Monsoon-A-Day ‘Beyond the Darkness’ (1979)

Welcome to Monsoon-a-day.
Where I watch and review a movie a day. Or whenever I fucking feel like it.

Day 60



In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche attacks and rejects the modern philosophical teachings of the day and creates his own philosophy that accepts the good and bad without glorifying one or condemning the other. They’re both two sides of the same coin. It rejects modern mortality and moves past simple concepts of “good or evil.”

Or something close to that. Look, I was either absent or high* during philosophy, so I don’t remember shit.

The main character of Beyond the Darkness must have taken the same course I did because he has a wildly different interpretation of the quote. His involves love and how anything done in love is “beyond good and evil.” It feels as though he believes in love so much, that that justifies everything he does in this film. It would be extremely romantic if the means didn’t involve murder and the ends didn’t end with corpse fucking.

From the cinematic auteur that brought you such films as Cop Suckers, Paprika Whore and Porno Holocaust, Joe D’Amato is the definition of sleaze. He directed almost 200 films all of which involve naked women, the killing of naked women or the killings of people who should’ve been naked women. He has a consistent theme. The easiest way to describe his filmograpy is to picture a big block of Velveeta cheese slowly melting into a gross sewer inhabited by aids rats.

It’s cheesy, it’s gross and it’ll probably give you aids. Joe D’Amato’s films are so bad, they might give you aids. It’s not defamation if it’s true. Or if you’re dead.

I guess by virtue of the fact that it’s technically watchable, Beyond the Darkness is his “best” film. But in no world is Beyond the Darkness a good film. The bar is set so low, that a participation award ends up becoming a gold medal.

Emotionally devastated and grief struck after the sudden death of his wife, Frank immediately decides that a cold one is the only solution to his problem. But I ain’t talking about Frank becoming a sudden alcoholic. This ain’t no boring ass melodrama you’d find on Lifetime. Based on context clues, you’ve probably figured out that a “cold one” is my attempt to sugar coat the fact that Frank is going to steal his wife’s corpse.

The corpse theft isn’t even in the top five most disturbing things you’ll see in this film. After he steals his wife’s corpse, he begrudgingly picks up a hitchhiker and takes her back to his place. He leaves her passed out (she smoked some pot or as you kids would say “she 420’d that Mary Skunk hard, yo.”) In his truck and carries his dead wife’s corpse into the house and quickly gets to work. He uses his skills as a professional taxidermist to remove all of the internal organs and blood and replaces it with formaldehyde.

As he’s putting the finishing touches on his new fangled sex puppet (Oh, I apologize. That was kind of jumping ahead but now you know. Corpse fucking), the hitchhiker walks in and catches him and he kills her by strangulation.

Cut to the next day and we’re introduced to his housekeeper and this is where D’Amato drops the ball. It’s not like he’s handling it like Jordan up to this point but from frame one, we know that the housekeeper killed Frank’s wife with black magic, so we automatically know she’s evil. It would’ve been a bigger reveal to show her, create tension in the possibility of her finding the corpse but then flipping the audiences expectations by having her nonplussed about it.

But I didn’t direct Cop Suckers, so what do I know.

This is where all of the elements come together. Frank loves his dead wife, the housekeeper loves Frank, the dead wife is dead. That’s a recipe for a tasty fucking pasta, I’ll tell you what. But D’Amato, being the goddamn genius that he is, doesn’t create any suspense or conflict with any part of this equation. The housekeeper doesn’t give a shit about the corpse and actually helps him dispose of some bodies, Frank loves his dead wife but is still a pussy hound and tries to fuck everything that moves and the dead wife is just lifeless. It’s a stiff performance. I actually googled dead people and necrophilia jokes for this review. So, not only did D’Amato waste my goddamn time with this piece of shit film but because of him, I’m probably on some watch list. Thanks D’Amato.

As outrageous as it is, I kind of wish it was more outrageous and it already involves necrophilia, implied cannibalism, copious amounts of nudity and tons of blood but it’s so dull, that none of it registers. It’s like watching your uncle try and pick up women with dead baby jokes. It’s skin crawlingly cringe worthy but it’s not outrageous.

That’s the most controversial scene in the film. Where he’s about to lay a chick next to his dead wife. She sees the corpse and Frank bites her throat and kills her. There, I just saved you 90 minutes.

Oh and the film ends with a jump scare involving the dead wife leaping at the camera and at that moment, I wished it was the corpse of D’Amato, So that I could punch him right in the goddamn stomach.

*That’s not true. I wasn’t high because I never took philosophy because school is for fools. Drop out of school and you can be like me, watching garbage movies and looking up corpse sex jokes on the internet. I’m the coolest.