Thursday, June 26, 2014
Film #14: Beyond the Darkness (1979)
Plot - Known as Buio Omega in Italy, this is one that truly surprised me. The writers were geniuses, filling the story with tons of mutilation, morbid sexuality, and surreal moments. It reminds me of Georges Bataille's novels filtered through the conventions of Italian horror. Thankfully, Italian's embrace absurdity and wanton violence much more than Bataille ever could.
Form - The film is absolutely gorgeous. I was expecting something similar to Anthropophagus, but instead I get a film with gorgeous, dramatic shots enhancing the bizarre tale. Still, a lot of gore money-shots are thrown in at the right moments. One of my favorite sequences involves Iris devouring some stew after burying a dead body. The food's falling out of her mouth, dripping down her chin, sticking out of her lips, etc, and random flashes of corpse she just disposed of.
F/X - Too many to count. Bodies being cut open, eyes being replaced, acid baths delivered, and people being hacked to pieces. One ridiculous scene involves Frank, our supposed hero, removing a woman's finger nails.
Acting - Everyone is great.
Mise en scene - The house is austere, the taxidermy dungeon is cold, and everything else makes you feel at odds with existence, just like all of the disturbed characters.
Quotables - Iris drops most of the films memorable lines, which I can't really discuss because the context makes me feel dirty.
Cool stuff - I can't imagine this being any better. Word-for-word, shot-for-shot, it does everything right. I love depressing stories filled with sex and gore, and this film embodies that. A thing of beauty.