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Beyond the Darkness (1979)
"Buio Omega" (original title)

 -  Horror  -  1 June 1984 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,546 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 59 critic

A young rich orphan loses his fiancée to voodoo doll mischief on the part of his housekeeper who is jealous of his attentions. He digs his girlfriend up, cleans her out, stuffs her, and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kieran Canter ...
Frank Wyler
Cinzia Monreale ...
Anna Völkl & Elena Völkl
Franca Stoppi ...
Iris
Sam Modesto ...
Mr. Kale
Anna Cardini ...
Jogging victim
Lucia D'Elia ...
Jan, hitch-hiker
Mario Pezzin ...
Priest
Walter Tribus ...
Handyman
Klaus Rainer ...
Doctor
Edmondo Vallini ...
Detective #1
Simonetta Allodi ...
Disco Girl
Edit

Storyline

A young rich orphan loses his fiancée to voodoo doll mischief on the part of his housekeeper who is jealous of his attentions. He digs his girlfriend up, cleans her out, stuffs her, and puts her in bed at the mansion. Following this, he tries out and disposes of a series of young maidens, trying to find the right replacement for her, and the disapproving housekeeper helps him with the disposals. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A fate worse than death!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Darkness  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Anna's body falls out of the closet, you can see that she has her eyes fixed on one point, thus moving her eyeballs upwards as she falls down. After she was exhumed, her eyes were replaced by prosthetic ones, which were fixed, thus preventing movement. Obviously it were here real eyes which she couldn't keep still. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nekromantik (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Entertaining Euro sleaze
14 October 2008 | by (Los Angeles, Ca) – See all my reviews

"Beyond the Darkness" is a prime example of European-sleaze at it's best.

**SPOILERS**

Following a tragic death, Frank Wyler, (Kieran Canter) finds himself unable to move beyond mourning his ex-fiancée Anna Völkl, (Cinzia Monreale) due to the weird circumstances surrounding it. Unwilling to accept the fate from Mr. Kale, (Sam Modesto) the local mortician, of her death, he enlists the help of maid Iris, (Franca Stoppi) to help exhume her corpse, embalming her and placing her body in his room as a reminder of their love. Still unable to cope with her death, she takes it upon herself to bring in local girls back to the house to cheer him up, but when they discover the deadly secret, he dispatches them to keep them from talking about it. When Elena Völkl, (Cinzia Monreale) arrives looking into her sister's death, he falls for her, but soon learns the true cause of her death and sends him into a psychotic rage, leading all in his way into a race for survival to get away.

The News: This is one of the very best of the Italian exploitation films. What makes it so is that there's so much of it's sleaze feelings coming from the subject matter. The fact that this one contains so many exploitative elements, and seems to be so comfortable with them, is what really drives this one and makes it such a fun watch. Nowhere else is this more on-display than the suitably disgusting embalming scenes to preserve her corpse. From the overt and quite bloody removal of the inner organs to a complete dissection of the corpse and one scene where he even eats the heart, complete with blood squirting from its arteries onto the surroundings, this scene is incredibly graphic and disturbing. Another rather tough scene is the sequence when a corpse is cremated in an incinerator, the tendons shrink and this pulls the body into a fetal position. There's a lavish attention to detail reproduced in this part that makes it more disturbing than any film burn scene, but it happens in this scene. Adding to that is a scene of really sleazing it up with a zoom-in on the nipple of a charred breast, and it's a really grotesque sight. Beyond these elements, the film is also packed with a series of extreme gore scenes that are effective and really well-done. All of a person's fingernails are pulled out with pliers in an act of pure sadism and the corpse dismemberment is a sickening, uncompromising gore sequence as it is completely and utterly cut to pieces and dumped into acid, complete with gruesome close-ups provided of the flesh-less pieces immersed in acid. The scenes involving the preparation of the corpse following the exhumation deliver all the grotesque gore you could ask for, and it's with these scenes that the film kicks in to the extreme. No detail is spared as the naked Anna is laid out, split open and gutted, never shying away from the nudity or the gore and it looks like actual autopsy footage is inserted for the close up details. Beyond the gore, it's even got some really well-done suspense scenes, especially the truck ride with the hitchhiker as the rattling truck rattles the corpses' hand out of a window inches away, with each rattle getting closer, and then trying to get it back before it's discovered. A later scene where the two are getting into bed and the corpse is in the bed next to them has a really creepy, disturbing air to it. Also worthwhile is the mansion, which looks like a retro-Gothic design that delivers some great atmosphere, and the various shots of her ghostly corpse are morbidly effective. There was a couple problems to it as well. There's the fact that there's a really lethargic pace to it that hinders it somewhat, as it tends to unfold rather slowly without really building much adrenaline or energy through it's running time. Not that it ever becomes dull, but it does have a tendency to move a little slower than expected. The other flaw is that the ending to it is pretty problematic. The mystery surrounding the sister showing up is also never explained, as it sort of appears out of the blue and somewhat without meaning, and it's not really sure what the meaning was for the inclusion. It does seem a little unlikely that a twin sister would throw a shock into them for someone in their kind of relationship, as it seemed to be that it would've been information revealed early on and it did seem as it was a serious relationship. Plus, there's also the weirdness surrounding the appearance of the detectives into the end, and their confrontation with the guilty parties is a mystery as the whole thing is played out in a silent manner, offering no clue as to what it's intent was. As it stands, though, these are minor quibbles and aren't as damaging as the other issue.

The Final Verdict: One of the strongest films to ever get through in the European sleaze genre, it's got a lot to look forward to. Due to the subject matter and extremes presented, this is one for the strongest-willed of Exploitation fanatics, while those who have no desire for these films should avoid.

Rated UR/NC-17: Extreme Graphic Violence, Full Nudity, several sex scenes, themes of necrophilia and Language


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