The Beyond~ 1981, Lucio Fulci, Italy



The Beyond is the second film in Lucio Fulci’s semi-official “Seven Gates of Hell” Trilogy, which is the very definition of squandered opportunity. SEVEN gates of Hell TRILOGY? Come on, dude. What’s the deal? We still got, like, four more gates of hell out there somewhere.


What kind of person tells us he has seven gates to hell, and then only shares three? Fucked up.

Regardless, The Beyond is often thought of as one of Fulci’s best films, and that’s a reputation that I think is well deserved. This is, indeed, a good movie.

The plot really isn’t that impressive, though. It’s basically just a straight line that connects our protagonist’s introduction, with her eternal damnation. In short, she inherits a hotel (that’s good!) and wouldn’t ya know it, it’s built over one of the Earth’s seven, hidden entrances to Hell (that’s bad).  Immediately everything is really, really horrible, and then she goes to hell forever. A lot of secondary characters die, and that’s the movie.



Just like with Suspiria, the weak plot isn’t really an issue, we didn’t come to The Beyond with high expectations for an engrossing narrative. What makes this film truly great is it’s superb execution. Like many of Fulci’s films, The Beyond is straught up dream like, and in fact, most of this shit just flat out doesn’t make sense at all. Is this a deliberate abuse of your suspension of disbelief, or evidence of incompetence on the part of the director? I tend to believe it’s the former, but either way, Fulci plays it straight, and when you experience the many frustrating lapses in basic logic alongside the film’s near constant air of menace, the end result is a wildly effective movie for those who have the patience to invest in it. The Beyond is scary for reasons that you can’t quite pin point, which seems to be a common goal amongst the Italian horror maestros of yesteryear. Fulci nailed it this time.

Good ol’ Lucio’s eye for cinematography is here in full force as well, this is a film that probably has a lot more love and care put into it’s aesthetic than you may notice if you don’t know what to look for. When Fucli was playing at the top of his game, he put out movies that got more beautiful the longer you picked at them, and that certainly is the case here. It’s also extremely gory, which is great, The Beyond is a full fledged Video Nasty, folks, and understandably so. The main jam here is lingering. Just lingering! This movie likes to find really, really gross shit, and then just rub your face in it for much longer than is required to get the point across. For gorehounds, that makes this movie well worth the cost of admission alone. For fans of Italian splatter cinema, it’s hard to argue against The Beyond as a must see.

Small gripe; People often call The Beyond a zombie film, which I think it ill-advised. Yes, there are zombies in this movie, but there’s also a whole lot of other stuff going on too. Calling this a zombie movie is sorta like saying that E.T. is a movie about bicycles. Even worse, if you’re looking for zombies specifically, this might leave you feeling underwhelmed, as they are most certainly not this film’s primary focus. If it’s the undead you crave, have a gander at this list for recommendations, because The Beyond really isn’t going to get you what you’re looking for.

Additionally, the movie also bares many traits which are very much typical of European productions of the era, but which also tend to turn off mainstream American horror fans, who expect a more accessible Hidden Gateway To Hell experience. Slow pacing, obnoxious English dubbing, and a sometimes aggravatingly negligent narrative, these are all here, and in spades. If you haven’t seen a lot of these films before, then you might have trouble with The Beyond. You need to think of these films like a hot tub; dip your toes in first to test the temperature, and then lower yourself in as your body adjusts to the warmth. If you just dive in, you’re gonna get burned.

Otherwise, The Beyond is absolutely great, and a highlight of Fulci’s epic filmography.


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Ghost Adventures ~ 2004, Zak Bagans, Nik Groff


Most people have probably seen The Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures. Right now there are countless documentary style ghost hunting shows smeared crudely across cable television time-slots, and Ghost Adventures is identical to them all, save for one crucial factor that sets it apart; it’s host; Zak Bagans, the single biggest dumb-ass in the entire world.

D BagansBehold.

Zak Bagans is a big, strong man, he’s not afraid of any ghosts. Don’t believe me?! Well, then, how come he has that ugly, dumb ass T-shirt he bought for 80 dollars? If he’s not a strong, big man then how come his hair is so spikey?!


“What douche bags?!??!”

Yeah, that’s right, Zak Bagans isn’t about to let any ghosts insult his masculinity, and if he perceives one to be doing so, he will overcompensate, hard and fast, and confront that ghost (or big empty room) in the most childish way possible, and then you’ll see. Then everyone will see. “Do you even lift, bro?” He’ll cry out, before retreating into his tanning bed. (Actually, Bagans quotes aren’t normally worded that well.)

But I digress… Let’s get back to point; Perhaps you are aware of the show, but I’d wager that less of you are aware that before Ghost Adventures entered production as a regular TV series, there was a full length Ghost Adventures movie. Ladies and gentlemen, hold onto your asses.

THE PLOT- Ghost Adventures follows intrepid douche bag Zak Bagans and two other humans who can somehow tolerate him on a ghost hunting road trip for the ages; armed with cameras and a staggeringly low combined IQ, these big, brave men will stake out various locales thought to harbor lost souls and fearlessly document their attempts to prove that they aren’t afraid of things, and are totally cool and bad ass.

Here’s the truth; I believe in Ghosts, and I love shit like this, but when these assholes do it, it’s just humiliating. Literally, this is a man who tries to prove himself by physically confronting ghosts… First of all, there are almost definitely no ghosts wherever Zak Bagans is, meaning he is trying to physically challenge a damn hallway. It’s so, so extreme how much of an idiot this guy is. Secondly, if ghosts ARE real, and he DOES find one…. I mean, you guys, it’s okay to run from a confrontation with a ghost. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, Zak, you’re not impressing anyone. It’s a damn ghost. You can’t punch it, and if you did, what in the hell do you expect is going to happen next? No one in the world has ever made such a fool of themselves. What are you going to do the day a snarling phantom from hell lurches out of a corridor and tears your damn throat out? Please, God, PLEASE let that happen to Zak Bagans. PLEASE, let the first, undeniable piece of video evidence be a damn ghoul eviscerating the shit out of Zak Bagans on his own f’ing show. I’ll never ask for anything ever again.

 0Seriously, I would never ask for anything ever again. Give me this one thing… Kill Zak Bagans….

Of course, Douche Bagans aside, the biggest issue with shows like this is that the hosts always present their findings as being invaluable, cut and dry proof of the paranormal, when for all we know, this shit is fake, top to bottom. It just can’t be treated as scientific evidence. It’s too easy to hoax this sort of thing, and Bagans has a clear motive to do so, after all, those spray tans and Crest Whitening Strips aren’t gonna pay for themselves.

So, assuming it’s not faked, what of the findings? Well, they’re fine. Nothing that’s going to change anyone’s mind, and nothing definitive. In the hands of another “team,” this might have even been kind of neat, just a fun little ghost hunting doc. However, no shadowy form at the end of a hallway can pull the focus away from the real star of this show; the dim witted blundering of aforementioned metrosexual simpleton Zak Bagans. The man is just a fucking fool. His narration made me laugh out loud more than once. For me, Ghost Adventures isn’t about ghost hunting, it’s about the clownsmanship of this truly remarkable individual, the Superman of idiots; Zak Bagans. He is legend.

Actually, the film being made early in his ghost hunting career, the Zak Bagans of the Ghost Adventures movie is sort of like Zak Bagans Light. Yeah, he’s the least well spoken person to ever narrate anything, and yes, you can tell by looking at him that he’s just not very smart- but as the years go by his buffoonary becomes much more pronounced and extreme. Regardless, if you’re going into this movie hoping to see a moron on full blast, you won’t be disappointed.

The movie’s problems aren’t limited to Bagans, surprisingly. The craftsmanship is truly bottom of the barrel, with the editing being particularly horrid, but all aspects technical are feeble and sometimes cringe-worthy. It’s also supposed to be a documentary designed to prove the existence of the paranormal, but the movie has no integrity whatsoever. The crew frequently refers to “how they feel” as evidence for paranormal phenomena, and the interviews are a complete disaster. Bagans blatantly baits or leads most of the interviewees into saying what he needs them to say, and most of them seem crazy to begin with.

So, how do we judge this? As a movie? Totaly blows. As an achievement? Totally blows (Though they got a show out of it, so that’s SOMETHING.). As a documentary? Totally blows. As evidence? Laughably inadmissible. F, F, F, F, fails all around. Now; as a hilarious record of the half cocked, cave-man browed, chest poundings of an over-eager dumb ass with a need to prove to himself that he isn’t a whimpering little bitch? Well, on that front, Ghost Adventures is a real slam dunk. I like it, actually- I mean, it sucks ass, but it’s pretty funny. However, it’s not supposed to be funny at all, and if Zak Bagans ever “read” this, he’d probably just skip to the end, so let’s give his movie the grade it deserves, otherwise he’ll get confused and become confrontational.