Beyond the Seventh Door (1987)
BEYOND THE SEVENTH DOOR
WRITER: B.D. Benedikt
DIRECTOR: B.D. Bendikt
STARRING: Lazar Rockwood as Boris
Bonnie Beck as Wendy
QUICK CUT: A convicted thief is released from prison, and tries to go on the straight and narrow. But can he resist one final temptation?
Boris - A thief, and not a very good one, who is recently released from jail. He's already looking for another score, his 'one last job' to make some money to make a fresh start.
Wendy - Boris's ex, who wants nothing more to do with him, but gets sucked back into his world since she works for...
Lord Breston - A mysterious, reclusive figure who is super rich, and legend tells he is sitting on a mysterious lost artifact or fortune or something, in his castle.
THE GUTS: Welcome back, Triskelions! This week, we are going north of the border once again for some classic Canuxploitation, with Beyond the 7th Door. Now, strictly speaking, this isn't *horror* per se, but it does have its roots in the same sort of stuff as the Saw movies, and Cube. And it certainly fits our remit of 80s cheesy goodness.
The movie opens up with some wonderfully repetitive synth piano drums straight outta the 80s and get used to it because that's all we're gonna get. But we watch as Boris is released from prison, having served his time. And man, this guy looks like the love child of Jan Michael Vincent and Tommy Wiseau, and he has cheekbones that could cut through glass.
Boris meets up with his old flame Wendy, hoping to rekindle that spark, but she wants nothing more to do with him, after a lifetime of being a thief.
However, he knows she works for a wealthy man with a castle all his own, and wants to rob the place following the legends of hidden treasures of Lord Breston. She reluctantly agrees to his plan to rob the safe of an old man...and is he gonna steal the Ant-Man suit??
A week later, Boris shows up to the castle at night, and Wendy lets him in, taking him to a locked door in the basement. She tells him about Breston taking an elevator down to some secret lair, but she could never get that door open, and despite this door being locked, it should be much easier, especially since she has a copy of the key.
Boris is suspicious, it's probably just a wine cellar or something, but hey, he came all this way and he has nothing better to do at 1 in the morning, so might as well check it out.
Beyond the first door they find...more cellar! And stairs, leading even deeper into the Earth. They eventually come across another locked door, and Boris is at least intrigued now, so he goes at it with his lockpicking skills.
Beyond the second door, they find...even more basement, and corridor and pipes. Once the door closes though, it locks tight, and a message starts to play.
And faster than you can say "I'd like to play a game," Lord Breston spells things out for them. He lays out that they can keep whatever they find, but the journey won't be easy. So they have no choice to continue on...and he says they have 20 seconds to move forward.
They decide to get out of there and run back, but find the locked door. So with time ticking away, they run down the hall, and see a sliding grate coming down that will lock them in the small section of corridor to eventually die, if they don't move quickly.
Oh, and along the way, Wendy loses her coat, revealing her skimpy little work uniform, which Boris disparages. Wendy knows Breston is a pervert, but it's the best job she can get.
After catching their breaths, Boris decides to venture forwards, since whatever they can find they can keep. Wendy is shocked he can still be thinking about money, but hey. If I'm here, if I'm trapped, I'm at least gonna LOOK, right?
They find a ladder that goes deeper still into Hell Castle, and they come across the next door, a large steel safe door with a combination lock.
Boris gives it a try and it triggers another recording, giving them a choice; try to get through the door, or stay where they are and die peacefully.
The thief pulls out his tool belt of robbery, and a device with a lot of lights on it, and an LCD display that flickers numbers and uh...this is just gibberish. Ze device, it does nothink.
But, whatever the display tells Boris, it doesn't work, and the door remains locked. Wendy remembers that the recording had some strange phrasing, and thinks it may be a clue. She thinks about it a bit, and comes up with the code 5-2-4-6....and it somehow works.
Can you even imagine trying to dial in numbers THAT close together on a combo safe? Heck, my locker combination had ten spaces between digits and even that was near impossible.
Beyond the third door they find a small concrete room, and floor tiles with letters written on them. Their entering the room triggered more devices, and the door behind them clicks shut, sealing them inside. So of course this is the perfect time and place for Boris to light up a cigarette.
Sure pal, go right ahead and smoke 'em while you got 'em and use up what little air you have in that concrete coffin.
Another recording plays, and no taunting this time, just a riddle about rings. And before you can say anything about Gollum, Wendy mentions Lord of the Rings, which Boris has never heard of.
Boris thinks it might be Saturn, with its rings, and the riddle refers to his moons. But he doesn't know space stuff, so Wendy suggests a few moons of Saturn, including Janus. Janus sounds reasonable, since there is a J right in the front line. That would also make sense, because Janus is the god of doorways, but I'll just hide my mythology nerdness over here...
He tests the J, and that seems safe enough, so steps on it. He then inches forward onto the A and...he gets blasted with what sounds like a nailgun, barely escaping getting hit by actually nothing.
They rattle through a few other choices, and give another a try. Boris stays low, and pushes the R for Rhea...triggering the back wall to start pushing forward. So now they better figure it out fast, because they're gonna have to step on those letters very soon.
Fortunately, knowing the J is safe, Wendy steps on that and the wall stops advancing. For now. Wendy wracks her brain, and comes up with another option that starts with J, Juno, the daughter of actual Saturn.
They creep forward, each letter seemingly safe, but they do have that slight problem of no actual doorway. But once they step on the big O, the tile descends into the floor, taking the duo with it.
Boy, it's a good thing that a large, rotund thief never came through, because he'd be screwed even if he got the riddle right. Also, I kinda like that the final letter is an O, like a hole, and they go down it, once again descending deeper and deeper, going down, down...
Beyond the fourth door, they find a stone archway that they pass through into a small concrete cube of absolutely stark featureless walls, with no way out. And once again, the door behind them grinds shut. Boris tries to grab the stone slab and stop it from closing them in, but dude. You gonna lose your fingers that way.
Another recording plays but this time, there is no clue, just a stone room and only five minutes to solve...something.
Boris at least has some idea, and starts using some of his tools to tap randomly on the floor, hoping to find a hollow spot to bust through, but finds nothing.
Time ticks away, they start yelling at each other, and Wendy suggests maybe the door is hidden in the walls.
Finally they run out of time, and long spikes begin descending from the ceiling. Boris frantically starts pounding on the walls, hoping to find anything. But finally he finds a spot and judo kicks it in, tearing his way into the next room.
I dunno, those spikes are pretty well spaced, they could probably wait it out, wiggle between them, and figure it out at their leisure, but fine.
Beyond the fifth door, they find another hallway, made up of some nice stonework, and another recording. This one congratulates them on overcoming stress and finding a way through. Oh, now we're getting back into Jigsaw territory.
And Breston actually says "I am only excercising the right to protect myself!" Yeah okay sure, but taking it to a crazy John Tuck level.
Boris decides they have to do something Breston won't expect, which is hard when you're stuck in a corridor and the only way out is through. He points to the crossroads ahead of them, saying Breston clearly wants them to see what's down there.
Wendy gets fed up sitting around, and goes to see what's down the hallway. However, just as she's about to reach the t junction, the floor falls away, plummeting her down a chute.
Down the chute Wendy lands in a brick room, finally finding the wine cellar, but it's empty save for a dead man in the corner. And a bunch of small pipes jutting out of the walls.
Wendy finds a plate in the wall with a bunch of screws in it that must be the way out. Oh, and the screwdriver? It just so happens to be in the dead guy's hand. She forces herself to get it, and starts going after the screws. And they show every agnoising second of her taking a screw out.
Fortunately, this isn't Science Crazed, or they'd show her taking out every single one in epic thrilling unscrewing action. With occasional cutaways to Boris shuffling down the halls.
One of the screws triggers Jigston's latest trap, and the water starts to fill with water from all the pipes. Wendy panics, and starts tearing up her dress to try and plug the holes, and there's all kinds of flaws there, but whatever.
Meanwhile, Boris goes to retrieve an extension cord from his bag o' tricks so he can use it to pull Wendy up, with a tape measure. First time watching this, I blinked and thought for a minute he was using THAT to try and grab her.
But she doesn't have enough dress, the water keeps rising, and Boris eventually shows up with the extension cord.
The whole cord thing seems...rather unnecessary. Just like...float up to the hole and tread water there for a bit. I mean, I know what they were going for, but they didn't quite sell it. They needed to seal that hole off, or something. Because other wise she floats until it drains.
Finally the water starts draining, and I am so glad they showed us Boris putting his belt back on, after using it to get some extra length on the extension cord. Otherwise I would've been left wondering where it went. This strict adherence to continuity is what really sets this movie apart.
Boris heads down the shaft once the water has drained and starts helping Wendy warm up after her swim in the cold water. This really heats them both up, and they have sex right there in the chamber where she almost died while the dead guy watches them.
After they screw, Boris gets back to unscrewing the plate, with more Thrilling Unscrewing Action 2: The Slowening.
Beyond the sixth door they find...a million dollars in a briefcase. So, going back here, this was all put in motion by Wendy seeing Breston go down an elevator and spending time with his treasure, an ancient treasure Breston says his family has guarded for 200+ years.
...And it's some wads of cash, in a briefcase, on a table, in a brick room. What does he do? Go down there for an hour and rub a stack against his face??
The recorded voice congratulates them on making it this far, and offers them a final choice; take the money, or go through the seventh door, where there is a treasure far more precious.
Take the door! No, the box! The box! NO THE DOOR!
Wendy figures the greatest treasure is their freedom, the true reward for their ordeal, and she urges Boris to just get out of there, let's go, leave the money...
But Boris is curious and has to check the box. After a long interminable scene of him blowing dust away from a mechanism he clearly saw ages ago, Boris decides hey, a LITTLE money won't trigger the mechanism, so grabs a few bundles for his troubles. And that's fair.
Beyond the seventh door lies an elevator that takes them up, up, and away, and Wendy is about to let Boris out through the kitchen entrance, but he urges her to go get changed, and while she does that, he heads back down to take more money.
Sigh. Oh Boris.
He takes off his jacket to use to carry the cash, not foolish enough to grab the briefcase itself, but the mechanism is more complex than he suspected, and BOOM goes the Boris once he removes all that weight from the table.
Meanwhile, Wendy gets into bed, and Breston comes in on his wheelchair, and they speak, revealing that Wendy was in on it the whole time.
Which is NOT a twist I saw coming. But it is perfectly set up. And considering how she feels about Boris, makes sense that she would have issues with criminals, luring them to their demise. And I wonder if Boris was different. She seems sincere in wanting him to prove himself, that he changed, could resist temptation, but he proved her wrong, sadly.
Also, if you watch carefully, WENDY solves *every* *single* *puzzle*, or gives a strong nudge. It's...actually well done.
Oh, and as Breston wheels off, she calls up her next victim, saying tomorrow night is fine. Whoa whoa whoa, at LEAST give it a week, it's gonna take some time to clean up all the Boris Bits and and repaint the walls.
Video: It's not great, being very low budget indie, but it's also not terrible either. It suits the story, and the locations.
Audio: Nothing special here, and it works.
1 - Well, it's only Boris, innit? And he kinda wins best corpse by default.
Blood Type - F: Absolutely zero, but that's not a knock against the movie. I'm actually giving it a LITTLE credit for the design on some of the rooms. Simple, but effective puzzles.
Sex Appeal: Boris' chest, and Wendy's legs. By their powers combined...
Drink Up! every time Boris lights up
Video Nasties: Check out a section of the Janus room trap, which has some fun, tense action, and gives a good slice of their acting too.
Movie Review: Taking this for what it is, it's about average for where Trisk usually lives. It's not an absolute travesty. The story is simple and straightforward, with an actual good twist to it. They make effective use of some common locations, and it's a great indie effort that uses available resources and a few bucks to tell a simple story. I can respect the hell out of that. Three out of five skull tiles.
Entertainment Value: I...actually weirdly LIKE this movie? It's low budget trash, but it has heart and charm, and I kinda get into it. I both laugh with and at the movie. The trailer made me start mocking Lazar's acting, as did the first watch I gave of this movie, but the more I watch it, the more I actually think he's an okay actor, once you get past the accent. Yes, he overacts at times, but he manages to get some emotion in there. The movie is simple fun, and I really appreciate the morality behind Breston and Wendy's motivations, and that alone elevates this movie out of being a pile of garbage. It's very Saw like in that way, and I love how it uses limited resource and makes a solid enough story with very little. Four out of five water spouts.
I like the morality behind the movie, again very Saw like. I like how this uses limited locations, very nondescript basements and hallways you can find anywhere, and makes the most of very very little.