Thursday, May 19, 2022

Beyond Evil – Troma Films (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1980
Director: Herb Freed
Writers: Paul Ross, Herb Freed, David Baughn
Cast: John Saxon, Lynda Day George, Michael Dante, Mario Milano, Janice Lynde, David Opatoshu

Release Date: June 7th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 95 Minutes 18 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: R
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $19.95

"Architect Larry Andrews and his new wife Barbara travel to a small island off the coast of the Philippines, where they are due to move into a condominium. Barbara is perturbed when Larry's business associate, Del, notifies them the residence is not ready yet, and pays for them to stay in a hotel, and tells Larry she feels Del exploits him. At dinner, Del subsequently reveals to the couple that there was no condominium to begin with, and that he instead arranged for them to live in a large, historic colonial mansion named Casa Fortuna. Del soon explains that the home is supposedly haunted by Alma Martín, the first lady of the home." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 3.5/5

Beyond Evil comes on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 21.6 GB

Feature: 14.6 GB

It appears that Troma Films is using the same 2K master that Vinegar Syndrome used for their 2019 Blu-ray. The result is a similar transfer, albeit a different encode, than about half of the file space that Vinegar Syndrome used for their release.

Audio: 3/5

This release comes with one audio option, Dolby Digital mono English. Though, they didn’t use the DTS-HD mono English track that Vinegar Syndrome used for their 2019. The track that’s been provided for this release sounds clear and balanced.


Extras for this release include an introduction with Lloyd Kaufman (1 minute 38 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a theatrical trailer (2 minutes 2 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), an archival interview with producer David Baughn titled Evil in Paradise (13 minutes 4 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), and an archival interview with director Herb Freed titled Origins of Evil (14 minutes 33 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles).

Others extras include a music video by The Vanilla Milkshakes titled Troma Song, and trailers for Shakespeare's Shitstorm, The Toxic Avenger, Poultrygeist, Class of Nuke 'Em High, Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 2, and Mutant Blast.


Though demonic possession has long been a staple of horror cinema, like any well-established genre staple, it ultimately comes down to how effectively it’s employed. With that being said, Beyond Evil is a classic example of a film with an ambitious premise that gets crushed because of limited resources.

And nowhere is Beyond Evil more let down than when it comes to special effects, which look primitive even by early 1980’s standards. Another area where Beyond Evil comes up short is a predictable, weak narrative that’s lacking tension.

The performances don’t fare much better, and at best they’re serviceable. Beyond Evil’s strongest performance was by Janice Lynde in the role of Alma Martin, a one-hundred-year old who possesses the protagonist's wife. Notable cast members include John Saxon (The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Tenebrae) in the role of an architect named Larry Andrews and Lynda Day George (Day of the Animals, Pieces) in the role of Barbara Andrews.

For a film where just about everything that can go wrong, does. If Beyond Evil has one saving grace, it would be Pino Donaggio’s score.

Beyond Evil gets a strong release from Troma Films that comes with a good audio/video presentation, and it ports over two informative extras from Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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