This is the first time I have watched this particular film, and like many of the horror films of the late 70's and early 80's it has gone by a few names. The first time I saw a release for it, it was called Buio Omega, then I saw it as Beyond the Darkness, I have also heard of it being called Buried Alive (although that title doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.
The film opens with an old woman sticking pins into a voodoo doll while a severe looking woman with a rather plasticine looking face watches. The scene shifts to a hotel room where a young woman is dying. Cut to a rather expansive home where we learn that the severe woman at the start is a housekeeper and the man of the house, 22-year old Frank is the boyfriend of the girl at the hospital. He rushes to her side, she says she wants to make love before she dies. The camera pans away as the two presumably make that happen and she is dead.
You would think Frank would be a little torn up about this, but oh no. At the funeral home he injects her body with some sort of fluid and the next day he is digging up her corpse. Turns out his hobby is taxidermy. He takes her home, graphically guts her, stuffs her and puts him in the bed next to his. Meanwhile, the housekeeper, Iris, has designs on young Frank in a sexual fashion, which he generally seems all right with. Anyway, he starts bringing girls home, killing them and disposing them with the help of Iris. It certainly is a strange dynamic.
Anyway, we all know that this sort of thing cannot continue and something is going to happen. That something would be the guy who was paid at the start to watch her grave. he starts poking around just as it all falls apart.
Joe D'Amato shot this film with no qualms of showing gruesomeness. He gets right in there with the blood and guts and the cinematography is cold and ugly (whether on purpose, or result of a low budget, I do not know, but it works). There is also some controversy about the use of actual corpses in the production. It does look like the gutting scene may have been cut with some actual autopsy footage. Apparently D'Amato denied the allegations, although seeing the incinerator scene makes me believe otherwise. If you watch the movie, pay attention to ho the body acts when being burned, it certainly looks like what would happen with a real body. It certainly isn't you normal burning mannequin.
Whatever the case may be, this is a twisted little movie. Not nearly as messed up as some I have seen. Still, there is no denying that there is some sick stuff going on here. These relationships are just not natural and we are never given any breathing room. They are always there, ready to infect your brain with their perversions. This is grimy horror to be sure and one that is a winner for gore fans. It is not the best of the crazy Italian films, but it has that look and feel to it.