In a post-apocalyptic zombie future, an officer is trying to find a supernatural serial killer who might have a connection to the zombie infestation.
"Beyond the Grave" takes the post-apocalyptic zombie genre and does something slightly different with it, mostly by inserting a whole bunch of other genres into it. It starts off with a big homage scene to western movies from different countries, and keeps the elements through the rest of the film while also including some occult stuff as well. But it nevers lets us forget it's a zombie movie first.
In an unspecific future, in an unspecific country (it actually started by saying "In a different time and place", or something like that, and I think that was a great touch) we have the character Lockheart, an officer, trying to survive the oncoming zombie attacks. But his mail goal is not simply to survive, but to hunt down an supernaturally powerful serial killer. Early on he meets two kids who join him for a part of the journey, and eventually he stumbles upon a small group of satanists.
"Beyond the Grave" includes so much from the cult world, from zombies to samurai swords, yet it somehow manages to come off as both slow and rather tiring. And it's not that the movie is all too bad - I'm sure it would've been solid as a short film. But it's just not that worked through, I believe. The story never convinces us, and for a lot of the time it's just confusing. It makes it hard to follow what's actually going on, even though the movie is rather simple if you start breaking it down.
But the movie does get some credit for taking clichés and working them in a different way. It's filled with little homages and whatnot, and it's obvious that it's made by a team of cult film fans. But that's not all it takes to make a good movie, sadly. For effort these guys get some extra points though, simply because of how professional a lot of it is. It looks very good (if you ignore the natural lighting you'll get from many South American films), the cinematography is very carefully planned and sound is most of the time great. It's not a poorly made movie in those aspects.
The special effects by Kapel Furman are far from his best. At times they are great - there are a few very original and gruesome shots (I especially liked the tub zombie). But most of the zombies look bland and like they had bacon in their face. So I don't know if he had a bad day or not, because he is actually a quite impressive special effects artists in most of the stuff I have seen. "Beyond the Grave" only has glimpses of great make-up, and the rest is just... meh. But even though this is a zombie movie, it doesn't have a lot of zombies or zombie action, so luckily we only get so much of it.
It's hard to put your finger on "Beyond the Grave". In many aspect it's a rather impressive film, and certainly one that tries to do something different. But at the end of the day you have to focus on the entertainment values, and sadly I wasn't very entertained. I got bored and at times even confused. The biggest problem is really the writing - it could've used a couple more rewrites. Even a poorly made can be good if it has good writing, but a poorly written movie is rarely anything worth holding on to.