Saturday, February 4, 2012


The Italians have a luscious history of latching onto popular horror films from the states and turning them into franchise fodder by harnessing the property's name to a landslide of unrelated sequels. Most are familiar with the "Zombie" series, but I guess the Italians also did something similar to Sam Raimi's landmark "Evil Dead," which was released in Italy under the title, "La Casa." Naturally, the sequel was billed as "La Casa 2." However, the "La Casa" franchise continued in Italy with a series of films that had nothing whatsoever to do with Raimi or his original films. The first Italian-produced film in the series, "La Casa 3" was helmed by Umberto Lenzi and is probably better known to English speaking audiences as "Ghosthouse." "La Casa 4" was directed by Fabrizio Laurenti, and is better known in the states as "Witchery." It also stars Linda Blair and David Hasselhoff, and is the only "La Casa" film I have seen outside of the original "Evil Dead" flicks. Recently, I ran across a copy of an Imperial Entertainment release of a film called "Beyond Darkness," also known as "La Casa 5." The box says it was directed by Thomas S. Lennox, but this is not the case. Lennox was an art director on this film, but it was actually directed by Claudio Fragasso, the man who gave us the infamous and beloved "Troll 2." It even stars Michael Stephenson, who played Joshua in "Troll 2." I'd love to pick his brain on this one. I wasn't aware that both Fragasso and Stephenson had worked together on more than one occasion. This actually surprises me considering that Stephenson reflects upon his childhood disappointment after seeing "Troll 2" in his documentary "Best Worst Movie."

"Beyond Darkness," or "La Casa 5," looks like a mashup of various popular supernatural thrillers and tells the story of a priest and his wife who move into a house inhabited by a force that wants their children. I haven't actually seen this yet, but it's going in the watch pile. How bad can it be? It at least has to be entertaining, right?

Check out this crumby clip.

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