Hi, Neighbor. It's a beautiful day at the drive-in.
Thank you for joining us. My name is Mister Smith, and I have my dog, Callie, with me. We hope that you'll enjoy these trips to our neighborhood drive-in with us.
In our neighborhood, we cheer for the underdogs: the movies that maybe got forgotten, or looked down upon because they're too far off the beaten track. No matter how cheesy or low-budget, every finished movie is a huge accomplishment of teamwork and commitment. At our drive-in, we believe every movie may not be good, but there's something good in every movie.
We'll start our 13 Movies of Halloween adventure with the completely nauseating "The Beyond" from 1981. "The Beyond" wasn't seen in our neighborhood until 1983, when it showed up heavily edited and with a different title. It wasn't until 1998 that we'd get the current cut of the movie, in large part due to the fandom of Quentin Tarantino. His Rolling Thunder Pictures partnered with Grindhouse Releasing to restore the master print and release it on the midnight movie circuit as The Beyond.
In a half-star review from July 1998 during that midnight movie run, Roger Ebert said "midnight is not late enough" for this movie. In our review, I would submit that you probably aren't watching "The Beyond" or a movie like "The Beyond" for its involving story or compelling performances; you're probably watching "The Beyond" because a friend told you "this movie is really gross and you should check it out."
Guess what, Neighbor? This movie is really gross and you should check it out.
"The Beyond" is not for the faint of stomach. But if you have an interest in Italian gross-out horror (and who doesn't?), this is one of the best entries in the genre.
"The Beyond" tells the old story of a hotel with a plumbing leak that accidentally opens a door into hell in the basement. Don't you hate it when that happens? Pretty soon a river is raging in the basement in an impressive display of production design and practical effects, and supernatural accidents start happening on the grounds, eventually making their way out into the town. Acid spills; dogs attack; spiders also attack in what may be the worst scene ever committed to film. I can't lie to you, Neighbor; I wouldn't allow myself to fast forward, but I did look away from the man-eating spider attack.
Speaking of, if you have a phobia--any phobia--"The Beyond" probably puts it on display. Emetophobia, arachnophobia, cynophobia, ommetaphobia, they're all here. And traumatophobia; especially traumatophobia. The make-up effects really steal the show here.
Callie and I give this trip to the drive-in 4 out of 4 stars. Those gooey, goopy practical effects really are second to none, and the production design contributes not just an unsettling southern gothic feel to the dark, foggy grounds of the old hotel (shooting in a 19th-century house in rural Louisiana doesn't hurt either), but also the boiling river rising in its basement. And there is absolutely zero plot to distract you from these wild, surreal images.
We hope you enjoy this first of thirteen drive-in expeditions with us in the month of October.
Just maybe hold off on the concessions until this one is over.