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L'Aldilà

The Beyond
E tu vivrai nel terrore - L'Aldilà / Über dem Jenseits / Geisterstadt der Zombies / Seven Doors to Hell

Italy 1981
produced by
Fabrizio De Angelis for Fulvia Film
directed by Lucio Fulci
starring Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Sarah Keller (= Cinzia Monreale), Veronica Lazar, Anthony Saint John (= Antoine Domingo), Al Cliver, Giovanni de Nava, Michele Mirabella, Giampaolo Saccarola, Maria Pia Marsala
written by Dardano Sacchetti, Giorgio Mariuzzo, Lucio Fulci, cinematography by Sergio Salvati, special effects by Giannetto De Rossi

Lucio Fulci's Gothic Trilogy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When Lisa (Catriona MacColl) starts renovating a hotel somewhere in Louisiana, little does she know that 54 years ago, Zweig (Antoine domingo), a Black Magician & painter lived in one of its rooms & had a jolly good time massacering all the other guests before a lynchmob would cruzify him & wall him in. & as if that wasn't enough, the hotel is also built on one of the 7 gates to hell, & only the Book Eibon could ward off the worst (or so I understood it), but nobody knows where the Book Eibon is.

However, when plumber Joe comes by to do some plumbing & does tear down a wall in the cellar, he unleashes all the evils of hell upon the village, for soon, in the mortuary of the local hospital, the dead start to walk again.

Lisa however receives help from 2 unlikely sources - Emily (Cinzia Monreale) a blind girl who has some knowledge of the sinister & extrasensory perception, and doc MacCabe (Davuid Warbeck), the typical cynic who does not believe a word of what Lisa tells himm - despite the fact that in his hospital the dead walk & kill the living.

However, Emily is soon revealed  to be a hellspawn who escaped from hell to warn the living, & she is about to be dragged back to hell by some friendly neighbourhood zombies, when her seeing eye dog valiantly defends her - until he, too, is turend into a zombie & the tables are turned on Emily. Meanwhile though, ever skeptical MacCabe has researched Emily's background & found the Book Eibon, & when he returns to Lisa's hotel, it is with the knowledge of how to ward off evil.

MacCabe does not do the best of jobs though, as his idea of getting Lisa to safety is to take her to the hospital, where - as mentioned above - the zombies ave their fieldday. And soon, while MacCabe is busy shooting down zombies, reality starts to disintegrate, as one door inside the hospital leads to the hotel's cellar (which is actually miles away) & thus to one of the gates of hell.

& in their further escape, Lisa & MacCabe eventually end up in a barren wasteland, the land of the dead, & have become hell's latest denizens ...

 


Flix.com

As my synopsis might suggest, L'Aldila makes little sense on a pure rational level, ever so often are things like narrative logic let alone character development or simply any form of (pseudo-)realism thrown out of the window, just to shock the audience with ever more gruesome images of horror, guts & gore.

In the case of this movie however, this concept actually does work, as it leads the audience into a nightmarish world with a logic all of its own, making the onscreen goings-on all the more frightening by their lack of reason. Definitely among director Lucio Fulci's best.

Second part of Fulci's so-called Gothic Trilogy, the other 2 movies - Paura Nella Citta dei Morti Viventi & Quella Villa accanto al Cimitero, both also starring Catriona MacColl - work pretty much along he same lines.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD