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Beyond the Door: Limited Edition 2K Uncut English Export Version (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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Beyond the Door (1974)

The power of Jessica (Juliet Mills) compels yyyyoooooouuuu!!!  

Get those eyes ready for those stylized freeze frames because Jessica is eating banana skins off the sidewalk again, but this time it is in 2K!  That’s right, the pea soup spews fresh again.  It’s time to re-open 1974’s Beyond the Door.  

"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"


 

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 as Warner Bros aimed to shoot it down and lock in whatever was Beyond the DoorArrow Video, for the first time releasing the film uncut, 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. Beyond the Door (1974)

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 Arrow Video thanks to their stunning 2K transfer of the original and uncut English Export Version.

5/5 stars

Beyond the Door (1974)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Beyond the Door: Limited Edition 2K Uncut English Export Version (1974)

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- April 7, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Legendary filmmaker Ovidio G. Assonitis, whose Tentacles and Piranha II sought to cash in on the killer fish craze spawned by Jaws, first hit pay dirt in 1974 with Beyond the Door – a gloriously bonkers riff on The Exorcist featuring Emmy Award-winning actress Juliet Mills and distinguished British actor Richard Johnson.  Newly minted in 2K, Arrow Video has summoned up this wickedly entertaining popcorn spiller in a brand new, extras-packed edition fit for Satan himself!

Video:

Arrow Video presents the newly minted transfer of Beyond the Door with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1.  The 1080p transfer is minted from the original 35mm camera negative in Rome.  The film itself was graded and restored in London.  The results, including scenes that some audiences have never seen before, are stunning. 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.

Audio:

The original uncompressed mono track accompanies this release.  While not dynamic, there is still plenty of power to be heard and felt in this demonic possession.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

While we don’t have a new commentary, we get a TON of supplemental material concerning the movie and its legacy.  Fans lucky enough to scoop up the Limited Edition package also get a reversible poster and a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by John Martin and Alessio di Rocco.  The supplementals are listed below:

DISC ONE – UNCUT ENGLISH EXPORT VERSION  

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the Uncut English Export Version, released as Devil Within Her (108 mins)  
  • High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation  
  • Original uncompressed mono audio  
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing  
  • The Devil and I – a newly-filmed interview with director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis 
  • Barrett’s Hell – a newly-filmed interview with cinematographer Roberto D’Ettorre Piazzoli  
  • Beyond the Music – a newly-filmed interview with composer Franco Micalizzi 
  • The Devil’s Face – a newly-filmed interview with camera operator Maurizio Maggi  
  • Motel and Devils – a newly-conducted audio interview with actor Gabriele Lavia  
  • Alternate Italian Chi Sei? opening titles 
  • Alternate Behind the Door VHS opening titles  
  • Alternate Japanese Diabolica opening and ending sequence  
  • Trailers, TV and Radio Spots  
  • Image Gallery 

DISC TWO – US THEATRICAL VERSION (LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE)

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the US Theatrical Version, released as Beyond the Door (99 mins) 
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation  
  • Original uncompressed mono audio  
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing  
  • Italy Possessed – a brand new feature-length documentary on the history of Italian Exorcist rip-offs, including interviews with key filmmakers such as Sergio Martino, Alberto De Martino, Pupi Avati, Marcello Avallone, Ovidio G. Assonitis and many more!

Blu-ray Rating:

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

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars

Beyond the Door (1974)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
108 mins
Director
: Ovidio G. Assonitis
Writer:
Ovidio G. Assonitis
Cast:
Juliet Mills, Richard Johnson, Gabriele Lavia
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Terror lives 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:
April 7, 2020.
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of San Francisco, Beyond the Door stars Mills as Jessica Barrett, a young mother who starts to develop strange behaviors whilst pregnant with her third child. Before you can say “split pea soup”, Jessica is displaying signs of full-blown demonic possession - complete with projectile vomiting and fully-rotating head! Could it be that she’s carrying the child of the Antichrist himself?

Beyond the Door (1974)

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