Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beyond The Darkness (Buio Omega) (1979)

If you are at all familiar with sleazy Italian horror you have probably at least heard of BEYOND THE DARKNESS and Joe D'Amato. Quite possibly the most notorious film from the infamous director. The Italian title, BUIO OMEGA, should be a staple in any horror/exploitation fan's collection.

Francesco is a mortician and taxidermist who has just lost his lover, Anna. After her death and funeral Frank can't stand the pain and turns to extreme measures of preserving and stuffing his partner to keep her in his large estate. The groundskeeper Iris has been with the family for many years and has watched Frank grow up and is there to comfort him in a way that will make almost anyone squirm in their seat. As the heated relationship between Francesco and Iris builds so does the body count to keep Frank's secret just that. Anyone that enters the house is prone to Francesco's ever-growing madness to keep him and his true lover together. As the bodies pile up so does the tension with Iris after she makes a proposition to continue to help Frank if he marries her. Eventually the odd couple snap at each other and resort to violence that looks like a cross between jungle animals and lovers that have a truly fucked up sense of the word "love".

Joe D'Amato is well known for being one of the main catalyst's of creating the Italian horror genre and keeping it as sleazy as humanly possible. This wasn't hard for a man who would go on to make porn of both the soft and hardcore variety. D'Amato was never shy of getting nearly every woman that would appear on screen to peel her clothes off for no reason at all. He also amped up the gore to nearly Fulci-like levels. BEYOND THE DARKNESS features everything from slasher film violence to necrophilia to cannibalism. And more. It is one of the gross out, scary films that is a blast to watch over and over.

It had been quite a while since I last watched this movie, mainly due in part to Media Blasters delaying the Blu Ray for a full year, but it was worth the wait. In all reality this movie looks as good as it possibly could. A low budget, low production horror movie from Italy in the 70s, this Blu Ray has its rough spots but certainly looks considerably sharper and clearer than it's DVD counterpart.

With a standout score from the exceptional Goblin this very well may be Joe D'Amato's finest achievement. The man that wasn't opposed to excess of any sort wins with a movie full of excess of all sorts.


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