A young female journalist is sent to interview the caretaker of a known, old cemetery. When she arrives she finds him by a grave - a grave that comes with a very intriguing history that he will soon reveal for her.
I used to like this film a lot (for what it is). I actually used to be a bigger Olaf Ittenbach fan overall, too. As you might have seen in my other Ittenbach reviews, I have few good and lots of bad things to say about them! This is because he does make bad movies, but sometimes rather entertaining ones. "Beyond the Limits" was a film I checked out when I had a bigger interest in Ittenbach and German splatter than I do today, simply because I got bored with watching them only for the blood. This time around I was a lot more bored, and at times I even noticed my eyelids getting heavier and heavier.
There's nothing wrong with the setup of having a journalist going to work on a story about a cemetery by interviewing the caretaker, only to have the film split into two stories that are connected through one little piece - a heart. It's obvious that it wants to take an almost "Tales from a Crypt" route with it, and that's fine. But it quickly goes into a gear I'm gonna call "the Ittenbach gear", which is somewhere between first gear and reverse. I won't focus on this as I've mentioned it a lot before. It's just his ways of having a story that wants to be a lot, but in the end it's just poorly executed and becomes another film where quality and entertainment is replaced with gore.
Good gore, sure. Ittenbach gore is always a pleasure to watch, even when he was starting out. It's the kind of gore that works even with flaws because it goes all the way. That's the main reason to watch one of his films, and I KNOW that. I'm wondering what I saw in this film the first time I saw it since I liked it a lot more, but I suppose I let myself be fooled by the gore. It has happened, but not very often nowadays.
Out of the two stories, I prefer the first one. The first one is a crime story that turns into a torture scene, and the second story is a period piece from the middle ages. I don't like period pieces like this one so it's easy to figure out why the first one was "better". I guess it's also because it doesn't try to hide that it's all about the gore as much. In the end, neither of them is great but at least they are fairly different from each other. Which is essential to be able to get through it. In typical Ittenbach fashion he wants to end with a twist, which again isn't surprising, provoking or even fun. It's just there.
"Beyond the Limits" is Ittenbach. Every Ittenbach film is Ittenbach. He will probably never make a film that isn't exactly what you would expect from Ittenbach. It's a shame since his films do get better and better production values, but just as bad stories and tellings of them. He doesn't seem to have it in him. Unless he really, really wants to make bad movies. Is that the case? I'm not sure it would help me enjoy the films more.
I know I keep saying I am, but am I really an Ittenbach fan or not? I have no fucking clue anymore! I will continue to watch his work, and I somewhat collect his films, so that should mean something.