Director – Herb Freed (Dead Punkz, Graduation Day)
Starring – John Saxon (Black Christmas, A Nightmare on Elm St.), Lynda Day George (Mortuary, Pieces), and Michael Dante (Star Trek: The Original Series, Winterhawk)
Release Date – 1980
Rating – 2/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Tagline – “Even screaming wont help”
With the world on lock down I still have to work. At first I wasn’t too worried about Covid-19 but everyday is marked with a higher concern for my wellbeing and that of my family. I have three little ones at home and I’m worried about a customer dragging the virus into the store and then I carry it home to my little ones. I’ve turned to horror to take my mind off the entire situation which may be a good or bad thing depending on how you slice it. I checked out a few indie productions before turning my sights on a few blu releases that I’ve been sitting on.
The first on the chopping block is the 1980 Troma flick Beyond Evil that was sent my way from Vinegar Syndrome. I own the VHS and DVD release of this film but I never made the time to check it out. Thanks Vin Syn for sending it my way!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows newlyweds as they move into an old mansion with a dark past. As he continues his life as the head of a construction company building condos on an isolated island she finds herself being haunted by the spirit of a murdered sorceress that is using her body as a gateway to the mortal world.**Spoiler Alert**
I mostly never made time for the film because other Troma fans had told me that it was a huge waste of time with Saxon being the only redeemable aspect of the entire film. I love Troma but they do release some duds. I was still optimistic with this one but at the end of the day I was very disappointed. The blu is a stellar release from Vin Syn like always but all this work did go into a rather lackluster film.
The acting in this one is painfully one sided. Saxon delivers an amazing performance but his acting is very inconsistent. In some scenes he gives the role everything he has while others he hams it up big time. The supporting cast is rather dull and boring. They lack personalities and are painfully generic. I just finished the film last night and I couldn’t tell you about any of the others characters because they fade into the background.
The story for this one has an interested take on the possessed/haunted house sub-genres but fails to pull it together. The film lacks any dire tone or sense of urgency. The dude’s wife is possessed but we never get a sense of dread or impending doom from it at all. We just watch the characters handle the situation in an almost nonchalant manner. It almost feels like an episode of Dark Shadows over a horror film.
Finally, if you are looking for blood and gore you will be very disappointed. We do get some very dated visual effects that I actually love but that is it. Overall, Beyond Evil was just a let down to be completely honest. The slip and work put into the release from Vin Syn makes it a must for any collector but this is one release I doubt I will ever toss in again. Sorry, but this is one I cannot recommend unless you need it to complete your Troma or Vin Syn collections.
Region Free Blu-ray/DVD combo
Newly scanned & restored in 2k from 35mm vault elements
“Origins of Evil” – a brand new video interview with director Herb Freed
“Evil in Paradise” – a brand new video interview with producer David Baughn
Original theatrical trailer
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles