26. The Beyond

26. The Beyond (1981). Lucio Fulci brings nightmare imagery and his trademark gore effects to the American Deep South. You see, there’s all these portals to Hell scattered around, and one of them just so happens to be underneath this old hotel undergoing renovations. The movie makes little to no sense (and now, spiders!), so strap in for zombies, demonic possession, atmospheric music, a blind woman wandering around on a highway in the middle of the ocean or something, bad overdubbing, gore, and more gore. The film is very well shot, with some terrific use of lighting, composition, and painted/composite scenery. The final images of hell are bleak, mesmerizing… and beautiful, in a desert wasteland sort of way. It’s not quite David Lynch-levels of weirdness and nonlinearity, but the writer and editor both were probably on a steady diet of cough syrup and cheap Italian cigarettes. Fulci’s Zombie aka Zombi 2 may get all the attention, but, frankly, that film is a bore compared to the creative, hallucinatory madness of The Beyond.

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