Visually speaking Cosmatos' debut is an impressive nightmare that wears its influences proudly on its sleeve. One can easily see the references to Cronenberg, Tarkovsky, Argento et al. If THX-1138 had a too linear plot for you...this may be your cup of tea.
It comes off as a little too intricate for what appears to be a rather simple - or even incomplete - plot, but the boldness of its visuals and soundtrack create an immersive environment and a freaky watching experience. I would definitely want to see whatever Cosmatos does next.
A bizarre cross between a music video by Daft Punk, an early David Cronenberg's short, and an episode of Space 1999. I recommend watching segments of 10-15 minutes with a electronica/ambient soundtrack - the dialogues are negligible anyway. It reminded my of Amer - the remediation of the Italian giallo' iconography and the 1970s athmosphere are worth the tragically slow pace and slim narrative.
Too simple of a story that's really not much more than a mash-up of the 80s "retro-futuristic" movies the filmmaker has drawn his inspiration from. Visually it was impressive at times, but overall tiring and gimmicky. You praise Cosmatos because he has emulated cross-fades and synth music like his favourite films? It's beyond pastiche, it's boring. This was a disappointing, lifeless affair.
Imagine nearly a whole film done as the films-within-a-film in early Cronenberg (i.e., the interview with Revok in Scanners or the Videodrome signal), with nods to Kubrick, Tscherkassky, Lynch, Tarkovsky, THX 1138, Silent Running, Blade Runner, etc., etc. This actually feels like the visual record of some unspeakably hideous, incomprehensible psychological experiment. Pity about the last 10 minutes. But 1966, whoa.
Although slow to the point where there's nothing going on with the exception of the hypnotic visuals, I still enjoyed the film til the last 15 minutes. Black Rainbow borrowed heavily from respectable films of its genre, but why bother ending it the way it did. When the out of place metal heads showed up, I should of known to turn it off right there.
On one hand, I don't know how I could possibly be satisfied by "Beyond the Black Rainbow." The deus ex machina that occurs during the final 15 minutes would be insulting no matter what movie it was in. And yet there's something strangely compelling about this Reagan-era fever dream. It's unlike any other film out there right now and the warm, ambient synth score completely envelopes the viewer. Worth a watch.
So much to love and so much to be let down by. It was like Cosmatos picked me up in a limo, got me wasted on drugs, dazzled me with a light show, had the driver take unnecessary but thrilling risks with the vehicle, and then after an hour and a half, made me pay for the limo and dropped me off in the industrial district miles away from my car. I'm still really glad i took the trip but I wish he'd brought me back.