Michael (Nick Roberts) takes his heavily pregnant partner Claudia (Dani Thompson) out to a restaurant one rainy Wednesday evening. After eating, he reveals he's got the keys to their soon-to-be new place in his pocket and suggests they go and have a look around. Clearly loved up, the couple happily leave the quiet eatery and make towards his nearby car.

Upon reaching the car, two men in a closely parked van - spunk-mopped Spider (Gary Baxter) and rotten-toothed Skank (Glenn Salvage) - catch sight of Claudia in her skimpy silk dress and remark upon her having nice breasts. Michael decides to let the comment go and rummages for his car keys. In the meantime, Skank manages to inflame the situation further by referring to Claudia's baby bump and calling her "damaged goods", and throwing a beer bottle at their car. This provokes Michael into approaching the van. Bad move: there are two more nasty pieces of work - pimp Travis (Tony Mardon) and Fraser (Dean Price) - waiting in the back of the van.

Michael and Claudia are beaten and dragged into the back of the vehicle. They're driven to a warehouse where the former is given a good hiding. He fights back violently, fatally ramming a knife into Fraser's face in the process, but is overwhelmed by the opposition. Bloodied and broken on the floor, he watches helplessly as Claudia is stabbed in her pregnant belly. He passes out, thankfully being spared the sight of Claudia's assailants tearing the unborn child from her womb, and then proceeding to rape her both vaginally and anally.

Police are called to the scene three hours later and discover Michael's still alive ... but only barely. He's rushed to hospital for life-saving surgery.

Meanwhile, Russian gangster Ivan (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) is busy monopolising England's drug industry. We first meet him doing his rounds of debt-collecting. One small-time dealer who owes him money is the dishevelled Frankie (Jeff Stewart). He informs Ivan of an event from the previous evening which is now making local tongues wag: a pregnant woman and her partner were attacked by four hoodlums, one of whom was slain. It transpires the perpetrators are employees of Ivan's firm. Furthermore, Spider actually turns out to be Ivan's son. He's understandably keen, therefore, to eliminate any connection between the previous evening's crime and himself or his men. To this end, he instructs sharp-suited right-hand-man Sponge (Anthony Straeger) to find out which hospital Michael's being treated at, and kill him before he's in a well-enough state to give descriptions of his attackers.

Arabella (Joanna Finata) is a police detective assigned to the case in the meantime. She visits Michael in hospital hoping to glean information from him but he's reluctant to share any recollections of the assault with her. He doesn't want the bad guys in prison ... he wants them dead. With that motivation in mind, he's quick to informally discharge himself from hospital. His purpose in life from now on? Extremely gory revenge. By the time Sponge arrives at said hospital, Michael's already done his moonlight flit.

Despite his physical scars still healing, and his tortured memories seriously eating him up - complete with wild hallucinations - Michael is determined to put his SAS training from a shady former life into good use once more and make the bastards pay for slaughtering his family. Unbeknownst to him, the hunter is also the hunted: Ivan is baying for his blood.

Upon learning of Michael's self-discharge from hospital, Arabella senses an "aura of violence" about him and so, along with partner Detective Scott (Harold Gasnier), becomes fixated on locating this towering antihero before he can turn the streets blood red.

Can Michael, with the aid of close friend Gemma (Tina Barnes) and tormented priest Tony (Dan van Husen), sufficiently recuperate then avenge the murders of his wife and child while taking on the wrath of a Russian mobster? Will the mismatched, jovially bickering detectives get to him first? And what nefarious plan is Ivan scheming in the meantime?

My synopsis takes you halfway into BEYOND FURY, the final instalment in a trilogy began by writer-director Darren Ward in 1997 with the lo-fi epic SUDDEN FURY. This was followed in 2010 by the stupendously bloodthirsty A DAY OF VIOLENCE. Now we have the long-awaited third chapter, and if my precis seems delicate it's because it is: I'm trying my upmost to respect Ward's request that no spoilers are given in reviews. Which I totally appreciate - but it's not an easy task, as so much happens in the film's final hour or so!

An open love letter to 1970s Eurocrime thrillers - Ivan's surname is Lenzivitch, in a canny nod to cult director Umberto Lenzi - BEYOND FURY is also infused with a colour-hued visual style heavily reminiscent of the best gialli, and a whole shed-load of gore akin to the Italian horrors of the early 1980s.

The revenge plot is simple enough, and expertly propelled by regular intervals of bone-crunching violence. Much of this bloodshed is realised via the practical make-up effects of Beau Townsend. Things get extremely splashy, the cavalcade of explicit violence incorporates pistol-whipping, stabbings, hammer violence, tongue-scissoring, eyes being poked out, chain saw mayhem, and gory exaggerated shootings galore. Some of the gorier footage is wince-inducingly realistic at times, while Ward lingers on the blood-flow like only prime Lucio Fulci would do.

Digital effects are kept to a minimum and work well, like a thunderstorm, for example, which is shown outside but then the camera pulls back and seamlessly finds itself indoors, viewing the shitty weather through a window. Most of the digital work is wisely subtle in execution.

Ward and his cinematographer John Raggett have fashioned a film which is consistently gorgeous to behold, which is ironic considering how much ugly violence is on offer. The stylised artificial lighting of many scenes lends events a warm, striking aesthetic; this is expanded upon with inventive camera angles, nicely staged tracking shots and even the use of a drone camera. Locations have been cleverly chosen and employed, creating a convincing universe for these dubious characters to exist in. From the action-packed opening titles sequence onwards, each and every scene looks to have been painstakingly thought out and prepared.

Dave Andrews provides a superb electronic score which sounds gialloesque at times, while recalling some of the more iconic scores of John Carpenter at others. It's understated and hugely impressive at the same time, pitching the tone of Ward's action perfectly.

Performances are admittedly uneven, such is the nature of indie filmmaking. Roberts is a likeable, believable lead; Radice appears to be having great fun as the cartoonish villain - dancing and singing in-between doling out hideous punishments upon anyone who even looks at him the wrong way.

Ward directs with slick precision and supreme confidence, fashioning a taut, fast-paced and constantly engaging flick that is never anything less than entertaining, even when at its nastiest in terms of gore or when it veers into graphic rape territory.

We were lucky enough to be sent an online screener for review purposes.

The film was presented uncut at 112 minutes and 36 seconds in length, and in gloriously pin-sharp 1080p. With its ravishing widescreen photography benefitting from such a bold and clean presentation, BEYOND FURY really pops off the screen. It looks and sounds great.

Produced by Ward's own Giallo Films roster, BEYOND FURY is currently doing the festival rounds where it will no doubt be picked up for distribution.

For fans of SUDDEN FURY and A DAY OF VIOLENCE, BEYOND is a more-than-worthy finale to a series a quarter of a century in the making. It shows how Ward has grown as a filmmaker over the years, his storytelling skills having never been more finely tuned than they are here. Complete with numerous scenes of crowd-pleasing gory action and wonderfully hammy appearances from old faves Radice and van Husen, Ward knows what the fans want and is in his element here, taking delight in delivering the goods in spades.

Review by Stuart Willis

Directed by Darren Ward