The world of Italian horror is vast and full of gems that are extremely unknown. Joe D’Amato (Anthropogus) is an Italian filmmaker known for his sleazy films. He has made all kinds of films ranging from exploitation to porn. “Beyond the Darkness” is one of his films that really pushes the envelope. The film also serves as a definition of what his films are: sleazy, violent and disgusting. “Beyond the Darkness” was, and is still banned by some countries today. It serves as the perfect extreme Italian horror film to watch around Halloween that is loaded with gore. .
The film tells the story of a rich young man named Frank Wyler. He is an expert taxidermist and he lives in a huge mansion in the Italian countryside with his insane housekeeper named Iris. Frank loves his bride to be, but she falls ill and dies. After her funeral is over, Frank returns to the cemetery later that night and digs up her corpse and brings it back to his mansion. He then uses his taxidermy skills to preserve his deceased lover. However, Frank begins turning crazier as the film progresses and he begins to murder women that he meets or meddle in his affairs. With the help of his demented housekeeper Iris, he disposes of the bodies by incineration and melting some of his victims in a bathtub of acid!
This movie is over the top and insane, and that is what you would expect from a film that Joe D’Amato made. The special effects are very realistic, and if you do not like gore or gross horror films, do not watch this one, because the gross factor is what this film’s appeal is. Some of the grossest parts in this film include a very graphic and detailed human dissection, melting victims in acid baths and incarnating victims alive and more. So if you are a fan of Lucio Fulci, extreme horror or hardcore gore, this film is right up your alley.
Another great factor is that the progressive Italian rock band called ”Goblin” did a great soundtrack for this movie that is really funky and just helps the demeted vibe of this film. ”Goblin” are most famous for scoring the legendary Dario Argento Italian horror film ”Suspiria”. When ”Goblin” comes to mind, their score for ”Suspiria” is what everyone instantly thinks of, but they did provide the soundtrack for more then one movie.
If you are into Italian horror but are tired of Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci, then this film (along with House with the Laughing Windows) is a good film to see that is very fresh. This film will obviously appeal more to the Fulci fan then the Argento fan, but even if you’re an Argento fan, you should still give it a shot. So this Halloween, if you want a film that is more disgusting then mainstream horror movies, you must watch this. This film also serves as a great introduction to Joe D’Amato’s filmography as well.