Beyond the Door (1974 film)
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|Beyond the Door|
Theatrical release poster
|Written by||Ovidio G. Assonitis|
|Music by||Franco Micalizzi|
|Distributed by||Film Ventures International|
|Box office||$15 million|
Beyond the Door (Italian: Chi sei?, lit. "Who are you?") is a 1974 Italian-American horror film co-directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis (credited as Oliver Hellman) and Robert Barrett. The film stars Juliet Mills and Richard Johnson, and was released in the UK in a re-edited format as Devil Within Her.
Jessica Barrett is a young mother in San Francisco. Her family and friends begin to notice odd behavior around the time she falls pregnant with her third child. As the strangeness intensifies, Jessica begins to display signs of demonic possession including spinning her head all the way around and projectile vomiting.
Dimitri, a lover from her past, shows up claiming to be able to help her, but it turns out he is in league with the entity possessing her, and is aiding the birth of her child, assumed to be the Antichrist, in exchange for the thing saving him from dying in a car crash years before. The film ends with the entity turning on Dimitri, and suggesting all events were done for its own amusement. The entity then kills Dimitri, leaves Jessica's body, and the child is stillborn. At the end of the movie Jessica's young son is seen throwing a toy red car (a symbol of toying with Dimitri) in the bay suggesting that he is the Antichrist.
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The interior shots were filmed on set in Italy at the Incir De Paolis Studios in Rome, while all exteriors were shot on location in San Francisco. Film Ventures International acquired the film for distribution in the United States for $100,000.
Detailing a woman possessed by a demon, Beyond The Door was labeled a rip-off of The Exorcist. Warner Bros. promptly filed a lawsuit, claiming copyright infringement. The lawsuit was ultimately settled in the favor of Warner Bros. with the studio receiving a cash settlement from A-Erre Cinematografica s.r.l. and a portion of the film's future revenue.
- Juliet Mills as Jessica Barrett
- Gabriele Lavia as Robert Barrett
- Richard Johnson as Dimitri
- Nino Segurini as Dr. George Staton
- Elizabeth Turner as Barbara Staton (as Elisabeth Turner)
- Barbara Fiorini as Gail Barrett
- Carla Mancini as Mrs. Francis
- David Colin Jr. as Ken Barrett
- Jonathan T. Tran. as Dr. Tran
- Edward L. Montoro as The Devil (voice)
The score was composed by Franco Micalizzi. The score is unusual for a horror film and at times seems to be referencing funk and disco music that may have been popular at the time. The full soundtrack has been released on vinyl, CD, and more recently on iTunes. The track list is as follows:
- "Bargain With The Devil"
- "Jessica's Theme"
- "Dimitry's Theme"
- "Robert's Theme"
- "Jessica's Theme"
- "Family's Theme"
- "Bargain With The Devil" (orchestra)
- "Flute Sequence"
- "Dimitry's Theme" (slow version)
- "Family's Theme" (slow version)
The film is known under many different titles throughout the world. The real reason is unknown, but it may have been due to the lawsuit by Warner Bros. Known as Chi Sei? in its original Italian form, literally translated, the title should be Who Are You? or simply Who?. Upon its U.S release it was renamed Beyond The Door, and Behind The Door for its Australian release. The Japanese title is Diabolica, Brazilian is Espírito Maligno (Malignant Spirit), Spanish is Poder Maléfico (Evil Power), Greek is To Sperma Tou Antichristou (Sperm of the Antichrist), Finnish is Yhteys Tuonpuoleiseen (Liaison of Death). The only international title to stay close to the original is the German one; Wer bist Du?, translated literally meaning Who Are You?
The presentation under the title Devil Within Her (the most common version of the film found in the U.K., as well as some VHS releases of the Australian version) features almost 15 minutes of footage that was often not shown in other versions. This includes a longer opening credits sequence including the full song "Bargain With The Devil", a scene were Jessica meets Dimitri in the ritual grounds and a scene showing Jessica with Robert and her children shopping in San Francisco and seeing Dimitri. Confusingly I Don't Want to Be Born (1975), which concerned a possessed baby, was released in the U.S the following year under the similar title The Devil Within Her.
The film was never followed by an official sequel. To cash in on the success of Beyond The Door in the U.S., Mario Bava's Italian horror film Shock was marketed under the title Beyond The Door II in the U.S in 1979. Truthfully the film had no ties or connections to Beyond The Door aside from sharing one actor, David Colin Jr., who plays a completely different character in each film.
Beyond the Door III was released in 1989. Directed by Jeff Kwitny and shot in Serbia, the film, again, had no ties to either of the previous two, though it does have Ovidio G. Assonitis credited as a producer. It is also known as Death Train and Amok Train although the original working title was simply The Train.[better source needed]
In 2007, Code Red DVD announced they had acquired the rights to Beyond The Door. The DVD was released on September 16, 2008 and contains the following special features:
- 16×9 (1:1.85) widescreen presentation from original vault elements
- Audio commentary with Director Ovidio G. Assonitis
- On camera interview with Star Richard Johnson
- On camera interview with writer Alex Rebar and star Juliet Mills
- Second audio commentary with star Juliet Mills
- Original trailer
In 2017, Code Red released the film on Blu-ray with many of the DVD extras carried over onto this release.