From Beyond (1986)

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel

From the crew that brought you the brilliant Re-Animator (and a review of those films will come at some point) comes another masterclass in campy, gore-filled fun. Once again, Stuart Gordon teams up with the marvelous legend that is Jeffrey Combs. And to add to the fun, the gorgeous Barbara Crampton is with us again as the leading lady.

Now while this is not quite as silly as the Re-Animator, you should know what to expect if you have seen any of those films. This one is a little more darker and disturbing with a lot more depth. But don’t worry, the cheesy tongue-in-cheek humour is definitely prevalent. The effects are also pretty reasonable in this one, especially for the final gory scenario.

Dr. Edward Pretorius (Sorel) and his assistant Crawford Tillinghast (Combs) have developed a mind-bending machine. This machine (the resonator) stimulates the sixth sense through the pineal gland. Now I’m no scientist or medical student so the factualities of this gland etc are lost on me. But it makes for good horror. Upon activating the resonator, creatures begin to appear and Pretorius, fascinated with the wonders he is witnessing refuses to turn the machine off, much to Crawfords protests.

Naturally everything goes south and Crawford makes a run for it while Pretorius gets beheaded. After ending up in a mental institution (after all, who’d believe a story like that) psychiatrist Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Crampton), curious about his story takes supervision of the now unstable Crawford and returns to the house to re-activate the machine. You can guess what madness ensues.

Shlocky gory fun abound follows with a manic Combs and a dominatrix’ed Crampton. Perhaps one for fans of lower budget horror, but equally any Lovecraft fan should seek this one out (though not having read this particular short story I can’t verify its accuracy). Solid good fun all round for fans of both Combs and low-budget horror alike.


The Sage’s Rating:

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