It can be distinguished that Italian horror films are within their own realm in the genre. Contrary to modern, as well as clasc, Western-civilized horror in North America, Italian horror cinema places more emphas on actual on-screen imagery to emit a shock value and appall its audience respectively.
This very notion can be precisely applied to the infamous, yet unique, Italian horror masterpiece Beyond The Darkness.
As the film also goes by such titles as Buio Omega, Blue Holocaust, and the introductory name in America, Buried Alive, which was first released on Thriller Video in the 80s, Beyond The Darkness (1979) is a macabre tale of affection so strong that not even death can prevent love from evolving - phycally or emotionally.
Director Joe D’Amato (aka Aristide Massacce as his real name), provides an offbeat story about a young taxidermist, Frank (Kieran Canter), who is so distraught from long his girlfriend to an unfortunate medical complication, that he uses his profesonalism to preserve the love of his life. From gutting, embalming, eye exchanging and even heart munching to Frank’s dere, D’Amato shows no restance in manifesting such a graphic setting that it’s as if you’re watching an actual autopsy being performed (minus the organ craving of course).
Becoming so obsessed and placing himself in such a precarious tuation, with the help of his peculiar housekeeper Iris (Franca Stoppi), Frank doesn’t hetate to rid anyone who notices the dark secret he has kept in the bed bede him.
Having a low budget and dubbed in English (it’s evident that the dialogue will turn out quite cheesy in many spots), character development is accomplished quite well. Like stated earlier, Italian horror is not intended to deliver scares in a way of “jump-from-your-seat thrills,” but in a grotesque “dash from your seat and head to the bathroom” manner. And “Darkness” definitely radiates that exact impreson.
D’Amato really throws the kitchen nk into this one with such volatile scenes from dismemberment, limbs dissolving in an acid bath, human taxidermy, cannibalism and cremation of a body in misery. A lengthy list of the many reasons why the warning statement slapped on the Thriller original big-box VHS is so prominent. The only aspect of the film that seems to tame the suggestive images, and well-done effects I must add, is the selection of beautiful scenery.
Although D’Amato is known more for his countless hard- and soft-core pornographic films, and the “Emanuelle” series that received only moderate success, Beyond The Darkness opened the door to his career in the horror realm. With Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper (1980) having the most notoriety in the United States, D’Amato can be compared to such Italian horror legends as Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento for obliterating censors and creating films that plaubly cken even the most seasoned horror veterans. Thus, Beyond The Darkness is deemed a true Italian clasc.