The Beyond works because of its balls-out atmosphere. Fulci, like most of his Italian contemporaries would sometimes forego the baser things like, oh I don’t know, a story, logic and a coherent narrative, but that never seemed to matter when he was hitting me with wondrous set pieces, music and gore. And that brings me to the main draw of a Fulci film and the reason he is known as the Godfather Of Gore. Fulci often worked with a man named Giannetto De Rossi. Neither of these two guys were known for their restraint. If make-up effects were fine art – and I happen to believe they are – then ol’ Gio would be the Rembrandt. No one does throat rips as spectacularly as this man does. And again, I can forgive the sometimes clumsy setups – just why are killer tarantulas hanging out in a library? – because the payoffs are so memorable. Although we lost Lucio in 1996, De Rossi still continues to splash around the red stuff, most notably in the modern staple High Tension in ‘03.
I know the word ‘classic’ is thrown around a lot these days, but there is no denying that if you get a bunch of horrorphiles together in a room – at least ones that grew up in that aforementioned VHS era – they will tell you that Lucio Fulci is royalty and all will have a fond memory of the first time they saw The Beyond. For people looking for more Fulci, you should check out his pair of gialli. Don’t Torture A Duckling and A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin are both worth your time and are now thankfully readily available due to excellent DVD reissues.