Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beyond the Darkness

This is another of those little italian horror flicks that director Joe D'Amato came out with that were very cheap to make, are extremely hard to find these days and was categorized as a "video nasty". Video Nasties were usually films that could not be rated (if so, they would have gotten an X rating which would have given it an incredibly limited release) and were usually pretty gory. For the most part, his films had a very good plot that was poorly executed with bad acting, not enough action, boring dialogue (made all the worse by the terrible english voice dubbing) and not enough gore. Thankfully, Buried Alive was re-released on DVD a few years ago under the new title "Beyond the Darkness", (which makes it a little easier to acquire, but harder to identify due to the title being changed). I've seen the VHS version and I can say for certain that the DVD release has acquired a bit more footage that wasn't on the VHS version. These extras made this film ten times better. Apparently, several minutes of gore footage was removed and then replaced for the DVD version. Well worth seeking out, now on with the story. Frank is a weird little guy who's hobby is taxidermy, who's parents have recently died, a housekeeper named Iris (who is madly in love with Frank) and his beautiful girlfriend Anna. Iris is extremely jealous of Anna, so she has a Voodoo priestess stick some pins in a doll and kill Anna with a curse, so that she can have Frank all to herself. Anna dies, Frank is deeply grieving and only has Iris to comfort him. He decides that this is not enough (did I mention that Iris looks like a horse?) so after the funeral he digs up Anna, with intentions of using his taxidermy skills to keep her near (and not smelling too bad). Unbeknownst to Frank, Anna's twin sister Elena has arrived in town to pay her respects (obviously played by the same actress). On the way home from the cemetery with Anna's body in the back seat, Frank picks up a pothead hitchhiker. The female hitchhiker gets real stoned and takes a nap in the truck. Frank brings Anna's body into his "house of horrors" taxidermy studio and proceeds with prepping her for the keep. First he pulls out all her guts (deliciously disgusting) and replaces her eyes with glass replicas. He kisses her, tongues her, and when he can't hold his passions back any more he pulls her heart out and eats it (yum, that formaldehyde goodness). The pothead hitchhiker comes out of her stupor long enough to catch Frank embalming his girlfriend. She runs, he chases her, she trips over a bucket of guts, he holds her down and proceeds to pull off her fingernails one by one with a set of pliers, then strangles her. Being the ever dutiful keeper of pretty much everything, Iris helps him hack up the body and dissolve it in a bathtub full of acid. Frank puts Anna's body in bed and leaves her there. With the fake eyes Anna looks like she has drank about 17 pots of coffee, so lying in bed looks even more ridiculous. Bored one day, Frank goes jogging and befriends a young female jogger who has just sprained her ankle. He convinces her to come back to his place where he can tend to her ankle. She comes onto him and he fucks her in the same bed that Anna is lying in. Eventually the smell reaches her, she discovers the body and freaks out. She doesn't get far before Frank catches up with her and bites a chunk of flesh out of her neck. While she lays there dying, Frank really enjoys chewing on the hunk of neck while watching the female jogger die. Dutiful Iris helps Frank dispose of the body in the incinerator. Why they didn't do that with the hitchhiker is beyond me, it just seems that an incinerator would be much less messy than a tub of dissolved guts would be, but I digress. For some reason Frank allows Iris to convince him that marrying her is the way to go. He must have at least some interest because he sure sucks on her tits a lot. Some detective comes snooping around with questions about Anna's grave being desecrated. Iris comes out from under her hangover from the previous night's wedding festivities and finds the detective looking around, so she stashes Anna in the closet. The detective eventually opens the closet, Anna's body falls out, and for some reason the detective doesn't look very surprised and whips out his camera to take pictures of Anna's corpse. Meanwhile, Anna's sister Elena shows up at Frank's house because she knows that he was Anna's boyfriend. Elena hears her sisters voice and the lights go out (either Anna's ghost calling or Iris is throwing her voice to trap the sister. I'm not sure which). Elena sees her sister sitting in a chair, so she goes over to her and Iris comes out of the darkness with a knife and intentions on killing Elena (for obvious reasons). Frank sees Iris about to stab Elena and attacks her, Iris stabs him, he grabs the knife and kills her. The detective returns and sees that Iris is dead, he goes to the basement and catches Frank burning something in the incinerator. The detective shoots and kills Frank when he sees that there are human body parts in the incinerator. He also sees a body on the table. Since they are twins, we don't know which sis was cremated but we are lead to believe that was Elena, probably to get rid of her body in the same manner as all the other victims. The movie ends when at the mortuary,when "her" coffin is about to be nailed shut and Elena pops out alive. Apparently Frank had cremated Anna. I guess since Elena (a live version of Anna) has come along, he decided that he no longer needed Anna's corpse. Of course no one knows this but Frank who is now dead, leaving poor Elena to almost be buried alive (hence the title). Sounds fascinating doesn't it?!?! For some reason, it's not. You have to watch it a couple of times to be able to completely understand what has happened, but very few people have enough patience to do that. Once you get it, it ain't so bad.

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