Lucio "King of the Eyeball Gag" Fulci made his name with a series of gory, gooey horror epics, and The Beyond stands above all as his outré masterpiece. The largely incoherent plot has something to do with a turn-of-the-century curse and a doorway to hell in the cellar of an old New Orleans hotel. Fulci shows his usual sensitivity with wooden acting, clumsy dialogue, and buckets of oozing blood and pus, but don't let that get in the way of enjoying this mad tale of zombies from hell invading Earth and eating their way through a cast of humans: crucified martyrs, blind... visionaries, creepy hotel handymen, befuddled cops, and a plucky pair of heroes desperately fleeing a horde of hungry undead. The blood-red art direction is eerily beautiful, and Fulci's relentless long takes, punctuated by jolting shock cuts and eruptions of grotesque violence, create a mood of sheer paranoid horror right down to the final, mind-bending image. And don't forget the Fulci claim to fame: eyes are gouged out, eaten away, melted with acid, and (shudder) popped out by a spike through the back of the skull. Yech! If you dare ignore such piddling details as narrative logic and let yourself get carried away on the creepy visuals, it's a deliciously stylish treat, an edgy bit of Gothic gore pitched in all its bone-crunching, flesh-ripping, organ-splatting glory. This sadistic, sanguinary hell-spawn tale is for gore-hounds only. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com [show more]
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Italian horror directed by Lucio Fulci. Liza Merril (Catriona MacColl) inherits a run-down Louisiana hotel and decides to restore it to its former glory. But the renovation work gets held up by a series of bizarre murders involving killer dogs and zombies, leading Liza to suspect that something might be wrong with her new acquisition. Aided by her friend Dr. John McCabe (David Warbeck), she begins to investigate and soon discovers that her hotel is built upon a gateway to Hell...