Sunday, 22 May 2016

From Beyond

"From Beyond" (1986, Stuart Gordon, Empire Pictures) is a cult, sci-fi, body horror film based loosely on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft.

Dr. Pretorius (Ted Sorel) is a genius scientist with unusual fetishes who has developed a machine which allows people to see outside of the known reality by stimulating the sixth sense. Unfortunately, the machine's effects are addictive and, despite discovering that the other realm can access ours using the machine, Pretorius cannot allow himself to stop. His assistant, Dr. Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs), is bitten by a creature from the other side and tries to stop the experiment, seeing it's destructive nature, but a larger creature comes through the void and kills Dr. Pretorius.

Dr. Tillinghast is locked up in an ward for the criminally insane, suspected of Pretorius' murder and no one will believe his outlandish story. No one, that is, until he meets determined blonde, Dr. McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) who, with her associate, Detective Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree), take Tillinghast back to the house to repeat the experiment and prove his innocence and sanity.

A funny cult film which enjoys close links to "Re-Animator" in casting, direction, behind the scenes team and special effects. While dated, it still stands as a fun, gross B-movie and captures the Lovecraft vibe. There's some funny patter between characters ridiculous dominatrix outfits, questionable science, floating eel creatures, humorous decapitations.... there's a lot going on in this film.

I like a bit of dated special effects and I have to appreciate the Lovecraftian creativity of this film's effects: they are both very fun and very squidgy. Definitely my kind of film. "From Beyond" is also really watchable and has an easy to follow plot that doesn't veer too off story like some other B-movies. It's silly, humorous and ludicrous in equal measures. Sheer campy horror frolics not to be taken seriously.

[Image: Empire Pictures]


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