Beyond the Grave aka Porto Dos Mortos (2010)
Director: Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro
Writer: Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro
Starring: Rafael Tombini, Alvaro Rosa Costa, Ricardo Seffner
I was asked to review the Brazillian post-apocalyptic film “Beyond the Grave” by the one of the producers, Isidoro B. Guggiana. And what a treat! This film further solidifies my opinion that the best horror is indie horror. The movie was a good slow burn which brought to mind Stephen King’s “The Stand” in some ways, with a few scenes reminding this writer of nostalgic grindhouse films.
The film is about an unnamed police officer pursuing an evil entity known only as The Dark Rider through a zombie infested, post-apocalyptic world. But this is not a movie about survival, this is a movie about one man’s dogged pursuit of vengeance. He has been pursuing his target since even before the apocalypse, an event described only as “the gates of hell opening”, and it seems as though the end of the world is just a minor inconvenience to his hunt.
The film has non-English audio and I watched it with subtitles. As such, I cannot comment fully on the delivery of lines as far as acting goes. But judging just by the mannerisms and sincere expressions of the actors, these are some talented individuals. Rafael Tombini, who plays the Officer, is a man of few words in any case, but his expressions convey volumes.
The sfx are top notch. I am a huge proponent of practical fx and this film brings the goods. The makeup on the zombies I would grade as a A-. I have seen better, but not many instances and not by much. And I don’t know what they were using for blood, but it looks amazing! Smeared on the walls, bladed weapons, etc it looks exactly right to this writer.
Best of all, in my opinion, is the story. I cannot think of a better instance of the apocalypse playing little more than scene dressing to the human drama unfolding on the screen. The world is dead and this man still hunts an evil force. For what reason? What is there to gain? In a world that is gone, what does he plan to do after accomplishing his single minded quest? The Officer and The Dark Rider; one feels like this is a drama in which all other characters and events are but scenery to pursuit of one after the other. In the end, only one will live. But even for the survivor, it is still the end.
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