‘Journey Into the Beyond’ (1975) Blu
Mondo films have been around for decades but began to pick up steam as a subgenre in the ’60s and ’70s. For those who don’t know, the word “mondo” is derived from the Italian word for “world.” The films usually consist of documentary footage, both real and fake, and emphasize sex, death, and other taboo or radical topics. Films like Mondo Caine (1960) or Faces of Death (1978) are a couple of the more popular titles in the genre.
In the ’80s and ’90s, the genre gained another boost with the Traces of Death series, focusing on actual death footage that’s almost impossible to watch. In 1975, filmmaker Rolf Olsen delivered Journey into the Beyond, another “shockumentary,” after just releasing Shocking Asia in 1974. VCI Entertainment brings the film to Blu-ray in a remastered edition that delivers most of what’s promised from the genre.
Journey into the Beyond, narrated by the legendary John Carradine, takes the audience on a ride into the unknown. The (so-called) real experts investigate various realms of the supernatural, which includes psychic surgeries done with bare hands, séances, and exorcisms. It’s a journey only the strongest (stomachs) will survive, and most will never forget.
Something about John Carradine’s voice elevates the film to an unexpected level. It’s not a particularly great film, but listening to him does add a little something. The producers added a chime of sorts to signal audience members with weak stomachs to close their eyes before the more graphic moments then it chimes again when it’s over. Some pretty gruesome scenes with cysts, dental surgery, etc., can easily get under your skin. The rest is interesting but just not all that believable. The exorcisms, voodoo, telekinesis, and the like feel more staged than anything. Watching it, you can decide for yourself what’s real or not.
If you’re a fan of mondo cinema, then you’ll most definitely want to check out Journey into the Beyond. I would have been all over this when I was younger had I been aware. I watched Faces of Death and the like with friends. The internet has basically destroyed the genre. Far more nauseating things are readily available at your fingertips than in most of these films.
The disc is light on special features but does include a couple of cut sequences. This is strictly for collectors and the hardcore. It’s an interesting piece of cinema, just not exactly for me.
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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Journey into the BeyondRELATED: ‘Sharksploitation’ Review: Shudder Delivers a Fun and Informative Horror Documentary in Time for Shark WeekWe’re hardworking geeks that love to geek out, but we can’t do it without you! If you enjoyed this article and want to see more like it, please consider tipping our writers. Also, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.