In the wake of Death Waltz’s Italian horror soundtrack re-release surplus, mainstay composers of the 70’s have risen to please the enormous, but under-spoken, fan-base with touring live performances of classic scores. First it was Claudio Simonetti (Goblin) touring with live scores of Dawn of the Dead and Suspiria, but Fabio Frizzi soon followed touring a collection of tracks from Lucio Fulci films under the moniker “The Frizzi 2 Fulci Band.”
Now we’ve been bestowed with one of the greatest achievements in Italian horror, Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond (or as the Italian title translates: …And You Will Live in Terror), touring with Frizzi’s band scoring it live, labeled as “The Composer’s Cut.”
The film follows Liza (Catriona MacColl) as she inherits a hotel in Louisiana. She meets
Emily (Cinzia Monreale), a blind woman who warns Liza of the gate to hell hidden in the hotel. After the first of many, many deaths, Doctor John McCabe (David Warbeck) enters the picture, accompanying Liza on her journey. Often considered Fulci’s masterpiece, The Beyond caps his Gates of Hell Trilogy (the former two films being City of the Living Dead and The House By the Cemetery), all grounded in an eternally-fall world of dream logic and Lovecraft-based mythology.
It functions like a nightmare. Throughout this version of the movie, I was trying to pinpoint whether or not Frizzi cut scenes of exposition out or if there wasn’t much to begin with. While there’s enough to satisfy the story, after the first fifteen-to-twenty-minutes we’re sent full speed on a trip of mysterious doorways leading to entirely different and unfamiliar location, face-eating spiders, hot cement on a crucified man (after going to town on him with a mace), and much more culminating in the eye of hell itself. I cannot do The Beyond justice with only a few paragraphs.
Prior to the screening, the theater coordinator told us Frizzi would provide an explanation of what a composer’s cut is. Frizzi did not provide that information, but instead played a full set of Fulci-based songs: ranging from The Psychic soundtrack, to City of the Living Dead and Zombie, to acoustic versions of songs from The Beyond, as well as bluegrass/country songs dedicated to the memory of Fulci himself.
The composers cut is actually just an expanded soundtrack. Every addition Frizzi and his band made heightened the experience more than I could have imagined. As boats head toward the hotel with the intent to crucify the “warlock” who opened the gate to begin with, the synthesizer kicked in with something we’ve never heard before. Frizzi’s soundtrack is already prone to give chills, but this was something completely different—and throughout the film it builds until the crescendo is more extravagant than imaginable and keeps going until the credits finish rolling.
I can only hope we receive a release of the Frizzi 2 Fulci expansion. It’s certainly a “I didn’t know I wanted this until I knew it existed” situation, adding more to something already seemingly flawless—until then the standard version does more than suffice.