BEYOND THE DOOR (1974)
Article 3319 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-30-2010
Posting Date: 9-15-2010
Directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis and Robert Barrett
Featuring Juliet Mills, Gabriele Lavia, Richard Johnson
Country: Italy / USA
What it is: EXORCIST ripoff
A pregnant woman is possessed by the devil.
To its credit, this movie does not attempt a completely blatant ripoff of its source inspiration. The basic story line is really quite different; for example, there really isn’t even an exorcist character in the movie. Nor does it appear to slather on layers of sex like some of the other imitations I’ve seen have, but then, one must remember that I’ve watched only the 99 minute US version of the movie and not the one that is ten minutes longer. Instead, our story line takes a bit of plot line from ROSEMARY’S BABY, but throws in a rather different backstory, with the possessed woman once having had a relationship with a Satanist who is now in desperate straits in trying to grab a few extra years of life before being dragged to damnation. Quite frankly, this is a potentially interesting story line. Unfortunately, the movie is just not scary at all, the story line goes out of control into some pretty silly side issues, such as the little boy’s invisible friend and the demonic dolls. And, of course, once the possession is in full swing, the effects do little more than borrow from THE EXORCIST, only with the result being much cheesier and far less effective. It’s a shame that this is perhaps the best known of the ripoffs of THE EXORCIST; it’s probably the worst of the ones I’ve seen. It has two supposed sequels, but they appear to be sequels in name only, and have nothing really in common with this movie.