Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beyond the Grave, The Walking Dead of Brazil

In Brazil, they are not "walkers," rather "returners."  The Brazilian term may be a bit too contrived, but they do play better football (soccer) than we do.  2010's "Beyond The Grave" mixes elements of "The Walking Dead," "Mad Max," and Lucio Fulci films to give us a moody zombie film, where as in any good zombie film, the zombies are not the main villains.  The real villain in this film is evil....pure satanic evil.  To make matters a bit more intriguing, our protagonist (Rafael Tombini) is a police officer with a souped up black car, who is almost as evil as  the force he is hunting.  The post-apocalyptic setting will remind you more of "The Road Warrior" than a George Romero film, though zombies are omnipresent.
As our film begins, the officer is travelling through Brazil with files of criminals.  In the post-apocalyptic landscape, not a whole lot of people are around.  Those who have survived are quickly falling prey to a serial killer who kills in really disgusting ways.  The officer finds the hide-out and shoots to death three of the killer's henchmen, and then the fiend (who is armed with a samurai sword).  Uh oh, not the typical mortal, this fiend's evil soul can jump into another body upon death.  Even after killing his arch enemy, the officer knows he must search for it again.  On his travels he "befriends" and picks up a really clean-cut man and woman.  There job is to stay in the car as he examines gory crime scenes.  If "returners" approach...our couple warns him.  With each new crime scene, the officer realizes he is getting closer.  In addition to body parts, he also finds pentagrams and signs of devil worship.  
As the officer and his tow new friends find more crime scenes, they come across three people hiding in a school.  The setting is a safe one, and these three (a wise man, a pregnant woman, and a jerk) are content to wait out the zombie apocalypse (good move).  However, the number of returners is increasing and our trio continue their patrol.  When they meet up with evil next, it is in the form of a beautiful cowgirl (straight out of a spaghetti western) and her two henchmen.  Their weapons are supernatural and made out of bones.  As the good guys then fall in very blood curdling ways, the officer realizes that the real secret in fighting this devil is with more evil.  He then consults the Brazilian version of the Necronomicon, and the fight is on.
Fans of any of the genres mentioned above (including spaghetti westerns) will enjoy this film.  The tone is ominous throughout.  Fans of horror will recognize elements of "The Exorcist," "The Evil Dead," and "Zombie" in this work.  Eschewing any humor, this film will come close to creeping you out.  If you are feeling sophisticated and elitist (...or want people to think you are), or want to impress guests at cocktail parties, see "Beyond the Grave," and drink (sip) an expensive Shiraz.      


1 comment:

  1. This one sounds really, really weird. Like they could not decided what genre they wanted. Which looks interesting to me :)