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H.P. Lovecrafts classic tale of suspense became a grisly amalgam of sex, shock and satire (Newsweek) in the hands of the creators of Re-Animator. And now, armed with shocking never-before-seen footage and special features and on Bluray for the first time, this bloody good entertainment (Time) has evolved into one of the most gruesomely riveting film experiences of all time!
The Resonator, a powerful machine that can control the sixth sense, has killed its creator and sent his associate into an insane asylum. But when a beautiful psychiatrist becomes determined to continue the experiment, she unwittingly opens the door to a hostile parallel universe... and to the deviant behavior within the human psyche. With its victims becoming creatures who feed on (and become aroused by) human brains, the Resonator is the ultimate man-made monster. And now somethings gone horribly wrong and no one can turn it off!
Director Stuart Gordon followed his gleefully gruesome Re-Animator with From Beyond (1986), another freewheeling H.P. Lovecraft adaptation that blends classic mad scientist tropes with a hearty dose of polymorphous perversity and gallons and gallons of gore and goo. Gordon's stalwart leading man Jeffrey Combs returns to the laboratory as a research scientist working with the grandiose Dr. Pretorius (Ted Sorel) on a device that stimulates the pineal gland in order to supercharge perception. Unbeknownst to them, the machine has a few (quite literal) kinks in its design: not only does it bring the user into contact with extra-dimensional creatures with an appetite for humanity, but it also supercharges both evolution and desire, transforming Pretorius into a gelatinous, megalomaniacal libido monster while reducing Combs to a psychopath with a taste for brain matter. While From Beyond does not command the same cult following as Re-Animator--it lacks that film's coal-black humor, which tempers its explosions of morbid autopsy-room splat-shtick--it's also an outrageous experience unto itself. It more than matches its predecessor in terms of bloodshed while also conjuring a heady brew of Frankenstein references (Pretorius name-checks Ernest Thesiger's sexually ambiguous medico in Bride of Frankenstein), Cronenbergian body horror, and a quivering mass of Freudian peccadilloes, all filtered through Gordon's own avant-garde theater sensibilities and '80s-era grindhouse aesthetics. It also benefits from a remarkably game cast, led by the unfettered twin forces of Combs and Sorel and abetted by fellow Re-Animator alum Barbara Crampton, who kicks out the jams as a strait-laced psychiatrist who discovers her libertine side through their invention, and Ken Foree (the '78 Dawn of the Dead) as a brawny detective whose pro-football past proves no match for the picture's array of monsters.
Scream Factory's Blu-ray presentation offers the director's cut of From Beyond along with a host of new and previously released supplemental features. Lively commentary by Gordon, Combs, Crampton, and producer Brian Yuzna has been ported over from the 2007 MGM DVD release, as have interviews with Gordon and composer Richard Band, while the new material includes a second commentary track with cowriter Dennis Paoli, who reads selections from the Lovecraft source material, as well as interviews with a very funny Combs, Crampton, and producer Charles Band. A featurette on the four special effects companies that labored on the film, as well as a gallery of production stills and advertising material and the original trailer, round out this typically top-notch Blu-ray from Scream Factory. --Paul Gaita
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FROM BEYOND was released in 1986 soon after Re-Animator; and just like Gordon's first foray into H.P Lovecraft territory I'm glad to announce I found my FROM BEYOND (Unrated Director's Cut) complete with Special features including humorous and informative commentary from Director Gordon alongside cast members Crampton, Jeffery Combs (not the 'mad' scientist in this one but a possible mental patient...), and Producer Brian Yuzna. Director Gordon tells us (in commentary with cast) after his mother saw a particular scene with Miss Crampton that she bluntly told her son "...you know you made porn...?" to which the Director concludes: "Hey, if you can't offend your mother...".
I gave FROM BEYOND (Unrated Director's cut) an easy 4 star review even though the conclusion offers some "realism" criticism: And the cast ask their cohort Director just why did he make a certain choice? Stuart Gordon explains that he had wanted to simply use "gasoline" for a "fire" but the Italian studio (Not one actual 'outdoor' shot...!) being used did not want the set damaged, so, the 'prop' that was chosen arrives in the hands of a psychologist!? (really...?). "We were going to explain how (psychologist did this) but it felt like a waste of time...." Gordon concludes, defending the choice.
The 'prop' does stick out like a sore thumb but after 80 minutes of a movie that is really outrageous (did i mention damn entertaining in all its black-comedy gore/slime) "realism" can be put on the back burner. Besides, psychologist takes time to change clothes too. It's all soooo obvious and ridiculous it can be viewed as a visual joke.
And, again, like Re-Animator, the final scene in FROM BEYOND is a perfect way to end what, in essence, is a horror movie.
FROM BEYOND is a fun, wild and 'Crazy' ride for sure.
Things drip, ooze, and congeal into dreadful misshapen monstrosities. What a challenge, to produce something scary and not unintentionally funny. This could have gone either way. Fortunately, it went the right way and it is a minor masterpiece of sorts.
A cult classic which come with the highest recommendation.
This is a very gory film, especially in the "Body Horror" side of things.
It’s a pretty simple premise, and anyone familiar with Lovecraft’s writings will immediately feel at home. Those that are not, well you’re in for a tale which is going to stay with you for quite a while afterwards.
This is just a fun and unsettling movie, which does a pretty darn good job of honoring Lovecraftian horror.