Archive for the Film Labels Category

5 Films yet to have a proper DVD release

Posted in Dario Argento, Giallo, Grindhouse Releasing, Horror, Supernatural with tags , , , , on May 6, 2009 by eibonblog

With the advent of cult films being released in high definition, and also with the long (long) awaited release (official or not?) of Argento’s Four Flies On Grey Velvet (1971), it might come as some surprise to some that many cult classics have yet to see an official DVD release. Some of the great cult films of all time sit languishing in vaults, with only VHS versions of varying quality (usually bad!) existing for people to enjoy them.

So I decided to create a list of five cult classic films that are in desperate need of a proper definitive release either on DVD or (even better) on Blu-ray. So hopefully some upstanding owner of a fine cult film company will see this and give the films the restoration and loving release they so thoroughly deserve! So on with the list:

  1. Spider Labyrinth (1988) aka Il Nido del Ragno – A truly disturbing supernatural giallo from the late 80s, this forgotten gem clearly needs a restored uncut version released.Spider Labyrinth (1988) - cover Clearly some money was spent on this film as it has superior cinematography and some great special effects for the time. It also triumphantly succeeds in creating a very creepy, eerie atmosphere. It has some vhillingly effective murder scenes, and the final scene is pure Grand Guignol exuberance. The story sees Roland Wybenga playing Professor Alan Whitmore who is sent to investigate strange goings on in a small town. What he finds there is a horror beyond what he could have imagined and where nothing is what it seems.Unfortunately I’ve only ever seen a VHS rip with hardcoded Japanese subtitles on it, and it was fullscreen. It really takes away from what you can tell is some fantastic camera work. It might have that familiar 80s tinge to the picture, but it still should be incredible if a restored widescreen version could be sourced.Spider Labyrinth

    Spider Labyrinth

  2. Amuck! (1972) – A giallo masterpiece that mysteriously has never received a DVD release. Amuck! (1972)Directed by Silvio Amadio, this is a beautiful shot and fantastically scripted piece of film. Not only does it feature some ultra stylish setpieces so familiar with classic giallo, but it also features a truly electrifying sex scene between Barbara Bouchet and Rosalba Neri… two of the genre’s finest. The way Amadio shoots the scene is brilliantly done, and it literally sizzles off the screen.Couple all that with one of the best soundtracks to ever grace a giallo, and you’ve got yourself a truly fantastic cult film.So why no DVD release?

    That is a complete mystery as there are only bootleg DVDs around. These appear to be VHS rips and are unfortunately fullframe versions rather than the original 2.35:1 Cromoscope composition it was originally filmed in. It’s a shame as this is bound to look glorious.

    So please… someone bring out a great looking version of one of the first films that made giallo sexy!

  3. Thrilling In Venice (1979) aka Giallo a Venezia – Described by even hardened giallo fans as vile, repulsive, disgusting, and utter trash… this film represents the pinnicle in how depraved and sleazy you could make a giallo.Thrilling In Venice (1979) Not even New York Ripper or Torso could match this film for sheer depravity.There’s plenty of gore, softcore sex, nudity, and funny late 70s hair cuts on show. It has something for everyone… except those with no stomach for the depraved!I don’t think there’s much chance of this being released in the UK anytime soon, but it is strange that this infamous giallo has never received much attention from any of the major DVD labels. Anything that is so infamously trashy is bound to be a big seller. It ticks all the boxes for gorehounds, sleazeters, and grindhouse fans. I would have thought this was a perfect release for Grindhouse Releasing.

    Let’s hope a decent copy surfaces soon, as the only half decent uncut rip that seems to be out there is a brazillian VHS! Surely there has to be a better source than that?

  4. Night Of The Demon (1980)Night Of The Demon (1980) – Talking of grindhouse classics… this has to rank as one of the stars of that genre. The infamous Bigfoot video nasty from 1980. This film takes the well established Bigfoot genre, and turns it on its head by introducing ghaslty deaths, horrific scenes of penis removal by Bigfoot claw, and one of the craziest final 10 minutes of any film… ever! It’s just pure fantastic joyous trash in cult film form. The acting is dire, and dare I say this film is never going to get a pin sharp high definition makeover… but it still deserves far more than it’s got so far from distributors.In fact the only uncut version that seems to be doing the rounds is a copy of when Zone Horror showed it on that channel. It looks very rough though, so this film really needs some much needed attention.
  5. Libido (1965) – Libido (1965)Perhaps most perplexing of all is how this Ernesto Gastaldi written and directed giallo has not had a proper DVD release! This is one of the very first giallo, and it’s also one of the most accomplished. Shot in black and white, it has a fantastic plot (as you’d expect from the master writer of the genre), and some great acting. It’s very well made and really makes you wish Gastaldi had directed a few more films.Again the only version of this in wide circulation are VHS sourced. There is clearly a great looking film here, shot originally on 35mm, just waiting to burst out onto our home screens. Why hasn’t anyone done this yet? This is a classic by every definition of the word!Get to it please!
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To blog or not to blog? Is that a question?

Posted in Blue Underground, Dario Argento, Random Talk with tags , , on April 30, 2009 by eibonblog

I’ve been a bit quiet of late due to collecting rather than actually watching the films. I’ve been gathering together all the Jean Rollin directed films I don’t already have, all the Hammer Horror films I don’t own, and completing my Giallo library (using spreadsheets no less!). It’s very geeky work, but very worthwhile. It makes me realise just how many more of these films I am still yet to see! It’s a nice feeling to know that many of my potential future favourites could potentially be undiscovered. I just wish I had more time in the day to watch them!

 Also I’ve recently received Blu-ray copies of Two Evil Eyes (1990) and Vanishing Point (1971), which I haven’t had a chance to watch fully yet, but after a quick glance I can say they are huge improvements on what has been released before. I do so love high definition. It really lets the films shine as they were originally intended. With Blue Underground already on the Blu train, and Severin with several titles on the way… I really hope some more of the cult labels follow suit.

 Other exciting news is that Shameless films have confirmed that their print for Footprints (1975) aka Le Orme is looking fantastic and is confirmed for an August 2009 release. I simply cannot wait! It’s one of the finest examples of a trippy giallo there is, and as yet has only been available from a very washed out VHS source.

Mya Communication DVDs

Posted in Mya with tags on March 20, 2009 by eibonblog

Mya Communication DVDs are an unofficial offshoot DVD releasing label of the sadly now defunct Noshame label. It consists of Salvatore Alongi and Marcello Rossi, both previous employees of Noshame. Recently they’ve finally issued a good quality DVD of Argento’s Four Flies On Grey Velvet, and have released an absolutely phenomenal list of forthcoming releases that has got me very excited!

Firstly, we have a bunch of releases scheduled for a June 30th release in the USA. I’ll post those up here with the brief descriptions and artwork that Mya have issued on their press sheet:

ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN (1979): Island Of The Fishmen (1979) - Sergio Martino

Sergio Martino’s Island Of The Fishmen (aka L’Isla Degli Uomini Pesce aka Screamers) – "It’s 1891: Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli), a military doctor, and a few newly escaped convicts are shipwrecked on a mysterious tropical island. They soon come across a strange couple: the sadistic Edmund Rackham (Richard Johnson) and the beautiful Amanda Marvin (Barbara Bach). The doctor finds out that Amanda’s father, professor Ernest Marvin (Joseph Cotten), is a mad scientist who is experimenting on horrible human-fish mutations. While Professor Marvin is convinced that he’s doing his research for humanitarian motives, Rackham has other plans, since he has discovered an incredible secret lying beneath the island."

I haven’t ever seen this, but am looking forward to it. Martino’s films are always very entertaining and this sounds like good fun. It was previously released by Noshame in 2005 but is long OOP. There’s more info about it on its IMDB page located here.

 Monika (1974) - Mario Imperoli
MONIKA (1974):

"Monika (Gloria Guida) is young, beautiful and virgin. She is only 16 years old, and, beside getting the attention of all her classmates, she also attracts older men. She has a relationship with a boy, Leo, but she doesn’t know that he uses to pimp the girls he seduces to rich businessmen. One of Leo’s client befriends Monika and becomes so obsessed that he pays Leo to get her. But Monika turns her attention to her art professor, unknowing that he too has his secrets."

Sounds like typical Gloria Guida sleaze… which means it should be worth watching! This is actually her first film and was directed by Mario Imperoli aka Mark Emperor! Can’t argue with a ‘monika’ such as that (I’ll get my coat…). IMDB info to be found here.

 

 

HORRIBLE (1981): Horrible aka Absurd

This one is more commonly known as Absurd or Antropophagus 2 and is one of the notorious original 74 ‘Video Nasties’ banned in the UK in the early 1980s. It was directed by infamous king of sleaze Joe D’Amato. Here’s the Mya spiel:
"A man is running, followed by a priest. He comes across a house but the tall gates are locked so he begins to climb them, however he slips at the top and impales himself on the spikes. Injured to death he’s taken to an hospital. Once there, the doctors discover that this man has an amazing regenerative power and his blood coagulates very quickly, making him almost indestructible. Sergeant Ben Engleman is put on the case, and he finds out that the priest has the answers: this man, Mikos Stenopolis, is the result of a nuclear scientific experiment gone wrong. He’s now completely insane and will kill everybody who crosses his path, showing no mercy."

There’s some pretty horrific killings in this, not least a very prolonged killing using an oven(!) and grisly use of power tools. I’ve only ever seen this on a dodgy VHS sourced version… so a typically great Mya transfer of this should make it essential euro cult!

UBALDA, ALL NAKED AND WARM (1972):

Ubalda (1972) - Edwige Fenech"Inspired by the International success of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Decameron (1971) and Canterbury Tales, Italian filmmakers rushed out a slew of like-minded comedies in the bawdy vein of Renaissance humorist Giovanni Boccaccio, known collectively as "Decamerotica." Medieval ltaly is the setting for this ludicrous la ronde involving a bumbling knight (Pippo Franco, of Billy Wilder’s Avanti!) torn between his unfaithful wife (Black Emmanuelle‘s Karin Schubert) and the comely Ubalda (Fenech), the bored bride of the village miller who has the local men in a state of arousal despite her ample charms being constrained in an iron chastity belt. Directed by Mariano Laurenti, who teamed with Fenech again for Naughty Nun (1972) and The Winsome Widow (1974), Ubalda, All Naked and Warm was never released theatrically in the United States and is available only on this exclusive DVD, remastered from the original vault negatives and completely uncut and uncensored."

An Edwige Fenech sex comedy? Sign me up for one of those! It goes without saying that this will probably be an essential purchase for anyone who classes themself as a Fenech fan. IMDB info here.

These four releases are all due to be released by Mya Communication DVDs on June 30th.

Even more exciting is the Mya list of planned releases. Here we go with the pant-wettingly awesome list of upcoming (maybe just hopeful?) films:

1. CARMEN NUE (1984 Fra/Spa) Directed by Albert Lopez (IMDB)

2. PIERINO CONTRO TUTTI (Italia 1982) Directed by Marino Girolami (IMDB)

3. LA ROSSA DALLA PELLE CHE SCOTTA aka The Redheaded Corpse (1971 Ita/Tur) Directed by Renzo Russo (IMBD)

4. ATTI IMPURI ALL’ITALIANA (1976 Italia) Directed by Oscar Brazzi (IMDB)

5. AMORE ALL’ARRABBIATA aka Crazy, Crazy Love (1976 Italia) Directed by Carlo Veo (IMDB)

6. ARABELLA ANGELO NERO aka Arabella, Black Angel (1989 Italia) Directed by Stelvio Massi (IMDB)

7. DI MAMMA NON CE N’è UNA SOLA (1974 Italia) Directed by Alfredo Giannetti (IMDB)

8. FRITTATA ALL’ITALIANA (1976 Italia) Directed by Alfonso Brescia (IMDB)

9. LA BOLOGNESE (1975 Italia) Directed by Alfredo Rizzo (IMDB)

10. DOLCI ZIE (1975 Italia) Directed by Mario Imperioli (IMDB)

11. NOTTI PECCAMINOSE DI PIETRO L’ARETINO (1972 Italia) Directed by Manlio Scarpelli (IMDB)

12. PROFESSIONE BIGAMO aka Confessions of a Bigamist (1969 Ita/GermEst) Directed by Franz Antel (IMDB)

13. FRATELLO HOMO SORELLA BONA aka Roman Scandals ’73 (1972 Italia) Directed by Mario Sequi (IMDB)

14. LA MOGLIE VERGINE aka The Virgin Wife (1975 Italia) Directed by Marino Girolami (IMDB)

15. QUANT’è BELLA LA BERNARDA TUTTA NERA TUTTA CALDA aka The Canterbury Decameron  (1975 Italia) Directed by L.Dandolo (IMDB)

16. MIDNIGHT BLUE (1979 Italia) Directed by Raimondo del Balzo (IMDB)

17. MORBOSAMENTE VOSTRA (1985 Italia) Directed by Andrea Bianchi (IMDB)

18. PRIMO TANGO A ROMA – STORIA D’AMORE E D’ALCHIMIA (1973 Italia) Directed by Lorenzo Gicca Palli (IMDB)

19. FOLLIE DI NOTTE aka Crazy Nights (1978 Italia) Directed by Joe D’Amato (IMDB)

20. STRANO RICATTO DI UNA RAGAZZA PER BENE aka Blackmail (1974 Italia) Directed by Luigi Batzella (IMDB)

21. ATTENTI ARRIVANO LE COLLEGIALI (1975 Italia) Directed by Giorgio Mille (IMDB)

22. SETTE RAGAZZE DI CLASSE aka Seven Dangerous Girls (1979 Italia) Directed by Pedro Lazaga (IMDB)

23. QUANDO I CALIFFI AVEVANO LE CORNA aka The Curse Of The Red Butterfly (1973 Italia) Directed by Amasi Damiani (IMDB)

24. A CHI TOCCA TOCCA aka S.O.S. Danger Uranium (1978 Italia/GermEst/Israele) Directed by Gianfranco Baldanello (IMDB)

25. E VENNE IL GIORNO DEI LIMONI NERI aka Black Lemons (1970 Italia) Directed by Camillo Bazzoni (IMDB)

26. A TUTTE LE AUTO DELLA POLIZIA aka Calling All Police Cars aka The Maniac Responsible (1975) Directed by Mario Caiano (IMDB)

27. ARRIVA DORELLIK aka How To Kill 400 Duponts aka Dorellik (Italia 1962) Directed by Steno (IMDB)

28. IL SORRISO DELLA JENA aka Smile Before Death (1972 Italia) Directed by Silvio Amadio (IMDB)

29. IL MOSTRO DELL’OBITORIO aka The Hunchback Of The Morgue (Spain,1973) Directed by Javier Aguirre (IMDB)

30. LA Più ALLEGRA STORIA DEL DECAMERONE aka The Lustful Barbarian aka The Erotic Adventures of Siegfried (Germany,1971) Directed by Adrian Hoven (IMDB)

31. I RITI EROTICI DELLA PAPESSA JESIAL aka A Woman Possessed (France,1975) Directed by Mario Mercier (IMDB)

32. LE MILLE E UNA NOTTE E UN’ALTRA ANCORA (Italia 1973) Directed by Enrico Bomba (IMDB)

33. 6000 KM DI PAURA aka Safari Rally (Italia, 1978) Directed by Bitto Alberini (IMDB)

34. BYLETH – IL DEMONE DELL’INCESTO aka Byleth – The Demon of Incest (Italia 1972) Directed by Leopoldo Savona (IMDB)

35. IL MARCHIO DI KRIMINAL aka The Mark Of The Kriminal (Italia 1967) Directed by Fernando Cerchio (IMDB)

36. BAILA GUAPA (Italia 1979) Directed by A. Tagliavia (IMDB)

37. IL BANDITO DAGLI OCCHI AZZURRI aka The Blue-Eyed Bandit (Italia 1980) Directed by Alfredo Riannetti (IMDB)

38. BLACK KILLER (Italia 1971) Directed by Carlo Croccolo (IMDB)

39. SETTE MAGNIFICI CORNUTI aka Seven Magnificent Bastards (Italia 1974) Directed by Luigi Russo (IMDB)

40. LA SMAGLIATURA aka Weak Spot (Fra/Ita 1975) Directed by Peter Fleischmann (IMDB)

41. IL SESSO DELLA STREGA aka The Evil Eye (Italia 1973) Directed by Angelo Pannacciò (IMDB)

42. I SOGNI PROIBITI DI DON GALEAZZO CURATO DI CAMPAGNA aka The Forbidden Dreams Of Don Galeazzo Country Priest (Italia 1973) Directed by E. Di Cola (IMDB)

43. LA TIGRE VENUTA DAL FIUME KWAY aka The Tiger From River Kwai (Italia 1975) Directed by Franco Lattanti (IMDB)

44. L’UNICA LEGGE IN CUI CREDO (Italia 1976) Directed by Claudio Giorgi (IMDB)

45. UN UOMO CHIAMATO DAKOTA aka A Gunman Called Dakota (Italia 1972) Directed by Mario Sabatini (IMDB)

46. WEEK END PROIBITO DI UNA FAMIGLIA QUASI PER BENE (Ita/Fra 1971) Directed by Jean Dewever (IMDB)

47. VERGINITA’ (Italia 1974) Directed by Marcello Andrei (IMDB)

48. ZORRO IL RIBELLE aka Zorro The Rebel (Italia 1966) Directed by Piero Pienotti (IMDB)

49. LA BAMBOLA DI SATANA (Italia 1969) Directed by Ferruccio Casapinta (IMDB)

50. I CRIMINALI DELLA GALASSIA aka The Criminals Of The Galaxy (Italia 1965) Directed by Antonio Margheriti (IMDB)

51. LA MORTE VIENE DAL PIANETA AYTIN aka The Snow Demons (Italia 1967) Directed by Antonio Margheriti (IMDB)

52. IL PIANETA ERRANTE aka The Wondering Planet (Italia 1966) Directed by Antonio Margheriti (IMDB)

53. I DIFANOIDI VENGONO DA MARTE aka Diaphanoids, Bringers Of Death (Italia 1966) Directed by Antonio Margheriti (IMDB)

54. I PIANETI CONTRO DI NOI aka The Planets Against Us (Ita/Fra/Germany Est 1962) Directed by Romano Ferrara (IMDB)

55. LA VENDETTA DI LADY MORGAN (Italia 1965) Directed by M. Pupillo (IMDB)

56. LA COLT ERA IL SUO DIO aka God Is My Colt .45 (Ita/Germany Est 1972) Directed by Luigi Balzella/Joe D’Amato (IMDB)

57. UN DETECTIVE aka Ring Of Death (Italia 1969) Directed by Romolo Guerrieri (IMDB)

58. E COSI DIVENNERO I TRE SUPERMEN DEL WEST aka Three Supermen Of The West (Ita/Spa 1973) Directed by Anthony Blod (IMDB)

59. KARAMURAT LA BELVA DELL’ANATOLIA aka The Magic Man (Ita/Turchia 1976) Directed by E. Hofbaver (IMDB)

60. LA LUNGA CAVALCATA DELLA VENDETTA aka Long Cavalcade of Vengeance (Italia 1972) Directed by T. Boccia (IMDB)

61. NEL MIRINO DI BLACK APHRODITE aka Black Aphrodite (Ita/Greece 1979) Directed by Guido Zurli (IMDB)

62. NOVELLE GALEOTTE D’AMORE (Italia 1972) Directed by Antonio Margheriti (IMDB)

63. L’OCCHIO DEL RAGNO aka The Eye Of The Spider (Ita/Austria 1971) Directed by Roberto Bianchi Montero (IMDB)

64. QUANDO L’AMORE E’ SENSUALITA’ aka When Love Is Lust (Italia 1973) Directed by Vittorio de Sisti (IMDB)

65. A CENA COL VAMPIRO aka Dinner With A Vampire (Ita 1988) Directed by Lamberto Bava (IMDB)

66. DENTRO (UNA NOTTE AL) IL CIMITERO aka Graveyard Disturbance (Ita 1987) Directed by Lamberto Bava (IMDB)

67. FINO ALLA MORTE aka Changling 2: The Return (Ita 1987) Directed by Lamberto Bava (IMDB)

68. LA CASA DELL’ORCO aka Demons 3: The Ogre (Ita 1988) Directed by Lamberto Bava (IMDB)

69. LA RAGAZZA DI CORTINA aka The Girl From Cortina (Ita 1994) Directed by Maurizio Vanni (IMDB)

70. AL CALAR DELLA SERA (Ita 1992) Directed by Maurizio Lucidi (IMDB)

71. FEMMINE INSAZIABILI (Ita 1969) Directed by Alberto De Martino (IMDB)

72. FOLLIA DI UN MASSACRO aka Massacre Mania (Ita 1967) Directed by Paolo Bianchini (IMDB)

73. GIALLA A VENEZIA aka Mystery In Venice (Ita 1979) Directed by Mario Landi (IMDB)

74. I RAGAZZI DELLA ROMA VIOLENTA (Ita 1976) Directed by Renato Savino (IMDB)

75. IL COMPLOTTO aka The Conspiracy (Fra 1973) Directed by René Gainville (IMDB)

76. IL FIORE DAI PETALI D’ACCIAIO aka The Flower With Petals Of Steel (Ita 1973) Directed by Gianfranco Piccioli (IMDB)

77. IL TUO DOLCE CORPO DA UCCIDERE (Spa/Ita 1970) Directed by Alfonso Brescia (IMDB)

78. IL VIZIO HA LE CALZE NERE aka Reflections In Black (Ita 1975) Directed by Tano Cimarosa (IMDB)

79. INTERRABANG (Ita 1969) Directed by Guiliano Biagetti (IMDB)

80. L’AMANTE DEL DEMONIO aka The Devil’s Lover (Ita 1972) Directed by Paolo Lombardo (IMDB)

81. L’ARMA L’ORA IL MOVENTE aka The Weapon, The Hour, The Motive (Ita 1973) Directed by Francesco Mazzei (IMDB)

82. L’INTERROGATORIO (Ita 1970) Directed by Vittorio De Sisti (IMDB)

83. L’OCCHIO DIETRO LA PARETE aka Eyes Behind The Wall (Ita 1977) Directed by Giuliano Petrelli (IMDB)

84. L’ORRIBILE SEGRETO DEL DR HICHCOCK aka The Horrible Secret Of Dr Hichcock (Ita 1962) Directed by Ricardo Freda (IMDB)

85. L’OSCENO DESIDERIO aka Obscene Desire (Ita/Spa 1978) Directed by Giulio Petroni (IMDB)

86. L’UOMO PUMA aka Puma Man (Ita 1980) Directed by Alberto De Martino (IMDB)

87. LA LUNGA NOTTE DI VERONIQUE aka The Long Night Of Veronica (Ita 1966) Directed by Gianni Vernuccio (IMDB)

88. LA MANO CHE NUTRE LA MORTE aka The Hand That Feeds The Dead (Ita/Turkey 1974) Directed by Sergio Garrone (IMDB)

89. LA MORTE BUSSA DUE VOLTE aka Death Knocks Twice (Ita/Germany 1969) Directed by Harald Philipp (IMDB)

90. LA MORTE SCENDE LEGGERA aka Death Falls Lightly (Ita 1972) Directed by Leopoldo Savona (IMDB)

91. LA MORTE VIENE DAL BUIO aka So Sweet, So Dead aka Penetration (Ita 1972) Directed by Roberto Bianchi Montero (IMDB)

92. LA NOTTE DEI DANNATI aka Night Of The Damned (Ita 1971) Directed by Fillipo Walter Ratti (IMDB)

93. LA NOTTE DEI DIAVOLI aka The Night Of The Devils (Ita 1972) Directed by Giorgio Ferroni (IMDB)

94. LIBIDO TERROR aka Libido (Ita 1965) Directed by Ernesto Gastaldi & Vittorio Salerno (IMDB)

95. MADELEINE ANATOMIA DI UN INCUBO aka Madeleine, Study Of A Nightmare (Ita 1974) Directed by Roberto Mauri (IMDB)

96. NO IL CASO E’ FELICEMENTE RISOLTO aka No, The Case Is Happily Resolved (Ita 1973) Directed by Vittorio Salerno (IMDB)

97. NON AVER PAURA DELLA ZIA MARTA aka Don’t Be Afraid Of Aunt Martha (Ita 1988) Directed by Mario Bianchi (IMDB)

98. NON SPARATE SUI BAMBINI aka Don’t Shoot On Children (Ita 1978) Directed by Gianni Crea (IMDB)

99. SETTE ORE DI VIOLENZA PER UNA SOLUZIONE IMPREVISTA aka Seven Hours Of Violence (Ita 1973) Directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini (IMDB)

100. L’UOMO PIU’ VELENOSO DEL COBRA aka Human Cobras (Ita/Spain 1971) Directed by Bitto Albertini (IMDB)

101. SUGGESTIONATA (Ita 1978) Directed by Alfredo Rizzo (IMDB)

102. TESTA IN GIU’ GAMBE ALL’ARIA (Ita 1972) Directed by Ugo Novello (IMDB)

103. TRHAUMA (Ita 1980) Directed by Gianni Martucci (IMDB)

104. UN BIANCO VESTITO PER MARIALE’ aka Spirits Of Death (Ita 1972) Directed by Romano Scavolini (IMDB)

105. UN OMBRA NELL’OMBRA aka Ring Of Darkness (Ita 1979) Directed by Pier Carpi (IMDB)

106. UNA JENA IN CASSAFORTE (Ita 1968) Directed by Cesare Canevari (IMDB)

107. OSCENITA’ (Ita 1980) Directed by Renato Polselli (IMDB)

108. RIVELAZIONI DI UNO PSICHIATRA SUL MONDO PERVERSO DEL SESSO aka REVELATIONS OF A PSYCHIATRIST ON THE PERVERSE WORLD OF SEX (Ita 1973) Directed by Renato Polselli (IMDB)

109. DIAVOLO IN CORPO aka Devil In The Flesh (Ita/France 1986) Directed by Marco Bellocchio (IMDB)

110. ANNA QUEL PARTICOLARE PIACERE aka Anna: The Pleasure, The Torment aka Secrets Of A Call Girl (Ita 1973) Directed by Guiliano Carnimeo (IMDB)

111. LO STRANO VIZIO DELLA SIGNORA WARDH aka The Strange Vice Of Mrs Wardh (Ita 1971) Directed by Sergio Martino (IMDB)

112. LA CODA DELLO SCORPIONE aka The Case Of The Scorpion’s Tail (Ita 1971) Directed by Sergio Martino (IMDB)

113. GIOVANNONA COSCIALUNGA aka Giovannona Long-Thigh (Ita 1973) Directed by Sergio Martino (IMDB)

114. CASTA E PURA aka Chaste And Pure (Ita/Spain/France 1981) Directed by Salvatore Samperi (IMDB)

115. IL BIANCO IL GIALLO IL NERO aka The White, The Yellow, The Black (Ita/France/Spain 1975) Directed by Sergio Corbucci (IMDB)

116. IL CONSIGLIORI aka The Counsellor (Ita/Spain 1973) Directed by Alberto De Martino (IMDB)

117. LUCREZIA GIOVANE (Ita 1974) Directed by Luciano Ercoli (IMDB)

118. ARIZONA SI SCATENO’ E LI FECE FUORI TUTTI aka Arizona Colt Returns (Ita/Spain 1970) Directed by Sergio Martino (IMDB)

119. SEI GIA’ CADAVERE AMIGO TI CERCA GARRINGO aka Dig Your Grave Friend… Sabata’s Coming (Spain/Italy 1971) Directed by Juan Bosch (IMDB)

Here’s hoping that Mya get them all released and that they are as high quality as their early releases. Fantastic label, they deserve your support!

Just to finish it all off, here’s a list of their current catalogue and imminent releases:

001: The Blind Woman Of Sorrento
002: Provocation
003: The Virgo, The Taurus And The Capricorn
004: The Maniacs
005: The Inveterate Bachelor
006: Door Into Darkness
007: Bread, Love And Dreams
008: Scorpion With Two Tails
009: A Policewoman In New York
010: Four Flies On Grey Velvet
011: Fatty Girl Goes To New York
012: Top Girl
013: Craving Desire
014: Passion
015: The Revenge Of The Crusader
016: Return Of The Gladiator
017: The Legend Of Blood Castle
018: The Sweet Pussycats
019: Island Of The Fishmen (June 30th)
020: Monika (June 30th)
021: Horrible (June 30th)
022: Ubalda, All Naked And Warm (June 30th)

The Beyond (1981)

Posted in 1981, Grindhouse Releasing, Horror, Lucio Fulci, Supernatural, Zombies with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2009 by eibonblog

Well we couldn’t very well start off a blog entitled ‘Eibon: Do Not Entry’ without first looking at Lucio Fulci’s infamous The Beyond aka ‘E tu vivrai nel terrore – L’aldilà’ or ‘Seven Doors Of Death’. Certainly many consider this to be his finest work, however my own personal tastes have always favoured his excellent Giallo contributions… particularly Lizard In A Woman’s Skin and Don’t Torture A Duckling. It’s certainly my favourite of his supernatural films, and definitely the superior of the unofficial Gates Of Hell triology (along with the earlier City Of The Living Dead & House By The Cemetery). I’m also a huge fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and there’s more than a subtle Lovecraftian influence in The Beyond. Not least the fact that it features the book of Eibon, which appeared in several Lovecraft stories.The Beyond (1981) - Lucio Fulci - Film Poster

The film was originally to be a haunted house story, focusing on a woman who has moved into a hotel that was built upon one of the seven gates of hell. Fulci is often criticised that his films don’t really make much sense, and that they skip around from one violent shocking scene to another. As a result, critics are often quick to label his films as badly edited and dubiously plotted. If these critics were to look a little deeper they would see the one of Fulci’s all time greatest influences is the playwright Antonin Artaud, a prominent advocate of Surealism. The plays of Artaud were not primarily concerned with linear plots, and concentrated more on "cruel imagary & symbolism" that would shock his audiences into action. This is what Fulci originally wanted to achieve with The Beyond. It was to be a number of shocking scenes around the hotel with little to link it together.

However, Fulci’s plans were scuppered by the German distributor of his films, who wanted him to continue the zombie craze that was still sweeping the cinemas. So Fulci rewrote his film and added in a hospital, in which he wrote many more scenes of action, shootouts, and zombie attack!

 The Beyond (1981) Lucio Fulci - Title

The end result was a genuinely atmospheric, and highly creepy film that really encapsulates the best of Fulci’s zombie’n’gore period. It has all his trademark agonising slow deaths, animal attacks, and of course eyeball mutilation!

 The Beyond (1981) Eyeball Gouge

The film starts off showing us a flashback to Louisiana in 1927. An artist named Schweick is using the book of Eibon to open one of the seven gates of hell in his room at the Seven Doors Hotel. An angry lynch mob storm in and claim him to be Warlock. Schweick claims that he is trying to save them all from hell itself, but the mob want blood! What we see next is a graphic and brutal whipping with chains, crucification to the hotel wall with nails, and eventually covering the poor artist with quicklime to burn off his flesh! Nice people in these lynch mobs.

 The Beyond (1981) - Schweick Zombie

The level of atmosphere that Fulci manages to generate during the runtime of The Beyond is fantastic. The hotel feels like it was lifted directly from the pages of a Lovecraft story, and transported to the 80s. The dark, flooded, and deadly cellar area feels like the stuff of nightmares. The walls drip with the sense of dread and evil that is so crucial to the strengths of this film.

 The Beyond (1981) - Zombies

The Beyond (1981) - Dog Attack

The Beyond (1981) - Zombie Hospital 

It wasn’t just Fulci behind all the elements that make The Beyond such an effective horror film. There was of course the great performances by MacColl and Warbeck (who provide great commentary on the DVD, just before Warbecks untimely death from cancer). They have extremely good chemistry on screen together, and this is illustrated perfectly (if not intentionally) by the brilliant scene in the elevator in the thrilling finale. Warbeck is clearly seen trying to reload his gun by putting the bullets into the barrel… only for MacColl to desperately try to stifle a smile as the elevator door closes!

The Beyond (1981) - Bullets go where?

The Beyond (1981) - Bullets go in the barrel?

The Beyond (1981) - MacColl LOL 

The real maestros at work were behind-the-scenes. Sergio Salvati provided some breathtaking cinematography that took viewers into the hotel, that made them feel the dark evil was ever further encroaching on them. Special effects were courtesy of Gianetto De Rossi, and let’s face it… these are what made the film so infamous. He delivers eye gougings, face meltings, acid burnings, zombie attacks, and those nifty little flesh-eating spiders. He doesn’t hold back on the gore, and even after repeated viewings, they still make you wince!

The Beyond (1981) - Spider Attack 

The Beyond (1981) - Nail Impale 

Not least of all was an absolutely stellar soundtrack by one of my alltime favourites, Fabio Frizzi. Poor Fabio had his score removed from the initial (heavily cut) US release of ‘Seven Doors Of Death’ and ultimately, when it was restored back into the film, fans realised just how cheated they had been. The music is some of the greatest of any horror film, and compliments the extremely visceral nature of the film beautifully. I urge you to hunt down the soundtrack if you don’t already own it!

The Beyond (1981) - DVD CoverBizarrely enough, if it wasn’t for Quentin Tarantino, a guy named Bob, and Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage… we might never have seen The Beyond in all it’s 2 perf Techniscope 2.35:1 widescreen glory, nor heard Fabio Frizzi’s masterful score! Previously the only way to see it uncut in all its original glory was to either have the original film reels, or to have the Japanese laserdisc (or one of the many rough bootleg copies). Sage Stallone and film editor Bob Murawski were big fans of euro cult classics and grindhouse cinema, and set-up the company Grindhouse Releasing. When they sought to re-release The Beyond to US audiences, they didn’t just grab a copy of the heavily cut transfer and port it to laserdisc/DVD. Oh no, they flew to Italy to meet with Fulci and his daughter and not only secured the rights to distribute it, but also the original film negatives. They took these and lovingly restored them in a high definition transfer. Although Grindhouse Releasing have as yet not released their own DVD of the film (they have sold on their restored version to be released by Anchor Bay), they did release the film to the midnight matinee market at cinemas across the United States. Although derided by mainstream critics (they just aren’t meant for these films!), it was met with huge acclaim from horror afficianados Worldwide… largely thanks to the theatrical release being masterminded and promoted by Tarantino and his film company in conjuction with Miramax. The rest, as they say, is history. The film rejuvenated interest in Italian horror and other related genres. Slowly but surely, other Italian classics were given the same loving treatment by other afficianados who set-up similar companies to Grindhouse Releasing (Noshame, Shameless, Severin, Blue Underground, and Shriek Show to name a few). Even now many classics are languishing without a good DVD release.

The Beyond (1981) - In The Beyond 

I’m sure most of you reading this will be very familiar with this film, so I will be preaching to the converted. For those of you who have not yet witnessed the splendidly gory tour-de-force that is The Beyond I urge you to hunt down either the Anchor Bay DVD (even better is the wonderful special edition tin – this has a wealth of postcards with alternate art and great inner notes), or to get the Grindhouse Releasing version (if it ever comes out!).

This next part contains some spoilers, do stop reading here if you have not seen it!  

Many people are left confused by the ending of the film, and there are many weird and wonderful explanations circling. However, I feel it’s best left to Fulci himself to explain it:

"What I wanted to get across with this film was the idea that all life is often really a terrible nightmare and that our only refuge is to remain in this world, but outside time. In the end, the two protagonists’ eyes turn completely white and they find themselves in a desert where there’s no light, no wind, no shade, no nothing. I believe, being Catholic, that they have reached what many people imagine to be the afterworld." – Lucio Fulci, 1993

What we must not forget though is that this is fun Italian cinema, it’s by no means all a master-stroke of genius… but a great blend of the right elements and pure hokum. Not least best illustrated by the other title of this blog: DO NOT ENTRY

The Beyond (1981) - Do Not Entry