Sight and Sound - 05/01/2011
"[Memorable for] scenes of violence and surrealism, but also for Fulci's original depiction of New Orleans, Fabio Frizzi's haunting score and Sergio Salvati's baroque scope cinematography."
Total Film - 06/01/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "Set in a Louisiana hotel hiding a gateway to hell, Lucio Fulci's shocker soon abandons narrative coherence for an assault on the senses."
Description by OLDIES.com:
"This gruesome Louisiana-set horror film opens with a 1927 prologue featuring a Satanic artist being crucified and melted alive with quicklime in the basement of an old hotel. Half a century later, pretty Liza (Catriona MacColl) inherits the hotel, not suspecting that it is one of seven gateways to Hell. A workman breaks his neck, another has his eyeball gouged out by a zombie, a woman's head is melted by a vat of acid, and an architect has his face eaten by hungry tarantulas who chew out his tongue. Dozens of cannibalistic zombies attack Liza and her disbelieving lover (David Warbeck), who joins her in Hell in the film's downbeat conclusion. The gory special effects by Gianetto de Rossi and Germano Natali are nauseatingly effective, although the script (by Dardano Sacchetti, Giorgio Mariuzzo and director Lucio Fulci) tends to wander and the pacing is a trifle slow." - Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide
A young woman from New York named Liza (Katherine MacColl) inherits a Louisiana motel that has been unoccupied for nearly 60 years. While restoring the old building, many of the workers meet mysterious and untimely deaths, each more ill-fated than the next. Furthermore, Liza is visited by a blind specter named Emily (Sarah Keller) who lectures from a 4000-year-old book of collected prophecies that explains the motel is situated above one of seven portals to hell. As her sanity dwindles, Liza finds some much-needed stability in a local doctor named John McCabe (David Warbeck), who is determined to find a rational explanation for the recent state of affairs. Nevertheless, the protagonists are led through a maze of bizarre confrontations with beings beyond the realm of the living, and into an apocalyptic world of unknown horrors.
THE BEYOND is at once the quintessential Lucio Fulci film and a staple in the overall Italian horror genre. The director's epic masterpiece is a blend of atmospheric surrealism and nightmarish visions (a grisly tarantula attack, flesh-melting acid spills, a softball-sized gun blast through the skull of a young zombified girl, and an eyeball impaling, or two) that are definitely unsuitable for those with weak stomachs.
A remastered and uncut version of THE BEYOND was re-released theatrically in 1998 to seven cities across the U.S. and Canada by Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder Pictures and Grindhouse Releasing. Soon after, six more cities were added to the roster. Tarantino is a longtime fan of Fulci's work.
Emily's house was previously used by Louis Malle for the film PRETTY BABY in 1978. The painter who falls from a scaffold early in the film is the head of the Louisiana Film Commission.
Aside from his cameo role as the town hall librarian, director Lucio Fulci is caught on camera walking through a mirror reflection while Dr. John McCabe (Warbeck) takes a telephone call in the New Orleans bar scene.
During one of the zombie invasion scenes at the hospital, actor David Warbeck reloads ammunition into his Magnum pistol through the front of the barrel. Although the act was intended as a joke, the scene made it's way into the film.
The gruesome prologue featuring Schweik's (Antoine Saint John) crucifixion and acid burning was cut from many video releases worldwide.
The sign at the hospital's morgue entrance reads "do not entry."