Set in an alternate-1983, Beyond the Black Rainbow is a challenging, ambiguous piece of filmmaking that provides little concrete answers, yet is incredibly intoxicating. It's essentially the most bat-shit insane "mad scientist" film ever made. The film centers on a Scientist, Barry Nyle, who performs strange experiments on a young girl with psychic abilities. Really this is the type of film in which plot isn't really of much interest because of the overwhelming sense of style and atmosphere in which the film is able to create. The film's imagery is top tier stuff, using bright contrasting colors (bright reds, lavish oranges, etc), lots of blurry imagery and all sorts of various compositions to create this oppressive exhausting atmosphere. The flashback sequence involving some sort of portal is straight up experimental in its approach and one of the highlights of the film for me. Besides the visuals, the performance by Michael Rogers as the scientist is worth mentioning. This man absolutely knows how to play creepy, and he's down right frightening to watch. Oh, the score! is also a fantastic addition, the heavy synth score which underlays the film reminded me of Carpenter's work on Assault on Precinct 13, which is a helluva complement if you are wondering. So, this is a must see for anyone that loves films that challenges narrative conventions and/or enjoy an insane visceral experience. While Ambiguous, I think the film does have a message and point to it all, besides the visceral experience. What I took from the film could be completely different from what someone else took and that doesn't mean either of us are write or wrong. Personally, I found the film to have a very interesting thematic strain about the notion of Science vs. God, maybe not god as we understand it, but of a higher presence in the universe. I think the portal signifies man reaching past him limitations creating forces which they can't hope to control- Barry Nyle being the evil carnation while Elena is the force of good. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if no one seemed to have similar feelings, but that's why I think this film is so great. Would love to hear what the director's vision was. This better be released on blu-ray...
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