I love Italian horror, I mean LOVE Italian horror, but I’ve stayed away from it on the countdown thus far. Why? Because with its often nonsensical plots and style over narrative leaning, finding characters doing stupid things would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Or, to make a more topical analogy, like shooting really slow zombies in the head. That’s pretty easy, right? Well, it seems not.
As horror fans, we all know about the whole “aim for the head” thing in case of a zombie outbreak, right? Right. Of course, not ALL zombies can be dispatched that way, the ones from Return of the Living Dead come to mind, but it’s a good thing to try first. If you’re not a horror fan however, it might take a little trial and error before you figure out that only headshots drop the undead. Dr. John McCabe, played by David Warbeck, is obviously not a horror fan. He’s also apparently not a very quick learner. How the hell did this guy make it through med school?
In The Beyond, Lucio Fulci took the whole “when there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth” thing literally, because we actually get “zombies from hell.” In the film’s climactic sequence, these infernal undead pursue McCabe and Liza, played by the always great Catriona MacColl, through a hospital. McCabe takes the gun out of his desk and, when a zombie grabs hold of Liza, this happens…
Shot 1 – arm (no response)
Shot 2 – arm (no response)
Shot 3 – head (zombie falls)
You’d think this would be the “eureka!” moment, wouldn’t you? You figure this DOCTOR would catch that. Well…
Shot 4 – chest (no response)
Shot 5 – chest (no response)
Shot 6 – head (zombie falls)
Ok, I can see how one might think that a chest shot could work too. Now that he’s seen them no-sell a chest shot but bump for a headshot, the Doc’s got to catch on, right?
Shot 7 - chest (no response)
Shot 8 – gut (no response)
Shot 9 - …click
The gun is empty. By the way, did you know that revolvers carry 8 rounds? Neither did I. At least he was aiming for the head when he ran out of ammo, so apparently he’s finally got it. He finds more bullets somewhere and…
Shot 10 - head (zombie falls)
Shot 11 and 12 we only hear
Shot 13 - head (zombie falls)
Finally. It’s about time the guy got the picture. Now that we’ve got headshots down, we can move on to lesson two, double ta…
Shot 14 - chest (no response)
Shot 15 - chest (no response)
What the hell? Did he just do what I think he did? He isn’t missing these shots either.
See? He’s aiming from POINT BLANK RANGE! Actually, it looks more like a nut shot in that picture, huh? How has “they only fall when you shoot them in the head” not sunk in by now?
Shot 16 - head (zombie falls)
Ok, that’s more like it. MacCabe, you have one more chance.
Shot 17 - chest (no response)
Shot 18 - chest (no response)
Shot 19 - chest (no response)
Shot 20 – gut (no response)
Screw it, I give up. This guy’s hopeless. So dipshit, how did that whole “oblivious to the obvious” thing work out for you?
You managed to walk through one of the seven doors, and now you and Liza both were stricken blind by whatever horrors it was that you saw. Then you just kinda faded away. I’ve heard a lot of discussions amongst horror fans about the meaning of this movie’s ending, but I do know one thing for sure. If you had a better kill ratio than 5 zombies out of 20 shots, you would have had a hell of a lot better chance at finding a way out of that hospital. Idiot. Congratulations Doc, you are today’s winner by virtue of your completely ignoring the pattern right in front of your face, therefore being the absolute slowest person in film history to figure out that a zombie has to be shot in the head. Way to go dumbass!