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The second H.P. Lovecraft adaptation by Stuart Gordon FROM BEYOND is pure Lovecraftian science-terror. Out-there scientist Dr. Pretorious (Ted Sorel) and his assistant Dr. Tillinghast (Jeffery Combs) are working towards breaking through earthly perceptions and revealing a new alternate universe. They do this by stimulating the pineal gland of the human brain which enables people to see the strange creatures that inhabit a parallel dimension. Unfortunately these creatures can now see humans as well and they are none too pleased with it. Dr. Pretorious is killed by the floating monstrosities but the police blame his assistant for the murder and lock him up. Only Dr. Katharine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) believes the insane tales of Dr. Tillinghast and it's up to her to shut down the experiment that threatens to unleash the other-dimensional creatures on this universe forever. Great special effects and solid performances by Combs and Crampton complement a near-perfect realization by Gordon of Lovecraft's vividly detailed and chilling vision of scientific possibilities.System Requirements:Running Time: 85 Mins.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: HORROR Rating: R UPC: 027616085504 Manufacturer No: M108550
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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.
One of Lovecraft's "minor" short stories that was pregnant with incredible ideas and vistas of much more than we can ordinarily perceive. And we can only see, hear and smell so very little of all that is reality around us.
A man designs and builds a device that excites the pineal gland. He believes it is a kind of perceptive organ that could allow humans to see a wider world. However the Resonator also allows those creatures to not only see us but hurt us as well. Only sorrow and madness follows them.
Note:An episode of the Stargate SG1 series has an episode "The Unseen" based upon this short story. The Resonator uses sonic waves to change the molecular structure of the human brain.
A cult classic which come with the highest recommendation.