From Beyond/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< From Beyond

The mid-80’s delivered onto us a cult classic we treasure to this day. A body-horror splatter -fest ripped straight from the pages of H.P. Lovecraft. Some top-tier talent behind the camera including Director Stuart Gordon, Producer Brian Yuzna and co-writer Dennis Paoli. And in front we get Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton sizzling the sex and violence on the screen with… Wait wrong Lovecraft/Gordon/Combs/Crampton movie. Oopsies… Let’s forget the punchline and go… From Beyond.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ll be taking a look at the uncut version for all the unbridled chaos we can talk about.)


Good ol’ Jeff Combs makes the leap from Herbert West, mad scientist to Crawford Tillinghast, meek scientst. We first witness building a machine called the Resonator for his head-honcho, Dr. Edward Pretorius. Now I know what you’re thinking and yes: he is named after Ernest Thesiger’s character from “Bride of Frankenstein”. But just think of Edward as the more S&M, straight version of Septimus (if that’s humanly possible).

But back to the story: so the boys are constructing this gizmo for the purpose of stimulating all sense of the human mind. Essentially “to go where no man has gone before” (relevant since the Star Trek door sound shows up in some scenes… for some reason). But like all evil geniuses, Eddy wants more which ends getting Crawford into the nuthouse. It’s here we’re introduced to Barbara Crampton as Katherine McMichaels, a doctor working with schizophrenic patients.


After saddling up with Detective Bubba Brownlee (played by the always kicks Ken Foree), the gang heads back to Casa de la Pretorius. Why you ask? Well Katherine gets a weeee bit too interested in the resonator after hearing what just happened. She tries to smoke-screen it by saying it’s for treating brain damage and schizophrenia. But Bubba and Crawford know that what she brings back is not pretty… and I’m REALLY emphasizing on not pretty.

One of the film’s biggest achievements undoubtably is the special effects. I know it’s cliched since everyone on the internet says 80s horror has good fx, but I’m testifying here that “From Beyond” is out of this world in the fx department. So many cool designs to the monsters, the mutants, and even Pretorius in his freakish forms while coming out the resonator. Even the final bit of Crawford struggling with the soul of Pretorius while literally spilling the guts is a highlight to watch. Props go out to Mark Shostrom and the late John Carl Buechler for their contributions to some wild designs.


The performances here are also a treat. Even when given the damsel-in-distress role, Jeffrey Combs still manages to shine some sinister vibes into his act. Such is the case when he’s in the funny farm describing how Dr. Pretorius met his initial demise. Barbara Crampton who graced “Re-Animator” as a helpless victim now literally slips into a villainous role. Dare I call it, a femme fatale who leads our heroes to the danger that’ll go rabid if it isn’t stopped.

Finally, the use of colors is something I also (pardon the pun) want to spotlight. I say about a good 85% of this movie is coated in a hellish red/pink coat which looks gorgeous. This palette gives the film a sort of style that suggests both evil and a seductive quality to the picture. Almost as if it’s daring you to join in on the darkness and nerve-twisting fear taking place on the screen. Just be careful and hope you like goop hehe.


So “From Beyond” is a sleek, sexy and scary little movie. I don’t mean to offend fans, but I would argue that it’s somewhat better than Re-Animator honestly. The pace is more action-packed, the cast are having the time of their lives and the effects are cranked up to 11. Though it shouldn’t take away from the fact that Stuart Gordon is a talented dude that he’ll be missed every day. R.I.P. Stuart Gordon

I give it 5 bootlegs S&M porn tapes out of 5; check it out!

Reviewed by Ken Hegarty

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