REVIEW: Beyond The Valley of Belief (2017)

Although we definitely love horror movies here, we also really like comedy films. And when you combine the two, and do it well, you are really tickling our fancy.

Beyond The Valley of Belief: Real or Unreal Vol.1 is the latest film from Rock Bottom Video (Fangboner, The Big F), and is a spot-on parody of the old TV series Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. Co-Director and star Brian Papandrea is series host Jonathan Fritz, whose recent turn to sobriety is put to the test as he hosts a special, live, Halloween edition of Beyond The Valley of Belief.

For those not familiar with the source material, Beyond Belief was a series of short, outlandish horror, sci-fi, or otherwise bizarre stories that were presented as vignettes throughout a single episode. At the end of each one, they would reveal which stories were based on true events, and which were total fabrications. Beyond The Valley of Belief picks up where the series left off, mixes in some fart jokes and crazy characters, and “Fritz” introduces us to five different stories of varying believability
I’ve said publicly before that Rock Bottom Video is my favorite indie studio, even with only a small selection of films so far, and this movie doesn’t do anything to tarnish that name in my eyes.

It’s extremely well made for a micro-budget comedy, and it’s hilarious throughout. I was a big fan of the TV series, and was very excited to see a film parody by a team I know does well with outlandish comedy (Fangboner stands as my favorite indie horror/comedy film of all time), and they did not disappoint. Papandrea and co-director Nathan Rumler worked magic with corny stories and managed to create one of the best indie anthologies put out so far – and this coming from someone who wrote and directed an anthology horror film.

Starring a cast of Rock Bottom regulars, the blood and gore aren’t on display in this film as much as in previous efforts, but that isn’t the focus. No matter, though, we still get sexy girls, men dressed as sexy girls, and yes, a bit of blood. With all the segments though, Papandrea is a stand-out, and I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard at a man dressed as a witch.

The film features five segments, as well as commercials, and includes Halloween scarecrows, farting ghosts, witches, and a pop singer addressing the perils of squat houses – not to mention an entire segment about a boy turning into chocolate after shitting his brains out. We even get a couple of cameos from filmmakers and scene regulars like James Bell and Corella Waring. Yes, perhaps it is humor for 14-year-olds and (admittedly demented) adults, but who said that can’t be a good thing sometimes? It’s still hilarious.

Beyond The Valley of Belief is a campy flick filled with cheesy Halloween fun. If John Waters had directed The WNUF Halloween Special, this is the film you’d get.

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