DIRECTOR: JOE SHERLOCK
WRITER: JOE SHERLOCK
STARS: MADELAINE MORGAN, DALE WILSON, BOB OLIN
1 HOUR 26 MINUTES
REVIEWED BY JEREMIAH
The film’s synopsis states that Beyond the Wall of Fear is comprised of eight different tales featuring “strange experiments, mysterious monsters, Lovecraftian horror, telekinetic bloodletting, and ravenous insanity”, but truth be told, the entire thing is such a mind-bending sleazy schlock fest that it’s hard to tell where one story ends and another begins. It’s a near ninety-minute stream of gooey consciousness and midnight movie induced fever dreams. It’s also very low budget, so if high-shine production values are something you’re after, best you move on now. As for me, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into; this is a Joe Sherlock — Skull Face Astronaut production, so lots of rubber suits, tapioca pudding, cheap thrills, boobs, and late 80’s VHS throwbacks.
It mostly delivers too.
Beyond is the perfect film to watch when you’re kind of looking to space out a bit. Not that it doesn’t require your attention to some degree, the stories found within do feature plot lines coherent enough that you’re mostly able to follow along, but I’d be lying if I said I came for the writing and not the nonsensical moment-to-moment spectacle. It’s easy to get lost in the dreamlike structure of its narrative, but Sherlock throws in just enough in the way of crazy bread crumbs that audiences will be kept trekking along. Your feet will hurt though. Even at it’s reasonable length, Beyond the Wall of Fear was too long. And unfortunately the longer it went, the less effective its qualities became. Compressed to sixty minutes, this would have been perfect.
Even so, I’m happy with the time spent watching this. Here’s a film that scratches a very specific itch, one only a production company of Skullface Astronaut’s sensibilities could reach. If you’re feeling that same tingling sensation, allow them to oblige you.