After an evening with horror master Mario Bava, Freak-Out Friday presents a double-feature tribute to Lucio Fulci, another acclaimed craftsman of 1970’s Italian genre cinema. On the programme, two films from the highpoint of Fulci’s career, a period which sealed his reputation as a genre master, alongside Bava and Argento.
The Beyond – L’Aldila
Louisiana in the 1920s: Schweik, an artist, has finished his painting depicting Hell. The people in the small town where he lives believe that he practices witchcraft. They turn into a lynch mob and burn him with lye in a hotel room before killing him. When Liza inherits the hotel nearly a half-century later, strange, horrifying phenomena begin to occur as she undertakes its renovation. A young blind woman, Emily, recounts the hotel’s tragic history, and Liza begins to understand. The happenings persist, leading Emily to believe that the room where Schweik was tormented and killed is one of the Seven Gates to Hell, with none other than Schweik as its gatekeeper.
The Beyond is unquestionably a masterpiece and a horror film which has become a genre landmark, for both its references and the influence it continues to exert today. It’s impossible not to recall Bunuel’s An Andalusian Dog (Un Chien Andalou) when watching it, and Fulci’s masterfully filmed eye extirpation scene is still an ongoing reference. His surrealist oneirism and nods to literary giants of horror, such as Poe and Lovecraft, have made it a timeless genre classic, to watch and be watched again.
Version: in Italian, subtitled in English
Director: Lucio Fulci
Producer: Fabrizio De Angelis
Scenario: Lucio Fulci & Giorgio Mariuzzo
Cinematography: Sergio Salvati
Editing: Vincenzo Tomassi
Music: Fabio Frizzi
Actors: Catriona McCall, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale…