"Beyond the Black Rainbow"
Release Date: June 8, 2012
Running Time: 110 minutes
Beautiful to behold, but exasperating to suffer through, the bad acid trip that is Beyond the Black Rainbow allows us a glimpse at the drug-induced madness that damages and turns evil a curious mind. Set the early 1980s at a sinister technology research facility, and meticulously crafted to resemble a low-budget, anything-goes midnight movie from the 1970s, director Panos Cosmatos’ warped directorial debut focuses on the intense relationship between the creepy scientist Dr. Nyle (Michael Rogers) and his mute patient, Elena (Eva Allan). Elena seizes her chance to escape the facility when Nyle’s begins to lose his grip on reality. Beyond the Black Rainbow doesn’t delve deep into the circumstances that led them both to the facility or build up to the inevitable showdown between Nyle and Elena. By the time Beyond the Black Rainbow transforms itself from a surreal journey into consciousness to out-and-out body horror, Elena remains the same nondescript young woman as she was at the time of her introduction. Instead, Cosmatos devotes his time and energy to creating one bizarre dream-like sequence after another. Some bring man closer to God; others exploit the fear within. Cosmatos’ imagery alternates from sublime to terrifying, but no matter what, it’s impossible to look away from what unfolds before your eyes. Combine this with the haunting atmosphere Cosmato creates and it’s easy to spot the influences of Stanley Kubrick, Kenneth Anger, and David Cornenberg in Beyond the Black Rainbow. Unfortunately, Cosmatos isn’t a storyteller. He’s an experimental filmmaker with no feel for plot, character development, or pacing. Beyond the Black Rainbow plods along to a disappointing climax that inexplicably takes us out of the strange world Cosmatos so vividly creates. Beyond the Black Rainbow ends with a whimper and makes no meaningful statement about the human condition. It just leaves you wanting to take heed of that Reagan-era slogan, “Just Say No,” especially to synthetic drugs that make you believe your face is melting.
Aired: June 7, 2013
Web site: http://www.magnetreleasing.com/beyondtheblackrainbow/