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."
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.
Description by Ryko Distribution:
The seven dreaded gateways to hell are concealed in seven cursed places... And on the day the gates of hell are opened, the dead will walk the earth!
From legendary Italian horror master Lucio Fulci come the ultimate classic of supernatural horror.A remote and cursed hotel, built over one of the seven gateways, becomes a yawning malevolent abyss tha begins devouring both the bodies and the souls of all who enter in a graphic frenzy of gory crucifictions, chunkblowing chain-whippings, eyeball impalements, sulphuric acid meltdowns, flesh-eating tarantulas, throat-shredding demon dogs and ravenous bloodthirsty zombies. THE BEYOND is a towering schievement in hair-raising, mind-bending cinematic terror!
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."