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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Beyond The Darkness - Beyond The Darkness(Blu Ray/ CD) [Severin - 2017]

Of all the films to appearing in the Italian horror cycle of the late 70ís/ early 80ís Buio Omega( aka Beyond the Darkness) stands as one of the most transgressive & disturbing entries. It an unsettling (after-life) love story that blends together elements of necrophilia, cannibalism, limb hacking, nudity & all manner of depravity. From Severin Films here we have a double disc Blu Ray/ CD soundtrack reissue of the film.

Beyond The Darkness was released in 1979, and it was directed by the notorious & prolific Joe D'Amato. Who over his lifetime had 195 directorial credits to his name spanning a host of genre films taking in zombie, cannibal, nun exploitation, gothic,  brutal slasher,  horror sex film blends, and all-out hardcore.  Buio Omega stands as one of his more coherent, distinctive & darkly moody films- though it still has a good quota of gore, female flesh, and shock.

The film's plot tells of a young taxidermist Frank Wyler who loses his wife to illness. So he decides to dig her up, and take her back to his isolated mansion stuff & persevere her, then place her in their marital bed. Along the way he comes across other women, who he instantly kills- & then with the help of his creepy housekeeper he disposes of the bodies. There's also a  disturbing love triangle going on between Frank, his dead wife, and the housekeeper.

The film blends together a very tangible feeling of ghoulish mood & queasy transgression, with some impressive gory set-ups. For example, we have a very grueling human taxidermy- including removal of organs & eyes, a naked woman being hacked up & dissolved in a bath, throat rips, eyeball rippings, etc. This is topped off with some above par exploitation acting, a fairly pacey plot, and a memorable score from the mighty Goblin.

I first saw Buio Omega some years back as a bootleg, and while in the ensuing years itís lost some of its initial impact-it still manages to have a quite a disturbing punch to it, as well as a tangible air of unpleasant sleaziness. Serevin have done a nice looking HD transfer on the film- meaning the reds & browns really pop, though on the downside it does mean some of the effects do to look a tad rubbery- but I guess thatís the downside of remastering.

Extra wise on the Blu Ray you get. Joe DíAmato: The Horror Experience, a just over hour-long interview/ doc about the director- this is in Italian with subtitles, and on the whole, itís an informative watch. Next, you get two fifteen minute interviews with two of the actors- Franca Stoppi( who played the housekeeper), and Cinzia Monreale( who played the dead wife)- each of these are both revealing & have some interesting titbits. We get live footage of the recent version of Gobin playing the films title theme live. And lastly, we get a tour of the locations today, and this comes in around the twenty-minute mark, and is fairly thorough.

The other big extra is, of course, the CD, this takes in twenty-four tracks, and this is identical to the 2008 Cinevox CD reissue of the soundtrack. Sound-wise the soundtrack is fairly typical of Goblin, though no less enjoyable. The tracks switching between more upbeat cues that blend together tight funk bound bass throbs, pulsing & urgent synth lines, and atmospheric guitar that strut & wail.  To more darkly moody & slower blends of gloomy piano notation, &  loser Ďní wondering bass lines. Onto more shorter cues that focus on a dread making & eerier synth scaping, more experimental flourishes, and sudden percussive runs. All in all, itís a worthy Gobin soundtrack, with some memorable & moody themes,  and of course, it makes for a great addition to this release.

Iíve always had a soft spot for the sleazy & depraved charms of Buio Omega- finding it one of the more consistent & memorable films of Mr. D'Amato large filmography. And this recent reissue from Severin is nicely presented with a good HD transfer, worthy extras, and of course the soundtrack. Oh & also Severin are offering up Necro Bundle of the film- which features the film, a t-shirt, a pin, reproduction poster, & Air fresher(!)..so if youíre a big fan of the film this is well worth picking up.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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