Joe D’Amato’s BEYOND THE DARKNESS is beyond a mess. By that I mean it is a gory, goop-filled mess of drips and sops and deviant behaviors. It exists, not to tell a coherent story, but to piece together a mud room throw rug of gross-out exploitation.
For instance, the characters are pencil sketches of Gothic douche nozzles. There is the rich spoiled husband, who cannot live without the literal suckling teat of his creepy Nursemaid-cum-Housekeeper. Like all rich white boys, his hobby is taxidermy. A skill he uses to preserve his dead ex-wife, after eating her heart.
Did I mention that the rich kid might be a closet cannibal?
Well, he might. It’s hard to tell.
When the rich idiot seduces women, he tries to make it with them in the bed next to his preserved dead wife’s corpse, which causes the other women to freak out and get murdered. Sometimes he bites them, other times he strangles them, or rips off their fingernails – which is highly and immediately deadly in this world.
The Nursemaid-cum-Housekeeper is clearly insane. She practices voodoo, dismembers corpses, and has murderous intentions on the rich boy she raised. Her real shinning moment in the movie comes, though, in a dinner scene in which she disgustingly eats a globule-filled porridge stew – right after dumping the dissolved body into a hole in the backyard. The moment of mundane domestic activity is rendered incredibly bleak and hilariously disgusting.
There is so much in this movie. It is like they hired an effects team, asked them to come up with some nasty stuff, and then wrote a script around it all. Aside from the thumping meat cleaver dismembering scene, there is a cremation scene where the body twitches and shrivels.
There is a dissection.
Several brutal attacks with biting and gnashing teeth. Stabbings.
And finally, a funeral director who cracks the case when the cops can’t seem to figure it out.
I give this one 4 shadow filled hallways out of 10 shadow filled hallways and little paper bag filled with fake finger nails.