BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Beyond Evil (1980) - Blu-ray Review

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Beyond Evil (1980)

If you are ever offered a place to live in called Casa Fortuna, just say no.  If you don’t, then the wig wearing witch inside it might just swallow your soul and no amount of voodoo chants can reclaim it back from her laser-shooting ways.  Maybe a faith healer, like Doctor Solomon (David Opatoshu) in this low budget movie, can help.  But who knows?!  Better to just say no and move on down the road.

"It’s only saved by the unintentional humor found in Linda Day George’s performance"


John Saxon should have known better.  Tropical turkeys like Beyond Evil aren’t going to EVER taste good.  It doesn’t matter how they are baked and this movie, about a 100-year-old spirit who possesses his wife and then shoots lasers out of her eyes while killing their friends, is fog machine-soaked proof.  Sometimes a bad movie is EXACTLY what it appears to be.  But, hey, at least we can laugh about it, though!

Directed by Graduation Day’s Herb Freed, Beyond Evil steals from Suspiria, Exorcist, Amityville Horror and just about every other horror film popular during the time of its release.  There’s not an original bone in its body, which is unfortunate when you have the always cool Saxon involved in a horror film.  It’s only saved by the unintentional humor found in Linda Day George’s performance and the solid score from composer Pino Donaggio, whose recognizable strings seem to be found everywhere during this time period.  The soundtrack is catchy as hell.  It’s the movie itself that is one giant miss.

While the movie is saved only by its unintentional humor, Vinegar Syndrome has newly restored this film (in a 2K scan) from 35mm archival film elements and issued it on Blu-ray.  It comes with a special limited edition embossed slipcover, designed by Earl Kessler Jr., and is limited to 2,000 units and is only available through their store at vinegarsyndrome.com. 

Paced in a manner that would make watching paint dry interesting, Beyond Evil – after an interesting opening in which a woman is spotted in the window of a large mansion – settles into a story about a move-in gone wrong when newlyweds Larry (Saxon) and Barbara (George) are offered that mansion to live in while living on the island. Beyond Evil (1980)

Thing is, Casa Fortuna comes with a restless spirit.  They are told the backstory of Alma Martin, who was poisoned by her cheating husband, and are told that help caring for the house might be difficult because the islanders believe the house to be haunted by her vengeful spirit.  But, choosing not to believe such things, they agree to live in the beautiful house.

The ghost doesn’t disappoint.  With loopy green-tinted special effects, the ghost’s activities are made obvious to us, tipping over statues and trying to kill Saxon.  These murderous antics make for a lot of unplanned hilarity, especially when slow-moving cars suddenly burst into flames and, one by one, Larry discovers his friends are dying in weird ways and his wife, not possessed by the ghost, is becoming even weirder . . . she’s BEYOND EVIL!

It's not a great film, Horror Hounds, but it is hilariously awful.

2/5 beers

Beyond Evil (1980)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- September 24, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

While the movie is saved only by its unintentional humor, Vinegar Syndrome has newly restored this film (in a 2K scan) from 35mm archival film elements and issued it on Blu-ray.  It comes with a special limited edition embossed slipcover, designed by Earl Kessler Jr., and is limited to 2,000 units and is only available through their store at vinegarsyndrome.com. 

Video:

The film is dominated with reds and greens that sparks with strong colors.  It’s a cheap film, for sure, but the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  This is, after all, a dark film. There are lots of night scenes; thankfully, the lines hold their edges. Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.

Audio:

Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo soundtrack is included.  The dialogue is clear and the score/effects are never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Vinegar Syndrome gives purchasers of this flick a brand new interview with the film’s director and another brand new interview with producer David Baughn

  • Origins of Evil
  • Evil in Paradise
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

2.5/5 stars

Beyond Evil

MPAA Rating:
Runtime:
94 mins
Director
: Herb Freed
Writer:
Paul Ross, Herb Freed
Cast:
John Saxon, Lynda Day George, Michael Dante
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
200 years ago, Alma Martin died a horrible death. Now she's getting even.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
IFI/Scope III
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 4, 1980
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 24, 2019
Synopsis: Architect Larry Andrews and his glamorous wife, Barbara, have just arrived on a Filipino island where Larry, and his business partner Del, are completing work on a new luxury condominium building. Del reveals that he's found them the perfect island home: a centuries old mansion nestled next to the forest. The only problem is that local legend has it that the mansion is haunted by an evil witch named Alma Martin, who was murdered by her adulterous husband, only to rise from the dead and kill him, along with anyone else who comes near her cursed property. As the Andrews settle in, Barbara begins to sense a strange presence surrounding the house and is slowly possessed by Alma's vengeful spirit, who is determined to use Barbara’s body as vessel for her to re-enter the world and soon demonstrates that she has no concerns over murdering anyone who tries to stop her.

Beyond Evil

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