Well, here it is! It’s taken over five years, all the way back when it was going to be a laser disc release by Grindhouse Releasing, on through it’s theatrical revival thanks to Grindhouse and Rolling Thunder Pictures. Now both companies along with Anchor Bay, have brought this remastered and rejuvenated disc to our plates and it is nothing short of stunning. I could never expect that this, Fulci’s definitive classic, could ever look or especially sound so good. This disc provides a brand new viewing experience even for those that have seen it for their umpteenth time.
“The Beyond” deals with an old New Orleans hotel that just happens to be built over one of the seven gates of hell. I hate it when that happens. I believe I stayed in a hotel like that in San Francisco once. Hotel Anthrax, that was the place. Anyways, when you’re residing over the yawning mouth of hell, you can only expect major trouble and Fulci serves it up in the form of killer tarantulas, deadly seeing-eye dogs, exploding heads, gouged faces, rusty chain beatings, and a down home New Orleans style zombie jamboree. Silly and spooky, The Beyond is a must have. I guar-ON-tee!
Right off the bat, you can feel the new life breathed into this film as the sounds of the swamp ring out crisp and clear and the booming thunder in the distance rattles the bones. Actually, it’s the new stereo sound that I appreciated most of all of everything on this disc. Sound effects I’ve never heard before are now loud and clear and the ones that I’ve become accustomed to being tinny and shrill, now have a deep bottom end to them. Fabio Frizzi’s score has also benefited greatly from the remastering process. It just makes you want to shake your a*s during all the gut munching.
The picture quality is crisp and clear in a (2.35:1) widescreen presentation. Sure the film print is a little dirty and there’s some chemical streaking, but hey this film was made in ’81. What more do you want? For anybody that need complain, they can go back to watching their old chewed up Thriller Video edition of “Seven Doors of Death.” Besides, the minor film artifacts add to the disc’s charm, making it feel warm and cozy.
Special Features ^ This baby’s loaded to the gills. You got your interview and festival footage of Fulci, Warbeck and MacColl, along with running commentary by Warbeck and MacColl. Both commentators seem like warm and cheery people. Makes you feel bad that zombies are out to sink their teeth in their butts.
The music video of Necrophagia, directed by Jim Van Bebber, is a gut buster! The song is called “And You Will Live In Terror”, so I guess it’s a “Beyond” tribute of sorts and somebody thought it a swell idea to include it on this disc. I’m glad they did. The video has Necrophagia, a bunch of big sweaty guys, rockin’ out speed metal style in a crumby looking cemetery set. I’d really like to throw down a wrestling mat and watch Necrophagia have a royal rumble with the Crowbar boys. Now that would be something to watch.
The German pre-credit sequence is interesting to watch as it’s sans sepia tone and comes at ya in full color. More trailers and stills from around the world than you could possibly handle.