SHOCK aka BEYOND THE DOOR II (1977) Reviews and overview



‘A new look at the face of evil’

Shock is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava (Blood and Black Lace; A Bay of Blood; Baron Blood) and produced by Laser Film. It was Bava’s last film before he died of a heart attack in 1980. The film stars Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner and David Colin, Jr and the score was provided by prog-rock band Libra. Also released as Beyond the Door II



Dora Baldini (Daria Nicolodi), her son Marco (David Colin Jr.) and her new husband Bruno Baldini (John Steiner) move into Dora’s former home, from her first marriage, after she is released from a mental institution following the mysterious death of her abusive first husband.

With Bruno away as a commercial airline pilot, Dora is left along with her troubled son Marco and her shattered memory of the events of her husband’s death, caused by extensive electroshock treatment she received while institutionalised. Her insanity grows when she believes that her son has become possessed by the ghost of his deceased father, leading to Dora learning the truth about her first husband’s death: she murdered him after he forcibly injected her with heroin and LSD…

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For its US release, Film Ventures International retitled the film Beyond the Door II, under the guise of it being a sequel to Ovidio G. Assonitis’s 1974 film Chi sei?, which had been titled Beyond the Door for its stateside release. The only connection between the two films was the fact that they both starred child actor David Colin Jr. as a boy possessed.

For its UK cinema release, Shock was paired with The Blood Spattered Bride with an early 80s video release following on Vampix.

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Buy DVD:


“Bava was always the master of ingenious camera effects, and he and Spagnoli created some stunning moments, most famously the gag that The Prodigy paid homage to last year; there’s also a scene in which Dora, dreaming, lays still as her hair erotically contorts and twists all around her. It’s stunning, and a fast reminder that even near the end, no one could compose a shot like Bava. Colin Jr. and Steiner are both fine as Marco and Bruno respectively…” Daily Dead

A claustrophobic gut punch that drags the viewer straight down into the mind of a woman going mad, the film features a few bloody concessions to the ’70s horror market but also remains a beautifully crafted, psychologically devastating little chamber piece, not to mention a strangely appropriate final feature for the maestro.” Mondo Digital

“Though not completely flawless, Shock is an offbeat and genuinely suspenseful psychological thriller with more than enough interesting touches and genuine scares to make it worth watching… and (no pun intended) a truly shocking finale!” Digital Retribution

Cast and characters:

Daria Nicolodi … Dora Baldini
John Steiner … Bruno Baldini
David Colin Jr. … Marco
Ivan Rassimov … Doctor Aldo Spidini
Lamberto Bava … Mover / Airplane Passenger (uncredited)
Paul Costello … Obnoxious Man at Party (uncredited)
Nicola Salerno … Carlo (uncredited)

Technical credits:

95 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: mono (Westrex Sound System)

Image credits: Serious Miami Horror





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