Beyond the Door III (1989)

Much like the second Beyond the Door — which we’d rather call Shock — this movie has nothing to do with the original Beyond the Door. It comes to us from Jeff Kwitny, who also directed Iced. But what makes this movie sing is that the writing comes from Sheila Goldberg, who wrote the screenplay for Body Count, as well as the dialogue for Stage FrightZombi 5: Killing BirdsGhosthouse and Eleven Days, Eleven Nights Part 2. None of these movies are known for their dialogue or coherence, so that means that I’m going to love every single moment of this film.

What takes it into the stratosphere of mania for me is the producer. Yes, Ovidio G. Assonitis, that magical Egyptian-born Greek man who crafted such wonderous objets d’art such as the original Beyond the DoorTentaclesMadhouse and Piranha II: The Spawning. He also produced movies like Iron WarriorWho Saw Her Die?Forever Emmanuelle and the magical treat that is The Visitor. Somehow and someway, Disney hired him to produce their TV movie Sabrina Goes to Rome. What — Joe D’Amoto was busy?

Shy American college coed Beverly Putnic is on her way to a class trip in Yogoslavia to see an ancient cultural rite (you know, kinda like Midsommar but much more interesting). But she doesn’t realize that she’s due to become a bride of the devil! Blame Professor Andromolek (Bo Svenson!) for that!

This movie is also known as Amok Train, which makes much better sense as a title, because after the students escape the village where they’re all nailed shut in their rooms, they board a possessed train that is driven to kill every single one of them. This train is crazy, it can separate itself into single cars, it can jump the tracks and run over people when they hide in a swamp and it can crash into another train and just keep on going.

So where is the train going?

It turns out that Beverly has been selected as Satan’s bride since she was a baby. Luckily, she’s found an 11th-century monk on the train to take her virginity — I bet he does it in the missionary position — which makes her a non-virgin and unfit for the bride of Satan. Um, wouldn’t Satan want a promiscuous woman for a wife?

Anyways, Marius disappears and gives Beverly a book from her mother. She then returns home, looking much older than when she left. There’s a Carrie shock ending where the devil tries to kill her on the plane, but that’s just a dream.

This is the kind of movie that I love, where little to nothing makes sense, where moms drop you off at the airport and are soon beheaded, where everyone dies horrible and trains have personalities and are given to killing college students. It also looks gorgeous with actual thought and art behind each frame, something lost in the glut of direct to streaming films of today.

Who else but Vinegar Syndrome could put this out on blu ray? You should grab this right away.

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