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E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà , known in English as The Beyond or Seven Doors of Death is a 1981 surrealist exploitation horror film directed by Lucio Fulci, loosely based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.
Set in Louisiana, the film opens in 1927 with a painter named Schweick painting a vision of Hell in the basement of the Seven Doors Hotel when a lynch mob breaks in and murders him with quicklime, believing him to be a warlock. Shifting to the "present day", a young woman from New York named Liza Merril (Catriona Maccoll) has inhereted the hotel and is renovating it. The activities of the contractors open the Gate of Hell the hotel is built over. Mysterious deaths and incidents ensue, with Liza and a local doctor encountering a mysterious blind girl who wants them to leave the hotel, a mystic tome called the Book of Eibon that supposedly contains the answers to the nightmare at hand, face eating tarantulas, Schweick's ghoul, and eventually the rising dead. It ends with the two passing into the afterlife, which is depicted as a blank gray wasteland littered with corpses.
The film is one of four films by Lucio Fulci involving zombies, and the second film in his unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy (the others being City of the Living Dead and The House by the Cemetery). The plot is quite muddled and incoherent, with little explanation offered for anything at the end. Fulci said himself that he did not intend for it to be coherent; it was merely supposed to be a succession of surrealist images.
Though he originally intended it to be a Haunted House film, executives insisted he add zombies to make it more profitable due to zombie movies being the rage at the time. The film has since became a cult classic for its surrealist imagery, the Gorn that got it on Britain's infamous Video Nasties list, and for its amateurish special effects.
- Adaptation Expansion: The Blackest Heart Media graphic novel, released in 1999 expands upon the backstories of the characters. In particular, Plumber Joe is a child molestor who was also carrying on an affair with Martha. Also, Liza's backstory is explained as well.
- Author Existence Failure: David Warbeck had written a screenplay for a sequel to the film but his death put an end to it ever seeing the light of day. Blackest Heart Media DID buy the rights to make a comic adaptation of the script, but went out of business before production of it began.
- The Big Easy
- Bottomless Magazines: Subverted; knowing that people would question his character shooting what appeared to be unlimited ammo from his gun, David Warbeck stealthily did some improv durning in one scene (in the elevator of the hospital) where he reloads his gun.
- Did Not Do the Research: Because the city is below sea level, houses and buildings in New Orleans don't have basements.
- Downer Ending
- Everything's Deader with Zombies
- Executive Meddling: The film was supposed to be a straight-up surrealistic gore film about a haunted hotel where people die horribly. Fulci's distributors demanded a zombie shoot-out, hence the side trip to the hospital in the third act and the twist that the hotel's vast basement is connected to EVERY major building in town.
- Exploitation Film
- Eye Scream: The film features TWO eye gouging scenes.
- Gainax Ending
- Giant Spider: A bunch of demonic tarantulas appear out of nowhere and proceed to eat an unconscious man's face.
- Hell Gate
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: The film was extremely popular on the Euro-Horror tape trading scene, thanks to fans who ripped the uncut version off of an uber-rare laser disc version of it.
- Lovecraft on Film, actually, Clark Ashton Smith on Film.
- Mind Screw
- No Export for You: The uncut version was widely unavailable in the US for a long time.
- The Nothing After Death: Fulci said the corpse-laden gray wasteland might be how the afterlife would appear to an atheist.
- One Hundred Scariest Movie Moments: Number 60.
- Surreal Horror
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Book of Eibon.
- Trust Me, I'm A Doctor: Said word-for-word by Dr. John McCabe.
- Video Nasty