Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Beyond / L'Aldilà (1981).

We all understand that eyes are the most vulnerable of our sensory organs, the most vulnerable of our facial accessories, and they are (ick!) soft. Maybe that's the worst...
- Stephen King in Danse Macabre.
Fulci loves him some eyeballs!

...There so should've then been a shot of the German Shepherd's eyes too.

Oh yeah, that's the sweet stuff...

...oh, keep going, don't stop...!

Oh god... YYEEEESSS!!!


My favourite non gore close-up.

That's not even all of them. When I realised a written review wasn't going to be forthcoming, my angle was instead going to be that I cap every single eyeball close-up in the film. This I very nearly did, until I realised that it was way too many for anyone to find entertaining or interesting. Plus I got a bit bored.

Okay okay, this isn't much of a review at all, I grant you. I left my Final Girl Film Club homework until the last minute, and so I found myself viewing this movie on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon. Not exactly perfect horror film conditions, so I blame this and how busy I am lately on why I couldn't dredge a decent review out of the flooded basement that is my brain.

In short: As a fan of Zombie Flesh Eaters I anticipated liking this, and I did. As with ZFE the make-up for the older corpses resembled great lumps of rotting meat covered in dirt - ie: perfect! They do literally look as though they are going to cave in under your touch (should you dare). The scene with the housekeeper and what she finds in the bath is one of the best, even before the climactic eye-impalement.

From the hour mark onwards The Beyond was decidedly great; from possessed guide dogs to a pigtailed child getting her head mercilessly blown apart by a doctor. The zombies in the hospital were also some of the best shufflers I have ever seen.

See the book Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film for a whole chapter on eyes in horror.


  1. That was awesome, eyes do make the difference. The last thing this world needs is more cheeseball zombies that give horror movie enthusiasts a reputation for having bad taste. Post more please.

  2. I was just re-reading "Men, Women and Chainsaws" for a presentation I'm doing this week: I luffs me some Carol Clover.

    Also, Viva la eye-gouging!

  3. After reading a bunch of reviews for this movie from my fellow Final Girl Film Clubbers, let me say your ocular-imagery focused post was a nice change of pace. I chose the obvious review route myself, which you can find at The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse if you're curious.

    And can I note that the acid spill in the morgue melting scene was also concentrated on the eye area? Man, Fulci really had something against the eyes.

  4. Thank you for the comments everyone! I am really thrilled you liked what I had to say (and show) regarding this Film Club pick.
    Aaron I hope to post more! I have tonnes of ideas but it's just finding the damn time...
    Cory, yes! One of the sockets spurts blood doesn't it? I should have capped that as well, hmm. I looked half-heartedly online for something about his obvious eye obsession, but couldn't find much. Any links would be appreciated as he surely must have been asked about all the ocular trauma at some stage!