Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Beyond the Darkness, Boy Loves Girl...Italian Horror Style

Today we look at another Joe D'Amato (Absurd and Anthropophagus) film. You know what that means! Yep...Intestines. 1970's "Beyond the Darkness" is a weird one.  If necrophilia and cannibalism were taboo in the 1970s, Joe D'Amato didn't care. Disembowelment, gouged out eyes, and acid baths will rule the day. Made in Italy and probably banned all over Europe (prudes!), let us delve into this shocker.
Frank (Kiernan Canter) loves Anna (Cinzia Monreale). True love! Uh oh....housekeeper/voodoo priestess Iris (Franca Stoppi) loves Frank....bad news for Anna. A voodoo ceremony later and Anna assumes room temperature.  But wait! Frank is into taxidermy (who isn't?) and is determined to have Anna around forever.  He robs Anna's grave, takes her home and stuffs her (btw...we see the whole gory operation). Iris loves Frank so much that she tolerates having Anna around....for now.  Oh yes, while Frank was disemboweling Anna, he forgot he had a female hitchhiker in his van. Hence the hitchhiker is a witness and in the world of the deranged, witnesses are inconvenient.
Frank kills the witness and Iris helps chop her up for an acid bath. Frank wants sex but can only have it when next to Anna's corpse. This eventually spells doom for some naive young ladies/witnesses. After a beautiful jogger goes missing, the cops start snooping around Frank's villa. Iris is able to rid the estate of evidence, but demands he throw Anna away.  As Iris realizes that Anna will always be between her and Frank (literally and figuratively), her relationship with Frank deteriorates. When Iris and Frank grow increasingly unstable, hatchets and knives enter the plot.  Can Iris ever replace Anna?  Will Anna's coldness send Frank into Iris' arms?
This is a gory one. The murder scenes are over-the-top and we are treated to gross detail in Anna's taxidermy operation. The ending is shocking and goes beyond Frank and Iris.  Just like "Anthropophagus," whatever you think of this film, the last ten seconds will have you cheering...that is, if you are a horror film fan. "Beyond the Darkness" is available uncut on YouTube.

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