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Laramie Movie Scope:
Beyond the Black Rainbow

Lean, cryptic sci-fi horror film

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 27, 2012 -- This strange experimental-type science fiction horror film is quite cryptic. Not much happens for long periods of time. When something does happen, it often isn't clear what is going on. It does have an interesting look, using some unusual lighting and camera techniques, making it a minor kind of curiosity.

In a futuristic-looking mental research facility, Barry Nyle (played by Michael Rogers of “Two for the Money” observes a patient in a room which is bare, except for a bed. The patient, Elena (Eva Allen of “The Big Year”) is unresponsive to Barry's questions. But when Barry makes a repeated tapping noise, we see two tears on her face. That takes up about 15 minutes of the film right there.

It appears that Elena is being housed in a pyramid-shaped translucent structure inside the facility. This pyramid glows with light. Much of the scenery inside the facility is bathed in red light. There is almost no other color other than black and white. The red color saturation in many scenes is extreme. The camera shots are way off center. In one phone conversation, for instance, we can only see part of Barry's face at the far left of the frame because the camera is pointed so far to the extreme right.

In another scene, a flashback (the timeline of the movie starts in 1983 and ends up sometime years later) which seems to show Barry as the subject of an experiment in which he is immersed in a black liquid, the film is strongly overexposed, resulting in extreme white images with extreme contrast with the black parts of the image. There are no other colors in these unearthly scenes. One gets the feeling Barry was profoundly changed in the experiment. There are a number of dolly shots where the camera rolls very slowly through the hallways and rooms of the futuristic, oddly-lighted facility. The soundtrack of the film features an eerie synthesizer score by Jeremy Schmidt.

Barry seems to be a researcher of some sort who goes off the rails at one point of the movie and starts killing people. Near the end of the film it appears he may not even be a human being. Elena also appears to be more than human. She seems to have the power of telekinesis. She can kill people using her mind alone. There are few people in the film besides Elena and Barry. There are a couple of other researchers and a woman who could be Barry's wife, or mother and a couple of drunks out in the middle of nowhere. There are also some strange mutants in robot-like suits, too.

Barry is shown driving a car at times, but it is usually at night and there never seems to be any traffic. It makes you wonder if something has happened which has killed off a lot of the earth's people. There is very little dialog in this film and what little there is doesn't really explain much. I got the feeling from the film that the human race had run its course. It had become hopelessly corrupt. Elena represented the next step in human evolution. This is just speculation, of course. This film rates a D.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)