01 May 2015

BEYOND THE GRAVE/PORTOS DOS MORTOS/2010

I have been meaning to get around to saying something about this interesting film from Brazil for a long time, but I am just not an enthusiastic blogger these days. But I am trying my best. I want to first thank producer Isidoro B. Guggiana for trying so hard to get me a screener of Beyond the Grave for me to try out. The guy sent me two DVDs and one was lost here in China and the other was returned to him. The mail system here is a joke and I am frustrated over never getting important papers from the IRS I need. Well, lets not get off onto a China tirade right now. He finally got me an online screener version though a hard copy of the movie would have been great.  I have been offered a couple screeners but after the people promoting the movies found out I was in China they gave up and never sent it to me because of the high postage rates and my warnings to them that stuff vanishes here in the mail. But Isidoro came through and this is my first ever screener review here at The Uranium Café.

Beyond the Grave is written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro and while it does not on the one offer anything totally new (what can anymore) it actually takes a few motifs from horror and action films and tires into a strange little bundle that might described as a “spaghetti zombie” film. And while there are zombies in the film I would not really say the movie was focused on zombies and zombie killings. The story is more of an occult or Satanic type drama than a “shoot ‘em in the head” zombie thriller. The story is set in the near future and the world is in a shambles for reasons I never quite understood. I am not certain if it is due to something nuclear, chemical/biological or even other-wordly. Riding through the back roads of Brazil in a sleek looking black Ford Maverick is the vigilante hero we only get to know as The Officer. He is searching someone or something known only as the Dark Rider. The Dark Rider is able to inhabit the bodies of people and is released upon death of the person to go into a new body. Actually, I am never clear on who the Dark Rider is but it does not matter. The element of uncertainty does not detract from the story. He hooks up with and befriends as best he can a couple of wandering teenagers. Together they team up with a trio of survivors in what seems to be an abandoned school and united they seek to face and destroy the Dark Rider. While the story does not center on the zombies (or “Returners”) they are an issue and contribute to death and tension when one least expects it.

The film is directed and shot well enough and the music score works with what is happening on the screen. It has an old school Italian horror movie feel to it and the version I saw was subtitled from (I assume) Portuguese into English. I am certain the references to old Westerns and even Samurai films are intentional homage’s. In fact, really, the film seems to be more of a modern Western and even crime film than a horror movie most of the time. But make no mistake, there are monsters and evil spirits enough to make this one creepy enough for the underground horror crowd. Do not know how easy or difficult this may be to find in the States but if you can find it give it a viewing. I am including the official Lockheart Films trailer to give you a sense of what it is about.






BEYOND THE GRAVE TRAILER

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