Had the film Beyond the Grave (a.k.a. Porto dos Mortos) had been made in the 1960’s perhaps it might have been hailed as a new wave horror film meditation on the existential nature of life and death sadly it wasn’t and it isn’t.
This Portuguese language film appears to be a road movie with an unnamed detective in a black suit, inexplicably driving an American muscle car, which travels on a strip of road that reappears repeatedly throughout the film with a young couple that the man in black picks up along the way. Like the car stuck on this strip the viewer will feel trapped with film going nowhere, slowly. The film is plagued by portentous dialogue, badly executed action sequences and a plot so devoid of interest and spark that like the badly made up zombies that appear in the film, it shuffles mindlessly slowly, losing the will to live. Later after being executed, the unnamed man in black wakes up in the present day and well let’s just leave it there because by this time this viewer had nodded off.
If low budget films can’t compete with the big boys in production funds they should make up with by verve and vigor. Original stories told in imaginative ways can and will break through into the mainstream, films like Blair Witch, The Borderlands or Paranormal Activity have proven this. I want low budget outsider movies to be good, I want them to do well, I want them use their unconstrained imagination that is often restricted by studios serving up predicable cookie cutter films.
Films made on a shoestring do not need as threadbare as this patchwork of boredom.
Review by Seymore Gore.