Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)

BeyondtheBlackRainbowPosterI’m not really sure where to even begin with Beyond the Black Rainbow. About 85% of the reviews I read for this movie are negative: people say it’s too slow, it has nothing to say, and it relies far too much on visuals that it fails to deliver an interesting plot. I think they’re wrong on all counts. This movie blew my ass away. It’s one of the few five-star movies I’ve seen since I’ve started this blog.

Imagine every worthwhile 70’s and 80’s science-fiction/horror film you’ve ever seen. Now, think about the images in those films that resonated with you, and put all those images in a brand new context. This might help to give you some idea as to what to expect with this movie. It references so much of what we already know, but wraps it up in a horrifyingly alien package. This is not derivative, and it’s not merely an homage – it’s like a re-imagining of our existing sci-fi/horror cultural experience. And there’s a glowing pyramid with smoke coming out of it, dudes, come ON!

Doctor & Patient

Doctor & Patient

Okay, but what is it about? I’ll keep this short and sweet: in the 1970’s, Mercurio Arboria opens up Arboria, a happiness clinic. Fast forward to 1983, where the severely messed-up Elena is virtually held prisoner at Arboria, never knowing her mother and not allowed to see her father. She’s kept heavily sedated and is constantly goaded by the new doctor in town, Barry Nyle, who really digs manipulation and secrecy. As the story moves along we learn about drugs, cults, zombies, sentionauts and the aforementioned glowing pyramids.

Just one of many glowing pyramids.

Just one of many glowing pyramids.



I seriously don’t get the folks who found this movie boring. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m usually a tough-sell for a slow-moving film, but hot-damn this movie drew me in at the first and kept me going for the whole 110 minutes.  I didn’t even get up to use the bathroom while it was on – now that is truly a feat few films have achieved. Certainly this movie isn’t for everyone, but Q and I are anxiously awaiting Panos Cosmatos’ follow-up. I must also mention the awesome soundtrack: a psych-synth wet dream by Jeremy Schmidt that I could listen to all day.


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