“Humans are such easy prey.”
Directed by Stuart Gordon
Reviewed by Deep Red
Based on the short story From Beyond by H. P. Lovecraft and directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator ’85, Dolls ’87, Daughter of Darkness ’90, The Pit and the Pendulum ’91, Castle Freak ’95, Dagon ’01) this is a classic in every sense of the word. Banshee Chapter (2013) was based on the same short story.
I remember this on video, we rented it numerous times as we did with all the greats; once was never enough, still isn’t.
Great cast: Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator ’85) as Crawford Tillinghast, Barbara Crampton (Chopping Mall ’86) as Dr. Katherine McMichaels, Ted Sorel (Basket Case 2 ’90) as Dr. Edward Pretorius, Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead ’78) as Bubba Brownlee and Carolyn Purdy-Gordon (Dolls ’87) as Dr. Bloch (yes, named after Robert Bloch the author of Psycho ’59). Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton also star together in Castle Freak ’95 which is based on the short story The Outsider by H. P. Lovecraft.
A scientist, Dr. Edward Pretorius, creates a machine called the Resonator which stimulates the pineal gland (the third eye) which allows people to see these creatures. His assistant Crawford Tillinghast activates the Resonator and gets bitten by one of these creatures. Pretorius is decapitated
” It ate him… bit off his head… like a gingerbread man!”
and Tillinghast ends up on a psychiatric ward awaiting trial for Pretorius’ murder. He meets psychiatrist Dr. Katherine McMichaels who is there to see if he is fit to stand trial. Tillinghast is released into McMichaels’ custody who wants to return to the house, 666 Benevolent St, with him. Sergeant Bubba Brownlee goes with them.
They reactivate the Resonator and meet Pretorius who returns ‘from beyond’.
I’ll leave the story there, there’s a lot more to enjoy.
This film looks beautiful on Blu-ray. When the Resonator is activated the film is bathed in a strange pink light that just looks awesome. The special effects are as great today as they ever were, they just look a hell of a lot better on Blu-ray. The film is also as exciting as it ever was. Like The Fly (1986) this is a science fiction horror film of the highest quality. Also, like The Fly, the dialogue is delicious:
Tillinghast: “Edward my God, what have you become?”
You’ve probably seen it and love it as much as I do but if you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat. From Beyond gives everything and the kitchen sink to entertain you and is an essential part of any horror fan’s collection. The cast is phenomenal, the special effects are incredible, plenty of gore, and the story is brilliant. Endlessly rewatchable and enjoyable, ’86 was a very good year for this and The Fly alone.
I would first and foremost recommend it to fans of 80s horror but what kind of horror fan wouldn’t love this? I simply don’t know. Yes, the special effects have aged over time, in places this is somewhat noticeable, but that’s a big part of its charm and all special effects age after all, what matters is if they still work and whether they still work is up to you. Works for me!
Check it out!