Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Beyond the Black Rainbow premieres in Seattle at The Grand Illusion Cinema on Friday, 6/22, and screens through 6/28}

I’m still not really sure I understand what went down in Beyond the Black Rainbow, but I think I got the gist of it—even if I had to wade through a bunch of trippy LSD-laden-this-is-what-a-futuristic-1983-looks-like shots to get there.

Dr. Barry Nyle (Michael Rogers) is one messed-up dude. When he’s not lording his power over a compliant nurse, or psychologically torturing a beautiful girl named Elena (Eva Allan) in his weird orange and white Sci-Fi compound (named Arboria, apparently), he’s driving around in his car—btw, is that a DeLorean?—or moping around his house while shooting disapproving glances at his wife and popping pills like they’re Tic-Tacs.

Elena has some kind of telepathic power that Barry keeps in check with a triangle-shaped light that’s controlled by a 70s stereo knob and makes her act like she’s on a huge dose of Thorazine. Even though she can barely move, Elena is determined to break out of Arboria—but the doctor has some plans of his own that involve lots of leather and a weapon that looks like one of the "mutant gynecological tools" in Dead Ringers.  

Near the end, Director Panos Cosmatos (of course that’s the name of the guy who directed this movie. OF. COURSE) whips out the really disturbing—and shockingly WOW—imagery, which is where I started to really appreciate this film. An amazing synth-dripped score from Jeremy Schmidt (from the band Black Mountain) really adds to the greatness.

Even though I’m not sure what was going on most of the time, I was still pretty entranced by what was happening on screen. According to the Internets, some Sci-Fi fans found the end “unsatisfying,” but I appreciated the perspective, and loved that the last frame looked like a beautiful still painting.