Review: Beyond The Grave (2011)

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Ben

Review by Annie Riordan

I’ve seen some fucked up, weirdass shit in my life, and while nothing will ever knock Executive Koala out of the number one slot, Beyond The Grave is so close behind it that it’s almost anally invasive.

At first it seems fairly straightforward. In the Brazil of the not too distant future, the zombie apocalypse has come and gone and left only a handful of survivors behind. The most badass of them all is a rather dorky looking cop who drives a mean muscle car through the backroads of the wasteland and whose name is never revealed. Not unlike Shaft, the cop is one badass muthafucka, kicking ass wherever he goes and leaving few behind to tell the tale. He’s not totally without a heart however, as is revealed when he comes across two foraging teenagers and takes them along for the ride.

But if there’s one law of the zombie apocalypse, it’s “don’t get too attached.” Our Unnamed Officer leads a very dangerous life. Not only is he constantly fighting off zombies, he’s also on the trail of a body-hopping demon he calls The Dark Rider. The Dark Rider can be anyone, anywhere at anytime. And, being a demon, it cannot be killed. It can only be sent back through the portal from whence it came. Our officer is determined to pin it down and rid the world of its presence once and for all, even if it means offering up his own body as a vehicle.

The Dark Rider is currently piloting the body of a beautiful cowgirl, and she’s not alone. With a smoking hot Indian boy and a sadistic harmonica player backing up her every move and obeying her every command, she’s hot on Officer’s trail and itching for a confrontation. And vice versa. The ultimate showdown is unavoidable and the end is extremely fucking nigh. Will anyone be left alive after the smoke has cleared?

Zombies, demons, cowboys and indians, samurai swords and muscle cars, this film has fucking everything. It’s impossible to nail it down to one genre as it grimly jumps from one to another without apology. It’s Dawn of the Dead, Stake Land, Fallen, Once Upon A Time in the West and Road Warrior, spliced together with scotch tape and soaked in LSD. Apparently edited by someone with really dirty hands and a chronic case of palsy, the film jumps, crackles and stutters, skipping frames and inducing nausea. That was not a complaint, by the way. The whole thing is so grimy and distorted, it’s like it was rolled around on the sticky floor of a strip club and then dragged behind a truck for a full day before being threaded onto the reels. It’s sordid and nasty and will have you feeling sick long before the gore begins. There’s not an ounce of polish anywhere to be found on this gritty Brazilian gem. It couldn’t be ickier if it pulled itself up out of a shallow grave on a coffee plantation with some coke kingpin’s machete still stuck in its ribcage.

Oh, and that smoking hot Indian boy I mentioned? I think his name is Marcos Guarani. I want him. Badly. Someone fetch him for me. I want to run my tongue up the length of his torso and back again. What’s Spanish for “fuck me now, pretty man?” Someone please translate this and forward it to him. Much grassy-ass.

This film won’t appeal to everyone. For instance, people who like their horror formulaic, predictable as hell and CGI’d to within an inch of its shallow, plasticine life will hate this movie. However, if you’re looking for something sick and insane and nuttier than a hamster on crack, give this a watch. It’s streaming on Netflix as we speak. And believe me – despite the fact that there’s 20+ pages of free horror to watch on Netflix, 97% of it isn’t worth watching. This is one of the very few exceptions. Do it.