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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Chi Sei?" or "Beyond the Door" or "The Devil Within Her")

 

directed by Oliver Hellman and Robert Barrett
Italy/USA 1974

 

Jessica (Juliet Mills), wife of a record producer (Gabriele Lavia) and mother of two foul-mouthed children, is pregnant but senses something strange about the baby brought on by the reappearance in her life of an old lover Dmitri (Richard Johnson) - whose life the devil has promised to extend if he makes sure Jessica delivers her devil spawn. As her behavior goes from bizarre moodswings and foul language to speaking in a male voice along with the requisite head-spinning and telekinetic phenomena, her husband tries to figure out what is happening and Dmitri pretends to share his concern in order to get close to Jessica and the baby.

***

Taking elements from both ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE EXORCIST (although there is possession, there is no exorcism as such), BEYOND THE DOOR is certainly entertaining and intermittently effective but also more than a little incoherent. If the decision of the devil to possess an innocent girl in THE EXORCIST was to make man humanity see itself as ugly and unworthy of salvation, the choice of the devil to impregnate and possess a housewife in BEYOND THE DOOR suggests that he has way too much time on his hands. Nonetheless, the actors approach their roles with conviction; especially Mills even when her bizarre behavior seems more ridiculous and ominous. The commentators suggest that BEYOND THE DOOR was unfairly singled out from the many EXORCIST rip-offs of the time by Warner Bros. (AIP's blaxploitation possession flick ABBY was also subject to a lawsuit and withdrawn from circulation) but the other rip-offs were produced and shot in Italy and Spain and picked up by smaller distributors whereas BEYOND THE DOOR was partially shot in San Francisco, a memorable TV spot, and had its premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 31st, 1975

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Thanks to Eric Cotenas for the DVD review and screen captures!

Box Covers

  

  

Re-issued without the booklet in October, in the US:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:47:23      

UNCUT (EX.): 1:47:42.372

THEATRICAL: 1:38:28.068  

Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.26 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
 

UNCUT (EXPORT):

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,665,488,161 bytes

Feature: 26,249,387,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

THEATRICAL:

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,664,585,675 bytes

Feature: 24,923,493,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.88 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Uncut Blu-ray:

Bitrate Theatrical Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbpss

Subtitles None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Juliet Mills and Lee Christian (4:3; 0:57)
• Audio commentary with director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis and Euro-horror historian Nathaniel Thom
• Audio commentary with Juliet Mills and Scott Spiegel, moderated by Darren Gross & Lee Christian
• BEYOND THE DOOR: 35 YEARS LATER featurette with interviews with Ovidio G. Assonitis, Richard Johnson
• AN ENGLISHMAN IN ITALY: An Interview with Richard Johnson (16:9; 6:55)
• Still Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:14)
• TV Spot (4:3; 0:27)
• CHOKE CANYON trailer (16:9; 2:01)
• THE UNSEEN trailer (16:9; 2:10)
• THE VISITOR trailer (16:9; 3:17; time-coded and unfinished)
• SILENT SCREAM trailer (4:3; 1:14)
• SOLE SURVIVOR trialer (4:3; 1:51)

DVD Release Date: September 16th, 2008
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

UNCUT (EXPORT):

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,665,488,161 bytes

Feature: 26,249,387,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

THEATRICAL:

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,664,585,675 bytes

Feature: 24,923,493,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.88 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

DISC ONE - UNCUT ENGLISH EXPORT VERSION

• Introduction by Juliet Mills and Lee Christian (4:3; 0:57)

• Audio commentary with director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis and Euro-horror historian Nathaniel Thom
• Audio commentary with Juliet Mills and Scott Spiegel, moderated by Darren Gross & Lee Christian

 The Devil and I a newly-filmed interview with director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis (24:29)
Barrett s Hell a newly-filmed
 interview with cinematographer Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli (32:29)
 Beyond the Music a newly-filmed interview with composer Franco Micalizzi (19:41)
 The Devil's Face a newly-filmed interview with camera operator Maurizio Maggi (10:26)
 Motel and Devils a newly-conducted audio interview with actor Gabriele Lavia (12:30)
 Beyond the Door: 35 Years Later - (20:34)
 Richard Johnson: An Englishman in Italy (6:56)
 Alternate Italian Chi Sei? opening titles (4:27)
 Australian Opening and Closing Credits (0:27)
 Alternate Behind the Door VHS opening titles
 Alternate Japanese Diabolica opening and ending sequence (2:39)
 Trailers, TV and Radio Spots
 Image Gallery (9:50)

 

DISC TWO - US THEATRICAL VERSION (LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE)
 Italy Possessed a brand new feature-length documentary on the history of Italian Exorcist rip-offs, including interviews with key filmmakers such as Sergio Martino, Alberto De Martino, Pupi Avati, Marcello Avallone, Ovidio G. Assonitis and many more! (1:28:15)
 'Bargain With the Devil" with actor Gabriele Lavia (10:44)
 Extended Interview with Juliet Mills (13:55)

 Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
 Reversible fold-out poster
 Perfect-bound collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by John Martin and Alessio di Rocco

 

Limited to 3,000 units
 


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 7th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve with book (see below)

Chapters 13 X 2

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (June 2020): Arrow have transferred Ovidio G. Assonitis' Beyond the Door (aka "The Devil Within Her") to Blu-ray. It offers both the UNCUT (Export) version of the film and the shorter theatrical cut - each on their own dual-layered Blu-ray disc. They are "Brand new 2K restorations", and look pretty much identical (see our comparisons below.) The film looks very textured in 1080P and the colors significantly advance on the 2008 Code Red DVD with burnt orange now red and faded pink almost violet. Her demonic green eyes are far more prominent! It's a substantial improvement over SD and while the HD presentation is quite thick, it seems a very solid representation of the film.

NOTE: We have added 59 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Arrow use a linear PCM mono tracks (24-bit) in the original English language for both cuts. It is another advancement in the film's audio effects and score by Franco Micalizzi (Brothers Till We Die, The Tough Ones, The Visitor, and known for some music on Grindhouse releases Planet Terror and Death Proof - as well as Taratino's Django Unchained) sounding a bit deeper while remaining authentically flat. Arrow offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Arrow Blu-rays have duplicated most of the DVD extras with the short introduction by Juliet Mills and Lee Christian, the two audio commentaries (both on the UNCUT Export version Blu-ray) with director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis and Euro-horror historian Nathaniel Thom on one and Juliet Mills and Scott Spiegel on the second, moderated by Darren Gross & Lee Christian. There is also the 20-minute Beyond the Door: 35 Years Later featurette that includes interviews with Ovidio G. Assonitis, Richard Johnson etc. Also the 7-minute Richard Johnson: An Englishman in Italy remains. The DVD also has a trailer and TV Spots where the Blu-ray expand on those.

The big inclusion (it is on the Theatrical Blu-ray) is the new 88-minute documentary Italy Possessed: A Brief History of Exorcist Rip-Offs directed by Eugenio Ercolani and Giuliano Emanuele which includes interviews with Sergio Martino, Alberto de Martino, Ovidio G. Assonitis, Luigi Cozzi, Pupi Avat, Marcello Avallone, Elena Fusco, Stella Carnacina, Silvia Petroni and a few film historians. They discuss Beyond the Door, plus Enter the Devil, The House of Exorcism, Obscene Desire and others of this sub-genre. There are also separate interviews, totaling over 1.5 hours, with Ovidio G. Assonitis, cinematographer Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli, composer Franco Micalizzi, Maurizio Maggi and actor Gabriele Lavia plus on the 'Theatrical' Blu-ray disc a 'previously deleted' extended 14-minute interview with Juliet Mills. Arrow include the alternate Italian Chi Sei? opening titles, Australian opening and closing credits, alternate Japanese Diabolica opening and ending sequence, a handful of Trailers, TV and Radio Spots. The lavish double Blu-ray package also has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach, a reversible fold-out poster and a 60-page perfect-bound collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by John Martin and Alessio di Rocco.

Mammoth double Blu-ray package from Arrow and quite a shocking film for fans of the beautiful Juliet Mills who have never seen Beyond the Door. I was shocked by her nudity in Avanti! (see HERE) and her character's Regan-esque possession in the more appropriate titled "The Devil Within Her", is - typical for the genre - way over the top! I think this is a better film, certainly more entertaining, than it has been given credit for in the past. Fans who like the 'satanic possession' genre should be quite happy with this and the extensive Arrow Blu-ray package is loaded with value. I had a ball... absolutely recommended!

NOTE: We reviewed this two days after it arrived but see it is already out-of-print. I expect a single-disc edition (without booklet) in the near future.

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVD: The 1.85:1 transfer is dual-layered and progressive with an appropriately grainy un-manipulated film-like texture. The mono sound is strong with great bass (which comes through in the demonic sound effects and Franco Micalizzi's tres funky score) although the film apparently had some play-dates with a stereo surround mix and there are lots of opportunities for directional effects with onscreen objects, supernatural entities, and LOUD sound effects but all video and disc releases so far have had the mono track so it is possible that only a limited amount of stereo prints were made. As this is the export version, it features the original "THE DEVIL WITHIN HER" title sequence scored with the theme song "Bargain with the Devil" that was entirely missing from the U.S. prints that dispensed with all of the supporting cast and technical crew other than distributor Montoro, actors Mills and Johnson, and the title superimposed over the opening nightmare sequence (this alternate title sequence has not been included as an extra but the nigtmare prologue is intact). The transfer for DVD has been composited from more than one print as revealed by the BEYOND THE DOOR title optical preceding the closing credits.

Code Red has given this film the maximum respectable treatment with two commentary tracks, the first featuring producer/co-director Ovidio G. Assonitis (who co-directed as Oliver Hellman with his D.P. Roberto D'Ettore Piazzoli as Robert Barrett). The second commentary track features star Juliet Mills along with HOSTEL producer/BEYOND THE DOOR fan Scott Spiegel and film historian Darren Gross (both tracks are moderated by Lee Christian) and it is refreshing to hear a commentary from a respectable actor/actress who enjoys revisiting their exploitation work and does not try to pass it off as a just a paycheck. The commentary is kept lively by the presence of Spiegel, Gross, and Christian who ask Mills questions as well as relate to her and us facts about the cast, crew, and production. As such, there is some overlap between the two tracks (for instance, much is made of Warner Bros. suing the production for copyright infringement - Assonitis settled out of court). BEYOND THE DOOR: 35 YEARS LATER features on-camera interviews with Mills, Assonitis, actor Richard Johnson, and actor Alex Rebar who rewrote the Italian script. Johnson is also featured in the interview AN ENGLISHMAN IN ITALY which touches upon his other work in Italian film. The theatrical trailer and striking US TV spot are also included in scratchy condition along with a still gallery.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC

 

Arrow (UNCUT) - Region FREE - Blu-ray 1

Arrow (THEATRICAL) - Region FREE - Blu-ray 2


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Arrow (UNCUT) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  LEFT

2) Arrow (THEATRICAL) - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

(CLICK TO ENLARGE AND COMPARE)

 

 

Subtitle Sample - Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Covers

  

  

Re-issued without the booklet in October, in the US:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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