OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


Beyond the Wall of Sleep (2006)

First of all: This is going to be screenshot-intensive. I just adore the pretty pictures a lot, and they say so much more than my words ever could. That said... here we go.

So... say hello to Joe. Joe is an inbred guy... and he's also special.

As fierce as the Wendigo, yet with the curiousity of a wild cat!

Story: Joe is, as I already mentioned, special. He also massacred his whole family and then ran wild through the Catskills mountains, got caught, brought to Arkham Asylum (sound familiar?), where strange things begin to happen...

Beautiful pictures. I actually love the beginning of this movie. Colours...
frantic cuts. I love frantic cuts with crazy pictures.

Also, any movie that starts with a reference to primordial ooze already has bonus points in my personal little book of "Rate This Movie". "Primordial Ooze" - it just has a certain ring to it. It makes me think of ...old things. Ancient things, even. Azathoth, Nyarlathotep... I really read too much Lovecraft.

At this point, I want to add something: If you play this movie slowly, VERY slowly with VLC media player, you will see HOW frantic those cuts are. To actually show you, I'd have to put a video up, and frankly, I am too lazy for that. You'll have to see for yourself - if you still want to after what I am about to reveal about this movie.

In case you happen to be ignorant of this specific work of The Master (read: Howard Phillips Lovecraft), you can read up on it here.

So, let's see... We start out with aforementioned pretty and frantic pictures, a mention of primordial ooze (see, or better read, above), some hints of blood and gore, followed by...


For example, children dancing around, singing. With flowers. Around our protagonist, who appears to be a tiny little bit insane (see first screenshot).

Then we get two search parties. One of them is lead by the Sheriff, played by Tom Savini. I love spotting the guy. It's some sort of hobby for me, I admit it.

I quote: "Joe! Joe! No kill, find!", with a few added grunts.
Note: This is NOT Tom Savini. This is Peter.

He is the leader of this search party:
Pretty guys, right?

Snap to our nice intern at Arkham Asylum, Edward...

Looks like a trustworthy experiment, doesn't it?

I wonder if she volunteered for that treatment. Then again, judging from the moaning - and I mean ecstatic moaning - she seems to enjoy it. A lot.

As in... really.

You know you can trust your doctor.

... I mean, he looks trustworthy, doesn't he?

Then, we get whisked away, together with our trusty and trustworthy intern, Edward, to the examination of the inbred insane protagonist (as opposed to our trustworthy protagonist, intern Edward) - our dear Joe.

Here we learn that our protagonist has a "shape" on his back - a face, perhaps?
...or evil twins, unseparated at birth?!

I want to draw your attention to the nearly invisible thing.... shape.... on the back of poor ol' Joe. This, ladies and gentlemen, is supposed to be his Evil Twin, "unseparated at birth" (sorry, I just love that phrase) and responsible for the grisly murders that happened in the "inbred-area" of the Catskills mountains (aka, NOT where Arkham Asylum is).

This is, of course, an anomaly.

Also, remember:

When trying to find out what happened at the scene of a grisly massacre in inbred territory, applying leeches is tantamount to success. You should also use needles. BIG needles. Above, you see Joe (the one with the humanely placed collar that holds him up), Dr. Wardlow (the guy with the needle) and Dr. Fenton (who runs Arkham Asylum with all the professionalism you can expect from a slightly demented doctor). Note that Dr. Wardlow is also not exactly the most ...sane alienist the Asylum has ever seen.

Which brings me to a point: Every medical practitioner in this movie is crazy in one way or the other. It's a delight.

Ah, Wardlow... what should I say. This man is fond of needles - I mean, look at him. He is leaving the examination room (where he tried to make dear inbred, special Joe talk by putting leeches on him - remember: Leeches heal EVERYTHING! - and stab him with this monster of a needle), and is rightly pissed off. I mean... he didn't get to stab the, err... patient... with his needle!

Consequently, he treats us to the most random shot given to a patient ever.

"Wouldn't want to waste a perfectly good shot."
... indeed.

I want to note that the dialogues are absolutely brilliant. I mean that as a purveyor and connoisseur of bad B-Movies. BRILLIANT.

My mind wants to take this as some sort of deep symbolism. The light in the vague shape of a cross (don't disagree with me, it is DEFINITELY a cross in the one short frame in which you can see it without accompanying madman) brightening the darkness of the cell - the cell which is life itself in which we are but insane specks of insignificant dust, powerless (signified through the straight jacket), raging against the dying of the light which gives us but a brief glimpse of salvation from this bound, powerless, dark existence...

But for some reason, I don't think it is intended as such. Honestly, I think it was put in there because it looks awesome.

Back to our dear intern, Edward Eischel.

Do you still trust him? ...I wouldn't. I've seen that look on people's faces. It usually means that they don't exactly have your best interests at heart. In the case of an intern at Arkham Asylum, that might be normal (after all, we all know what Arkham is like and what kind of people get interred there - I bet my vinyl collection that Wilbur Whateley, if he had, uhm... survived, would have been there, and not out of his own free will... ... why are you looking at me like that? You don't know who Wilbur Whateley was? FOR SHAME! Go and educate yourself and come back when you can understand HP Lovecraft references! Pffffffft.... heretic. Heathen! ...where was I... ah, yes...), but I just want to draw attention to it. Maybe because he reminds me a tiny little bit of St. Francis of Death in my 2nd favourite movie (whoever can guess what that movie is can wish for a review).

In case I forgot to mention: People die when Joe sleeps. This is actually one of the most important things of the ...plot, but somehow, it never really comes across that strongly. The rest of the movie just makes you pay less attention to it. Which is a pity, because this could have been used to induce some real suspense... but hey, we are talking about a glorious abysmal B-Movie here.

So yes, people die when Joe sleeps. Like this fellow:

(No, he's not dead yet, but for Raptor Jesus' sake, I wasn't patient enough to grab a screenshot of him being gutted and dismembered, because, like everything in this movie, it happens in frantic, hectical shots and cuts that you have to sit through like 4 or 5 times in slow motion in order to be able to grab the frame you want...)


Yes, my first reaction would be to say "curious..." as well when faced with SLEEP scrambled on the wall with blood. Especially after I spent a night in the cell of the weird patient who continually says that when he sleeps, bad things happen. Like that unexplained murder in the Asylum right after our dear, special Joe was checked into Arkham Asylum.

But you know, Edward (our dear mad intern) is different. What makes other men shiver excites him!

He also quotes Dr. Giggles. When he talks to his beautiful Ardelia (read: the experiment). Oh, and he collects brains. Beautiful brains, at that (his words, not mine).


- Why, yes, they do. She is orgasming allover the place. With her skull cut open and her brain exposed. Also, this line deserves a prize for the best one liner ever uttered in a movie EVER.

"You are keeping a cadaver as a ...a... kind of SEX TOY?!"

- Why, yes. She ACHES FOR HIS SYNAPTIC IMPULSES! Did I already mention that I totally adore this line?

Oh, and something I bet you didn't know - today in our latest installment of "Things That Doctors Do": This woman is NOT writhing in agony.

In fact, she is not in agony at all. Far from it. Seriously, experimenting with orgasming females seems to be common practice amongst mad scientists of the Arkham Asylum-persuasion.


Stop looking at those boobs.

So, now our insane intern starts plunging microphones and microbes and needles into Joe's brain - to try and make the "fetal twin" talk. He does it with the subtlety of doctors all over the Lovecraftian world - by doing science to the patient. In this case, this involves electricity. Lots of electricity, in case you were wondering.

I just put that one in to distract you, because those boobs ARE distracting when trying to follow the dialogue, which doesn't make a lot of sense anyways. Hell, they are distracting when you're trying to write a review.

...perky, aren't they? Nah, I'm not staring. Far too well-behaved for that.

So behold... Amducius speaks. With MIND VOICE!

And then... sleep. And during sleep... things happen. Or rather, Amducius (thing on Joe's back/in Joe/...) happens. If you know what I mean. As in... people die when Joe sleeps, and Amducius can roam free and ...kill people...

... from beyond the wall of sleep (see what I did there?!)... *insert Re-Animator theme here*

In case you can't tell: This is an exploding head. I'd put up the second screenshot I took of this particular scene, for exploding heads give me pleasure and happyful... but you know... lazy.

So... on with the plot. Or should I make that "plot"? Our good intern gets kicked out of Arkham Asylum for political and personal reasons. But Edward is not happy - not happy at all.

There is no happyful in his mind now.

His research... gone. Dead to his family, he needs to solve the mystery of Joe and Amducius on his own. Consequently, he visits Joe's house. There's not much to see there but some corpses (massacre, remember?), bodyparts... and Edward slipping farther into the world of ... you guessed it, Amducius.

The children start talking to him (in his head) - they want to show him how they and 'their people' came to this (our) world.

Say hello to the parental units.

I won't give the details away. Let's just say that evil alien entities had a lot of incest to produce the perfect vessel for Amducius, and now the children need Edward to help them. For some reason... I think they were the leaders of the world and ruled humankind, so they need to be the chosen people again and need Daddy (Amducius). Or something. It's like... "Hey, we are the Small Ones of the Great Old Ones, could you, like... get us back to power?"

So, our hero, Edward, rushes back to the hospital. To help the critters... eh, I mean, children of... the parental units pictured above.

Arriving there, he is confronted with HORROR:


...a man mourning for his brains.

A minute of silence, everyone. This is serious business. Those perfect specimen... *sheds a tear*...


Did I mention that this movie shows the most gratuitious kicking of mental patients by doctors ever? This also includes ramming handicapped patients with trolleys. The patients get kicked around, thrown down stuff, thrown against walls, run over, have their throats slit open, get suffocated, cut open... totally random.

Also, we get treated to cadaver-dancing. As in, doctor dancing with Ardelia, zombie-sex-toy.

Did I say dancing? Err... I mean... you know what I mean. In case you can't tell, that's the good Dr. Fenton getting rid of his restraining garments, aka pants, for he is consumed with lust for Ardelia, zombie-girl.

Sidenote: THIS is what happens after the prelude to... dancing. Yes. Dancing.

That, dear readers, is zombie-girl ripping off the skull of the good doctor who wanted to do her good. Note that tongue and lower jaw are still attached to the body. But... was this unexpected? Nah. The look on her face when he started to get rid of his pants said enough to foreshadow this.

Edward gets a little too excited with the whole Amducius-business, so he decides to drill a hole into Joe's head in order to "come to Amducius". That's when we learn that he also has drilled a hole into his own head .

Because... "The Brain needs AIR!"

...yes. Yes, of course.

Hence the overabundance of holes drilled into human foreheads in today's society. I just live in the wrong part of the world, otherwise I could possibly appreciate the wonder and beauty of the head-hole more than I do now.

Now that both of them have holes in their heads to allow the brain to breathe healthy air, our intern proceeds to directly connect himself to his ...patient (?). And he sees....

...he sees the wisdom of the ages.

If you ever come across a folder named "Wisdom of the Ages", you might find some of the following inside (and possibly more!):

A random sigil from the Lemegeton...

...a slightly psychedelic looking shot of Cthulhu on a Necronomicon sigil...

...yourself in a quite bald state of being...

...cute critters... erm, children who want you to bring their Elder God Daddy back...

...and some intestines being ripped out.

Now, as far as I remember, the original story has the being in Joe shoot out from him, becoming a star and fighting against the "adversary" in a place far away on the nightly sky. Let's see what they do here.


Let us all bow before Amducius! Brains connected in regular currents, linked to OUR MASTER AMDUCIUS!! ...ehm, sorry. Got carried away there a bit. I would NEVER BLASPHEME, MY LORD NYARLATHOTEP! *cough* Ahem.

Wait a second. Amducius looks like Bad-CGI-Cthulhu? Why does EVERYTHING Mythos- or Lovecraft-related have to look like Cthulhu?! Next thing I know is they'll depict Hastur like Cthulhu.

But, all in all: A truly delightful movie. Cheesy one-liners, brilliant dialogues, frantic cuts, and a fine parody of old film noir. Not a faithful adaption of Lovecraft, but let's be honest - what is? Stuart Gordon's Dagon aside, and to some degree also the Re-Animator series (if you pierce the scattered pieces together).

7/10 loins aching for the input of synaptic impulses

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