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Beyond the Door (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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Beyond the Door (1974) - Blu-ray Review

5 beersBecause the power of Juliet Mills compels yyyyoooooouuuu!!!

The pea soup as vomit spews again in 1974’s Beyond the Door.  Written and directed by Ovidio Assonitis and Robert Barrett, the horror flick about a pregnant woman is an obvious Rosemary’s Baby knockoff, but manages to plow through those similarities with a bizarre sense of self-confidence that renders this one as 110% gonzo.  Any similarities to that other demonic possession flick, The Exorcist, be damned. 

Even the initial reactions were orchestrated as Assonitis was famous for his showmanship style and paid actors to sit in the theater seats and fake heart attacks in response to the movie as an actress’ head rotates round from a face down sleeping position.  Of course, the knowledge of the stunts didn't come out until after the movie opened, but it worked at the time to build up an audience hungry for the supernatural thrills housed Beyond the Door

Ultimately, Beyond the Door (also known as The Devil Within Her) was a worldwide hit (everywhere but here in the United States), opening here at Mann’s Chinese Theatre to poor reviews.  Code Red, for the first time, presents Beyond the Door on blu-ray for even the most basic of horror fans to enjoy.

While completely off its rocker when it comes to the portrayal of children and the shit they say, this horror film nails the spooktacular with a demonic possession that sees actress Juliet Mills floating off the ground as she leaves her bedroom and spitting up (and. GROSS, even swallowing) what appears to be the sticky residue of the leftovers from when a frog crosses paths with a blender. 

Mills plays Jessica Barrett.  She’s had better days as a wife and a mother of two brats and, as we are soon to find out, she is currently under some ancient and arcane influence.  She’s pregnant once again and her baby – thanks to her former Satan-worshipping boyfriend, Dimitri (Richard Johnson) – is promised to the devil so that Dimitri might break free from the curse he’s brought upon himself.  It’s a slow burn of a descent as her husband, Robert (Gabriele Lavia), a funk and soul record producer, learns the hard way about the devil’s taste in tunes. 

And right now, Satan wants to rock out with his horns out deep inside Jessica’s belly.

Beyond the Door is a weird one.  It truly is.  Complete with wonky special effects and freeze frame edits, the movie manages to connect the opening death of one character with one woman’s womb.  The evil Dimitri has lost his pact with the devil and must pay the ultimate price.  However, thanks to the possession of Jessica, he has a chance to satisfy the devil’s wish and live again, free of the curse.  But first he must plunge his hands into Jessica and pull out the baby. 

Could you do it?  Would you?  Regardless, the child must be born!  Glowing eyes and all!  Beyond the Door is currently available from Code Red.

Beyond the Door (1974) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
99 mins
Director
: Ovidio G. Assonitis
Writer:
Ovidio G. Assonitis; Antonio Troiso; Robert Barrett
Cast:
Juliet Mills, Richard Johnson, Gabriele Lavia
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Evil grows Beyond the Door!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I have used you, like everyone else, for my amusement, EVEN THIS INFANT!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Film Ventures International
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 31, 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 30, 2017
Synopsis: Jessica, wife of a record producer and mother of two foul-mouthed children, is pregnant but senses something strange about the baby brought on by the reappearance in her life of an old lover Dmitri (Richard Johnson) - whose life the devil has promised to extend if he makes sure Jessica delivers her devil spawn.

Beyond the Door (1974) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Code Red DVD
Available on Blu-ray
- March 30, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: Dolby Digital Mono
Discs: Slipcover in original pressing; Reversible cover
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Code Red presents the newly minted transfer of Beyond the Door with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1.  The 1080p transfer is minted from a new 2016 HD master from the original camera negative.  Details are fine and shockingly crisp.  Colors pop and shadows are bold.  Nicely saturated, there are no dents in its shiny armor.  Overall this a strong Hi-Def transfer that should look even better on Blu-ray. This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio mixes are also in great shape as dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. Also the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Moderated by Darren Gross, Lee Christian and screenwriter Scott Spiegel, the commentary with actress Juliet Mills is a good one.  She’s all in on the film and never bats an eye at their questions.  A second commentary features director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis is also included.

Special Features:

The supplemental items include Assonitis and Mills interviewed on-camera, an interview with Richard Johnson, and an interview with actor Gabriele Lavia (conducted by Assonitis himself).  Also attached is a trailer and a TV Spot.  Of special interest is the sleeve art.  It is reversible, with the American version on the second side.

  • Beyond the Door: 35 Years Later (20 min)
  • An Englishman In Italy (7 min)
  • Bargain With the Devil (11 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot

Beyond the Door (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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