Plot: Boris (Lazar Rockwood) has just been released from prison, so he pays a visit to his old flame, Wendy (Bonnie Beck). There is immediate tension between the two, as Boris wants a reconciliation, while Wendy is hesitant because of Boris’ past mistakes. But she soon reveals that she is indeed interested and even has inside information that could help Boris pull off an epic heist. Her boss lives in a plush castle stacked with treasure, so with her help, Boris might be able to land a huge score. So the two venture into the castle and through a secured door, hoping to find the riches, only to discover they’ve been locked in and now face a grave situation. Unless they can navigate a series of rooms filled with traps and puzzles, they will die in the depths of the castle, but if they can survive, they will reap immense wealth. But can Boris and Wendy figure out these sadistic games in time?
Entertainment Value: Thank heavens for Lazar Rockwood. The odd thespian is a beacon of entertainment in Beyond the Seventh Door and without his unusual presence, the movie would be a shell. The movie itself is in the vein of Cube or Saw, though it of course predates both pictures. The traps and puzzles are some of the dumbest you’ll ever see in cinema, from finding a false wall to just hanging out until the water drains, so don’t expect tension and thrills here. But for fans of offbeat, nonsense cinema, this movie is a goldmine of ridiculous moments, from the lame traps to the glorious performances from Rockwood and Bonnie Beck. Rockwood is the kind of actor that you never forget, a perfect blend of Tommy Wiseau, Gollum, and a living skeleton. He is everything you could want as a fan of bad movies, from his unusual look to his tough guy mannerisms to his outlandish line delivery, just a human treasure. Beck is likely going to be overlooked in the wake of Rockwood’s offbeat presence, but her performance is fun too, with stupid facial expressions and intense melodrama. The two have zero chemistry and it couldn’t have been a better match for this material. If this had capable performers in the lead, no one would have given it a second look, but the combination of these two awful, but god tier fun actors is what drives the flick. Some will find the weak trap rooms and such on the dull side, but to me, the leads are such a train wreck, they never allow you to get bored, despite a thin narrative and terrible puzzles. For fans of offbeat cinema or unique performers, Beyond the Seventh Door is well recommended.
No nakedness. A love making session happens off screen, so all we get to see is some awkward, chemistry free kissing that is cringe inducing to watch. I love how there is no chemistry whatsoever between Rockwood and Beck, whether in romantic scenes or otherwise. No blood. This one is not a horror movie, but a thriller, so the closest we get is a corpse in one of the puzzle rooms. A lot of these off the rails movies lean on sleaze and gore, but this one has none, which should tell you how entrancingly bad the performances are. I think we all wanted a Rockwood love scene, but sadly, that wasn’t in the cards here. Ah, the dialogue. Rockwood can take a simple line and twist it into some kind of warped masterpiece, often by screeching his dialogue in hysterics or putting no emotion whatsoever into his lines. He fires off his lines in short bursts, with no sense of timing at all and to me, it is beautiful. I could watch a hundred movies where he shrieks at people, asking obvious questions and flying into wild mood swings. Beck is not slouch either, with strange facial mannerisms and overly dramatic delivery, almost keeping pace with the lunacy of Rockwood. As individuals, they are fun to watch, but together, they unlock the true potential within. On the craziness scale, the miserable traps and low rent production values add some wackiness, but the true insanity lies with Rockwood and Beck. These two are able to keep a mundane, sleep inducing narrative interesting, which is no small feat. So the movie itself isn’t all that off the rails, but between Rockwood and Beck, there’s ample craziness.
Overall Insanity: 7/10