Beyond The Door

by Ken Tasho

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday April 6, 2020

With a film that rips off "The Exorcist," "Rosemary's Baby," and "The Omen," one would guess that the final result would be a nonstop scare-fest. Arrow Video unearths another obscure title in the form of "Beyond the Door," a nonsensical exploitation flick filmed in both San Francisco and Italy. Terrible English dubbing for the Italian actors and a screenplay that goes around in circles combine for a sluggish film with more unintentional laughs than scares.

Director Ovidio Assonitis made his first feature film with "Beyond the Door," also known as "The Devil Within Her," and both versions of his film are included in Arrow's 2-disc Blu-ray set. Assonitis later became known as the Italian rip-off king, helming both "Tentacles" and "Piranha II," which were essentially "Jaws" remakes.

Released in 1974 (a mere year after "The Exorcist"), "Beyond the Door" opens much like "Rosemary's Baby" does, with an impregnation scene by the devil and a fully frontal nude actress. That actress is Juliet Mills, who rises above the silly material to give a tour-de-force performance as Jessica. The carefree woman becomes pregnant for the third time and doesn't seem too thrilled with the idea. It isn't long before poor Jessica is spitting up blood, searching for food scraps on the streets of San Francisco, and lashing out at her husband and two precocious children.

Someone from Jessica's past starts following her, trying to save her from the devil inside, but as Jessica's head spins completely around and starts speaking in a growl and devilish tone, the audience gets reminded of what a superior film "The Exorcist" really is.

It wouldn't be an Arrow Video Blu-ray release without a slew of bonus material. Actress Juliet Mills appears in many of them, both in vintage documentaries and brand new ones. It's obvious that Mills doesn't give a damn about the film's bad reputation.

Director Ovidio Assonitis does a few interview segments too, and doesn't shy away from the fact that Warner Bros. sued the filmmakers of "Beyond the Door" for copyright infringement. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, indeed.

"Beyond the Door"

Ken Tasho is a Corporate Drone by day and Edge Contributor by night. He has a love for all things '80's and resides in the Wayland Square area of Providence, RI...but would much rather be sharing an apartment in NYC with '80's rock goddesses Pat Benatar and Deborah Harry.