John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Seventeen: The Beyond

Cool effects, but I bet Fulci couldn't tell you why that happened to that girl. Neither can I.
Cool effects, but I bet Fulci couldn't tell you why that happened to that girl. Neither can I.

Well, this is the Fulci movie I’d been waiting for. I’ve read in several places that this is his masterpiece, the best of his trilogy that I’ve spoke of several times, that also included “House By the Cemetery” and “City of the Living Dead”. There were many reasons to be excited. The set pieces were said to be breathtaking. The gore was supposed to be spectacular. The atmosphere was to be spooky and creepy. And the plot? Well, a typical Fulci plot…full of holes and lacking direction.

So what did I get? Well, for starters, once again I got a movie with an alternate title, called “The Seven Gates of Hell”. The movie is about a hotel in New Orleans that is one of the seven doorways to Hell, and some guy gets melted in the basement after being nailed to a wall. Later, some girl moves there, and her carpenter gets his eyes gouged out by said melted man, now a zombie. There’s other random deaths too. A man is killed by exploding glass. Another is killed by flesh eating spiders, which look like balls of plastic with pipe cleaners for legs. This movie makes little to no sense, but does have some genuinely enjoyable moments, such as when the two protagonists enter an elevator while fleeing from the undead, and in a moment of levity, the hero tries loading his gun through the barrel. Fulci obviously missed that, or maybe he just didn’t care.

I think this movie is just like the other two in the trilogy. It’s just okay. Nothing special, no real direction, just lots of gore in neat set pieces. It definitely wasn’t worth searching high and low for for quite some time.

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