Beyond the Door III (1989)

B-Movie Enema’s Exorcist Rip-Off Month comes to a conclusion while also coming full circle with the start of the month – and completes a “trilogy” all at the same time.

This week’s feature, Beyond the Door III is, as Wikipedia states, “the third and final film in the Beyond the Door Trilogy“.  It should also state that this and Shock were sequels in name only from the jolly ol’ land of endless opportunities for this blog – Italy.  To complete the trilogy (12 years after the last and 15 years after the first), Beyond the Door III (also known as Amok Train because… sure) features a group of American students who go to Yugoslavia to meet up with Bo Svenson (who we’ve not seen since waaaaay back when I covered The Delta Force in 2016).

There, they witness a sacred pagan ritual.  I am sure that did not, at all, create any issues whatsoever anywhere and that brings about the conclusion of Exorcist Rip-Off Month!  Come back next week when we blast off to the stars for a… What’s that?  Witnessing a sacred pagan ritual in Yugoslavia starts significant problems?  I need to continue on with the movie?  You sure?

Well, I guess I have to continue on.  We’ll be diving into the movie in just a moment, but a couple more things.  First, this movie’s Wikipedia page that I quoted above also states that this movie has some pretty low production value.  That being said, it is a Vinegar Syndrome release and they don’t usually steer me wrong…  Except when they do…  But still.  I have faith this won’t be too bad an experience…?

Our movie begins with hooded people coming up over a grassy hill clapping rocks together while a scary old blind lady plays with pictures of people from a family like they are in a deck of tarot cards.  Then, later (like some years later), a class of students are getting their tickets for their trip to the ritual in Yugoslavia.  One girl, Beverly, in particular seems somewhat concerned.  Before the 4-minute mark, though, we do see Beverly (played by Mary Kohnert) full topless in the shower.

Some of Beverly’s issues stem, I guess, from the fact that she seems to have a significant birthmark that looks something like a flaming V or possibly horns or something on her stomach.  She also has frustrations with her Slavic mother and loses her temper with the lady when she comes in while Beverly is showering speaking a language she does not know.  That’s odd, right?  Most of the time, if you are raised by someone who is an immigrant, and therefore the first generation American, don’t you normally know the language of your parents?  Why wouldn’t she know Slavic too?  Why is she so bothered when her mother says she gets to see their homeland with her “friends” (Beverly says they AREN’T her friends).  Why does she seem to be seething with contempt and frustration with her life and parents and her heritage in every moment of every day?

Why am I already stopping to ask questions when I’ve just hit the 5-minute mark of a 90-minute movie?

Alright, with a suddenly warm “I love you mom” Beverly is off to Yugoslavia.  Shortly after the plane takes off, her mother gets in a taxi.  On the car ride, a truck shipping heavy beams passes the taxi somewhat haphazardly.  Shortly after that, another car passes both the taxi and the truck.  That other car, probably loaded with dicks, brakes suddenly, causing the truck to brake suddenly, which snaps the cables holding the steel beams.  A beam flies off the trick and slides into the taxi window and destroy’s Beverly’s mom’s… well…  Everything.  It destroys her everything.

The students arrive in Belgrade.  They are approached by Professor Andromolek (Svenson).  He’s kind of a stuffy hard ass.  He takes them to some sort of boat thing that looks like a cabin of sorts for them to stay in or float toward their destination or whatever.  A guy delivers a telegram to Andromolek to inform Beverly that her mother was killed.  He reads the telegram and throws it into the river because I’m fairly certain he is a bad guy.

On their trip, Adromolek tells the students that they are about to witness a passion play that is over 2000 years old and centers around a female character – a virgin female character.  They are all given these little pins that are the exact same thing that is on Beverly’s body.  They joke about her being a virgin and she gets up and storms off while they all laugh at her.  Later, Andromolek goes to see if Beverly is okay.  He talks about how she is a shy, pretty girl and he wants to be her friend.

Not creepy at all, Professor Adromolek.

They are met by a little person on the side of the river.  A couple of the guys on the trip call the place a dump because these are very mature and considerate students going to study this ancient pagan ritual.  As they walk along the woods and pass these weird locals, I can’t help but to think of the Village of Crazies in Gymkata.  Some of these people look like grinning goons.

The rest of the students go off with villagers to get their accommodations while Beverly goes with the Professor.  Where does he take her?  To a shack where that crazy looking blind witchy lady lives.  Despite her saying no, they force her to have some soup the old lady made.  It makes her pass out.  Meanwhile, the other students have symbols painted on their doors with chicken blood and their doors are nailed shut.  The creepy witch lady checks up under Beverly’s nightgown that, yup, she is indeed a virgin.  The Professor goes to another cabin where a giant black monolith like thing is and just stares at it until a fire is lit inside the cabins of her classmates.  Some of the students figure out a way to get out, but one of the students (the non-white one by the way because 80s horror), just sits in his bed staring as he burns and melts.

While Beverly tries to get out of her cabin, the creepy old witchy lady grabs her and tries to prevent her from going outside, but Beverly is able to shake that bitch off and runs out into the woods.  She’s found by her classmates and they try to hop on a train.  But one girl is too slow and is basically fucked.  One of the guys jumps off the train so she wouldn’t be left behind, but he messes up his leg.

So, on the train, we have Beverly, the brunette girl, the curly-headed guy, and a guy who kind of looks like Kevin Bacon.  We’ll call him Bacon.  On the ground, we have the guy who messed up his leg, we’ll call him Legman, and the curly blonde who couldn’t get on the train.  We’ll call her Curly.

Not pictured – Curly and Legman

On the train, that group finds a kindly enough ticket guy (we’ll call him ticket guy) to try to help them.  The conductor says all he can do is take them to the police at the next stop – almost two hours away.  Back in the woods, Legman and Curly are trying to make their way through but he’s in bad shape with what is likely a broken ankle.  On the train, the ticket guy has a monk pal who doesn’t do anything but sit on the floor playing a flute and stare at Beverly.  Elsewhere on the train, in a mail car, an unknown person sneaks around and goes through the mail.  Trouble is on the horizon, though as the pagans have left a bunch of burning shit on the tracks to force it to stop.

Here’s the thing about this movie.  I’m about 30 minutes in, so this is effectively the end of the first act.  I expected something a little more like a shot-on-video type of movie when the Wikipedia page says the movie has low production value.  I actually disagree with that.  I will say there isn’t a great deal of imagination with the shots and everything looks dreary and cold and shitty – even the shots at the beginning in Los Angeles.  I’d struggle to say that there is actually low production value.

The real problem with this movie is that it doesn’t do much in the entire first act except to establish there is some sort of cult and burn a Hispanic dude in his bed.  We know Beverly is somehow connected to all this, but she’s at such a distance from our reach that she’s not exactly a character I can relate to in any way.  I can’t say I’m all that bored with the movie, but it’s strange.  Like, it has laid its cards on the table to show us no surprises while still holding its cards close to the vest.

So the conductor gets off the train to check things out and he sees this guy walking through the burning fire on either side of the track.  While he’s trying to figure out who the hell this is, a red scarf is moving by itself under the train and up to the guy’s ankle.  It keeps the guy on the track while the train begins moving on its own.  This is obviously Bo Svenson’s red scar and considering there’s fire around the track, the coal stove for the engine is going crazy and pulling the other driver into the flame, I’m guessing Bo Svenson has fire powers?  Anyway, the train continues to do things by itself and our friendly ticket taker is smashed between two cars.

In the engine, some disembodied voices tell Beverly that she must go back to the pagan village and be part of the ceremony.  It’s something that has been set into motion for many years, even before her grandmother was born.  Beverly is to become the Princess of Darkness.  Beverly says she doesn’t understand.  Neither do I.  But she does see a pale version of a mother giving a brand new meaning to the term “goatse”.

Wait…  This movie’s original title was The Train.  It was also released as Amok Train.  Oh shit.   The rest of the main part of this story takes place on that fuckin’ train, doesn’t it?

The train is coming into the station, but it is not stopping.  It’s no longer got a driver and we spend several minutes having the local station masters discuss this with each other in consternation.   On the train, our sneaky stowaway that was rifling through the mail turns out to be a woman.  We’ll call her… I dunno.  I think her name is Sava?  Her name is Sava.  She tells the others where Beverly is.  Bacon decides they should go up there even though the brunette doesn’t really want to.  They find and help Beverly out of the engine, but elsewhere it seems as though no one can find the train and it isn’t showing up on any tracking devices.

Back on the train, things get a little hairy.  Sava is building explosives.  That seems perfectly normal, the rest of it, though, does not.  Curly-headed guy is asking Beverly what the hell is going on.  He mentions that they need to know since they are her friends, etc.  She tells him to back the fuck off because they were never her friends.  Brunette then goes with the low blows assuming that Beverly came to the engine because driver was probably hot and she got her first fuck of her life and now she’s all big in her britches.

Now, I like the cut of this brunette’s jib if you catch my drift.  I am a little confused by all this business though.  We’ve seen the other classmates tease Beverly, but we don’t know how long these people have known each other.  I assumed they were in college because all the actors look like they are either 25 or 35.  But there’s dialog that makes it almost sound like these seven students that went on this trip were always in the same classes forever.  You know, like sometimes you go from kindergarten to senior year of high school with a core group of kids the whole way through?  Is that what’s going on here?  Are these kids in high school or do the people who made this movie not know how college works?

After Beverly slaps the shit out of brunette, it looks like she has maggots growing out of her hand.  Bacon (whose character’s name is Kevin as I just discovered – no shit) goes to see brunette to tell her that she fucked up right good.  Brunette says she feels bad and that she just flipped out unexpectedly.  She asks Bacon to lay with her because I guess they are a couple.  We don’t see her full face during this entire scene.

Because it is about to explode into blood and maggots and junk.

I’m still into it.

Brunette rips her face off and Bacon is like… Yeah I’m gonna go.  It looks like Beverly looks into the room and smiles at the carnage, but we then see her later in the part of the train with curly-headed guy and Sava.  That monk is still in this movie too.  He’s still hanging around watching the proceedings with interest.

The train seemingly hops the track and onto another which causes it to show back up in the control room.  Out in the woods, Legman and Curly get into a raft and she plans to row him to safety.  While they do that, they hear a train.  The train derails itself again to fly through the marsh to smash right into Legman and Curly which causes her head to go flying into the dreary cloudy sky!

I may not know too much about what’s going on in this movie but between the engineer getting his body smashed all to shit by the front of the train earlier when Andromolek’s scarf was tying him to the rails, brunette ripping her face off, and Curly’s head flying in slow-motion, I can say I am a fan.

Beverly goes to Bacon and curly-headed guy and tells her she’s the cause of everyone’s death.  She’s been the instrument of the devil this whole time, but not anymore.  She reveals she has slit her wrists.  While they take her to bandage her cuts, Sava, Bacon, and curly-headed guy are fixing to find a way to stop the train.  A chain snaps and Bacon is sliced in half.

You know? He looks more like Jeff Fahey than Kevin Bacon.

I have a question…  What door have they gone beyond?  Is it the doors in between those train cars?  Is it the door to the outhouse that the one station master was using before he came to the phone to find out the train missed that one stop?  You could say, “But Geoff…  There was no literal door in Beyond the Door or Shock, so how do you figure they had to have a door in this?”

Okay, you have a point, but in Beyond the Door there did seem to be some sort of metaphysical door at play.  A demon came into our world through said door, right?  Shock?  Well that dead ex-boyfriend had to come through something to get back into the world of the living to fuck shit up, no?  There are metaphysical stuffs going on in those two movies.  this one, not so much.

Anyway, the railway system realizes our runaway train is on a direct course to collide with another train because… devil shit?  They can’t seem to stop the train, divert it or anything.  Even locals pull up trucks and it just plows through all of them.  Then curly-headed guy starts laughing like a mad man and hanging outside one of the cars.  Wait!

Is that the door we have now gone beyond???

He gets fucked up by being impaled on a sign.  Hey!  Remember when Beverly slit her wrists?  There has been no further discussion of that.  I’m not even sure if we’ve seen bandages.  It’s almost like that never happened.  It’s almost like that didn’t make any never mind anyhow.

We’ve entered a very formulaic portion of this movie.  Train is out of control.  It does whatever it can to kill people.  It causes people to act crazy.  The people in charge of the railroad system try to stop it, but can’t.  Rinse.  Repeat.  I feel like this movie has something here that it could work with, but doesn’t ever live up to anything.

So we get two explosions back to back.  First, Sava, who has been working on explosives for a long time finally gets her bomb built.  She plans to use it to derail the train I think.  Anyway, the devil locks her out of the car she wanted to go to for safety.  She just resigns to the idea that she will explode.  She does indeed do that.  Right after that, the runaway train collides with that other train that has been bearing down on it for most of the second act.  It too explodes in a giant cloud of fire and death.  The runaway train keeps going, though and finally stops where the pagan villagers can surround the train and get their Princess of Darkness.

“I’m going to get super laid.”

Meanwhile, on the train, the monk playing flute plays a little tune for Beverly.  She looks at him for the first time and it turns out he is a true smokeshow hunk.  She stands up and decides she’s going to go over there and fuck his brains out.  This flute player is an 11th century monk.  Don’t ask me why or how or whatever, I do not know.  Anyway, he’s, I suppose, there to give Beverly the ol’ Yugoslavian Pork Stick and vanish.  This makes her unfit to be Satan’s bride, as she is no longer a virgin.  This is how she gets out of this trouble, people.  She has sex with a rando on a train.

The cultists prepare her and the Professor picks her up.  He tells her that the devil’s gonna be rough with her but her new life is gonna be swell.  She plays up that she’s real happy to be getting the ol’ Seventh Circle How Do Ya Do from Satan, but she knows, we know, that she’s already fucked that hunky monk (heh… hunky monky).

So yeah…  She tricked everyone and things go badly for the cult and Satan has to wait who knows how long before he gets another shot at some sweet virgin puss.  Bo Svenson’s head melts and that looked pretty cool.  Beverly goes home and even has a little nightmare of the devil trying to kill her for betraying him, but everything’s alright.  She’s gonna go home where she’ll learn that her mom is deadsville.

This movie is bizarre.  There are things in the movie that seems interesting, but a lot, and I mean A LOT, of plot threads go untied.  It seems to be all about getting this girl fucked – either by Satan or by a hunky monky.  When she is about to board the plane to go home, the guy at the counter comments how different she looks from her picture taken just three months ago.  Get it?  Because she got the dick?  That’s weird.  Like everything else in this movie.  I almost wonder if this movie was two or three or four different ideas Frankensteined together into a single movie that forgot that each of those elements needed more conclusion or more substance.

Beverly cut her wrists, but it’s never mentioned again nor are bandages ever seen.  The hunky monky seems like something added during the production because they didn’t want Bev fucking any of our main guys.  It’s like someone made this jigsaw puzzle and pretty much all the pieces are there, but the whole thing doesn’t really fit together.  It’s a fascinatingly bad movie.

Oh… And it isn’t even an Exorcist Rip-Off to boot!

Exorcist Rip-Off Month may be over, but there’s still one more bit of October business that needs doing…  Tomorrow is Halloween.  The only Halloween ever missed on this site was in 2015 when the blog was on that long hiatus.  2020 may have had lots of cancellations and shitty shit that has happened, but it will have a Halloween.  I will have a B-Movie Enema Halloween post.

Join me tomorrow for another final chapter.  I’ve talked about these movies before, but I finally will be closing the book on my salute to the defunct Bizarre TV with Slumber Party Massacre.  Be sure to check it out!

2 thoughts on “Beyond the Door III (1989)

  1. 1: when you describe the hooded figures clapping rocks together at the beginning, I keep visualizing the monks in Monty Python and the Holy Grail bonking themselves in the head with boards while chanting.
    2: why is Beverly seething with contempt for her parents and life in general? I dunno, teen girl angst maybe?
    3: Yugoslavian Pork Stick just became my favorite euphemism ever.

    Like

    1. Hahaha! Thanks John.
      1. It’s quite similar
      2. There could be any number of answers here. I think they just wanted an edgy lead girl.
      3. What else am I here for? I’m all about giving out those new euphemisms!

      Like

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