7 October 2008 | Tromafreak
Wholesome Family Entertainment Part 4: The Love Story
After a career of tackling subjects, such as pornography, nunsploitation, and gore-porn, filmmaker, Joe D'amato (Porno Holocaust) decided to take a different approach to a little project he was working on in the late seventies. Beyond The Darkness would be Joe D'amato's first romantic-drama (that I know of). Some might claim this to be slightly depressing, or perhaps, a bit controversial. The world is full of liars, this is unfortunate, but don't let them cloud your judgment, because Beyond The Darkness is wholesome entertainment that could easily be enjoyed by any member of the family, and that's a personal guarantee.
Beyond The Darkness tells the touching story of a rich young man named Frank, and his undying love for his dying lover. Frank and Ana's love for one another probably would have stood the test of time, and everything, if not for this strange illness. I suppose it's just her time, or is it? Enter Iris, the maid. Iris is in love, and possibly obsessed with Frank. Frank only keeps her around for nourishment, but she's really in to him. Iris feels, the only way to deal with this little inconvenience called Ana is voodoo. Ana dies, Frank cannot cope with the loss. After going insane, and taking his hobby, as a taxidermist, into consideration, Frank decides he would rather have a dead Ana in his life than a no Ana. A bold decision, indeed, but this is true love we're talking about here. Frank has robbed his girlfriends grave, and this is where things really start to pick up, Frank takes Ana back to his place, and graphically tears the insides out from his beloved.
After a scene right out of hell, involving a portly/pushy-hitchhiker, stoner chick, who gets her finger nails yanked out, and killed by Frank after walking in on his madness. Frank is caught by Iris, who is disturbingly understanding. Iris helps Frank put a newly-stuffed Ana in Franks Bed, and, in yet another scene right out of hell, Iris helps Frank cut the Portly, stoner chick into little pieces, graphically, and dissolve her remains in acid. After all this, Iris makes dinner. At this point, Frank must see how dedicated this woman is to pleasing him, because Iris's dream has come true, Frank has proposed marriage. The happy, new couple should be happy together, but what about the corpse in Franks bed? And What if Frank can't stop killing? Oh well, I'm sure everything will work out OK, besides, this is a romantic-drama.
I haven't seen a lot of Joe D'amato's work, but this is, by far, the best I've seen. Call The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, macabre, then watch Beyond the Darkness. As we all know, Italian horror is a little on the boring side, and unfortunately, this one is no exception. Not a whole lot of boring, but the gore, and the purity of the horror overshadows it. If you have no tolerance for boring, then I don't know, go watch some Florida Gore, I guess. Beyond The Darkness flaunts a menacing, nightmare of a score by our pals from Goblin, which might actually be half the impact one would feel from viewing this stomach-turning epic. I suppose, Beyond The Darkness doesn't completely fit the mold of how a romantic-drama should play out, although, it's still a masterpiece. What Beyond the Darkness really is, above all, is vile, plus, it's the only film that I've ever seen that made me queasy, and that's saying something. Anyone who could appreciate such filth obviously has a screw loose. 10/10