• Lovers Beyond Time

    Released by: Mondo Macabro
    Released on: February 13th, 2018.
    Director: Dimitris Panayiotatos
    Cast: Benoit Roussel, Christine Skaza, Takis Moschos, Aryo Apartian, Nantia Deliyanni
    Year: 1990
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    The Movie:

    Directed by Dimitris Panayiotatos in 1990, the Lovers Beyond Time that this bizarre blend of arthouse style and sexploitation plotting are Sylvia (Christine Skaza, credited as Hristina Alexander) and Angelos (Benoit Roussel) When their consistently intense relationship becomes too much for her, Sylvia decides to call it quits and move on. He doesn’t take this well and rams a knife through the palm of his hand… essentially proving to the audience and Sylvia that she made the right decision (but of course, then they have make up sex before she really hangs him up for good).

    We then jump ahead a few years. Sylvia now lives with a doctor named Michalis (Aryo Apartian) and works a cushy job at a big record company. Things seem fine on the surface but we know she’s still got it bad for Angelos. And then she starts having random and completely unexpected orgasms at strange times and in strange places. From there, things only get weirder as she tries to land a recording contract at her job – only she can never track this guy down. And then the phone rings and her past with Angelos comes back to haunt her.

    If you’ve read this far it’s likely that you’ve ascertained for yourself that Lovers Beyond Time is a decidedly bizarre affair. It mixes surrealism, sexploitation, heady science fiction tropes and occasionally some darker not-quite-but-kinda-sorta horror movie elements into an unforgettable cinematic mindfuck, and I mean that in the best possible way. If it borders on the pretentious at times, that never takes away from the film’s entertainment value nor from its admittedly consistently impressive offering of standout visual set pieces. Frequently bathed in primary colored lighting and set against strangely minimalist neon-infused backdrops, the last half hour of this picture takes the already strange and engrossing story into exciting, uncharted territory.

    The performances are pretty strong too. Benoit Roussel makes an intimidating screen presence as Angelos. We have no trouble whatsoever understanding why Sylvia considers their relationship to be too intense, but so too do we understand why she’s still drawn to him even after she ‘officially’ ends it. Likewise, Christine Skaza makes for a fetching female lead, she’s talented at beautiful making her a very good casting choice for the part. Her inner conflict is expressed quite effectively through her acting, her facial expressions and – in a few key scenes – her body language.

    The film is well-paced and very nicely shot. The visuals really help to seal the deal here. On top of that it’s all set to a memorably strange score that somehow seems to fit the movie perfectly.


    Lovers Beyond Time looks fine on this DVD, framed at 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen from what looks to be a standard definition master of some sort. Colors are reproduced quite nicely and black levels look good, as do skin tones. Detail understandably isn’t as strong as it would have been if this were given a new scan and a Blu-ray release, but by DVD standards, no complaints here.

    The Greek language Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which comes complete with optional English subtitles, also sounds fine. Levels are properly balanced and there are no audible problems with any hiss or distortion. The score sounds quite good here too.

    The biggest and best of the extras on this disc is a ninety-minute documentary from 2009 entitled Strangers In A Strange land that does an excellent job of covering the still widely undiscovered landscape of Greek cinema. This doesn’t just cover oddball arthouse and exploitation titles but also delves into other genres like film noir, action and adventure picture and loads more. Partially comprised of some genuinely interesting articles with Greek filmmakers from all walks of life and a well informed slate of critics, this is a seriously eye opening piece that should make fans excited to see what other Greek titles are in the Mondo Macabro pipeline.

    Director Dimitris Panayiotatos gets in front of the camera for a new twenty-five-minute interview entitled The Erotic, The Fantastic in which he gives us a look back at his interesting career beginning with how he got into filmmaking, his early projects, his work in the writing and publishing fields, and his thoughts on genre cinema. He also talks about what it takes to get certain films made in Greece and discusses Lovers Beyond Time and some of his other efforts in this piece.

    Also on hand is a twenty-seven-minute episode of a Greek anthology horror/sci-fi show entitled Tales Of Love And Terror. This episode, The Last Meal, tells the strange tale of a marriage proposal gone wrong in the most unorthodox of restaurants.

    Rounding out the extras on the disc are a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Lovers Beyond Time offers up a genuinely interesting and patently strange mix of heady sexploitation and arthouse style in nice shape and on a disc completely loaded with really well done extra features. It’d be all too easy to let this one fly under your radar – don’t make that mistake.