and The Curse) comes a combo knock-off of Rosemary's Baby and the Exorcist. This is Beyond the Door.


Okay off the bat, this flick is creepy on many levels. A young woman Jessica Barrett (Juliett Mills of Nanny and the Professor, Avanti!, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Passions and Hot in Cleveland) a young mother in San Francisco is pregnant with her third child and she begins to exhibit strange behavior. Her friends and family become concerned but don't know what proper intervention is needed. A priest flinging holy water, maybe some Gregorian chants, possibly a sit-in. Clueless music producer husband Robert (Gabriele Lavia of Deep Red, The Legend of 1900, Sleepless and Remember Me, My Love) discovers the fetus is growing within Jessica at an alarming rate and thinks that speaking in a demonic voice, vulgar comments and pea soup spewing may be a problem as he doesn't recall this level of mood swings.

And that Doctor, is why I like pudding.

A strange bearded man who seems to be following her husband about and introduces himself to Robert as a former lover of Jessica, Dimitri (Richard Johnson of Aces High, The Message, Origins of the Mafia, The Four Feathers, Screamers, Zombi, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, MI-5 and Silent Witness) tells the couple he is a cultist attempting to locate the Antichrist and several parties are interested but only Dimitri got a leg up finding them first. With examples of telekinetic powers manifesting, speaking with the demonic voice and loads of green bile, Robert is out of his element with Jessica and goes to Dimitri for help and answers but he only had demands establishing no doctors allowed and the child must be born. Some of the creepier scenes is our pregnant woman devouring a steak tartar at dinner after picking up a rotten banana peel from the street and eating it. I would take this more seriously if the eldest girl wasn't dubbed by a 20 something woman. I had flashbacks from House by the Cemetery with frickin Bob.

The narrations are hinted at being voiced by Satan. It was clever and disturbing.

With the budget of half a million, they cleared $15 million in the box office causing film critic Roger Ebert to give it no more than 1 out of 4 stars calling the film scary trash. With the gorgeous cinematography shot on 35mm anamorphic lens give a horizontal flare versus the clean blue line of the given 70mm process, makes a curved scope to the film. The same process was adopted by Panavision, Cinerama and Eastman. Shockingly enough, attempting to cash in on the success of Beyond The Door two unofficial sequels was to be expected.

While the film was predominately in San Francisco, most of the interior filming was done in Incir De Paolis Studios in Rome.  Rolling in at 109 minutes, this is a bizarre and terrible subject matter and yes Juliet Mills is sister to Hayley.

Your day might be weird when Richard Johnson just roams into your bedroom.