23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2005
There were some fantastic 'b' movies made in the 1980's.
Thankfully, a few of them have received dvd transfers...unfortunately, this one (aside from a rare Japanese release) hasn't...yet!
The partnership behind 'Re-animator', Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna AND the stars including Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton re-united for this classic of modern horror based on an H.P. Lovecraft story.
Ken Foree of the original 'Dawn of the dead' and the late, great Ted Sorel also star in this twisted tale of a mad scientist who discovers a sixth sense and an alternate world through his invention of a machine, created for those very purposes!
Unfortunately, his discovery is not without side effects...for him or for those trying to stop him from playing god.
Some great special effects and make-up alongside an underated cast make this a dvd must-have...all we need now is a dvd must-release!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2013
Dr. Pretorius has developed a machine called a resonator, it allows anyone within range to see beyond normal reality. Pretorius' assistant, Dr. Crawford Tillinghast, activates the machine and is bitten by a strange creature. Tillinghast begs Pretorius to destroy the machine, but the now insane Pretorius refuses and turns the machine back on. Tillinghast flees from Pretorius' house just as the police arrive, they arrest him and soon discover that Pretorius has lost his head, literally. Tillinghast is then locked away in a mental institution, where brilliant girl wonder, Dr. Katherine McMichaels visits to assess him. After a brain scan reveals Tillinghast has an enlarged pineal gland, Katherine believes Tillinghast is telling the truth and manages to convince her superiors to allow her to return to Pretorius' house with Tillinghast, so she can see the resonator herself and study it. Escorted by Detective Bubba Brownlee, they reach the house and turn on the machine. They are horrified to discover that Dr. Pretorius has entered the alternative reality, and is intent on taking them with him.
Jeffrey Combs is great as Tillinghast, his over the top performance really makes his character fun to watch. Just a year earlier, he starred as Herbert West in the outstanding Re-Animator. I do slightly prefer his performance in that film where he chewed the scenery even more, but he's still brilliant here. Barbara Crampton is really good as Katherine, she also starred in Re-Animator as Megan Halsey. I really liked her in Re-Animator but she's much better here and gets a lot more to do. She looks a little silly early on in the film with her wearing huge glasses, studio executives were against her being cast as she was too young for the role, the glasses were apparently to make her look older. She does however look amazing later in the film and even dresses in S&M gear, a scene that many people claim is their favourite. Combs and Crampton would later star opposite each other again in Castle Freak. Ken Foree is funny as ex-football star, Detective Bubba Brownlee. Foree is best known for his brilliant performance as Peter in George A. Romero's masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead. Foree is fun here and works well as the comic relief. Ted Sorel is threatening as Pretorius, and Carolyn Purdy-Gordon is amusing as Dr. Bloch who could not be more against Tillinghast being released. From Beyond was director Stuart Gordon's second film after Re-Animator, and what a follow up. Many people don't like From Beyond as much as Re-Animator, I personally feel they're pretty much level. Stuart Gordon actually shot the film Dolls first using the same sets in Italy, but due to all the work needed in post-production to work on the doll effects, it was released a year later. The music by Richard Band is superb, Band has provided the music for several of Gordon's films.
Like Re-Animator, From Beyond was also based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, the original short story was just seven pages long, so writer Dennis Paoli was brought in to write a screenplay. Paoli has worked regularly with Stuart Gordon over the years, but other screen writing credits are Ghoulies II, Body Snatchers and The Dentist which was directed by From Beyond's producer, Brian Yuzna, who himself made the brilliant body horror film, Society. As good as the direction and performances were, it's the amazing special effects that take centre stage. There's slimy almost see-through slug creatures, big giant worms with loads of teeth, head splitting to reveal an overgrown pineal gland, body parts being lopped off, brain munching, an eyeball sucked out of someone's head so their brain can be sucked through the eye socket, and then there's Pretorius who constantly changes and evolves as the film moves along, becoming more and more grotesque. There's only one instance during the film that the effects look bad where Pretorius sprouts wings, an effect that Stuart Gordon himself has admitted to hating. There's actually not that much gore, though there's still plenty. It's grotesque and gruesome in much the same way as David Cronenberg's The Fly, which was released the same year.
I was hoping for years that From Beyond would get a proper region 2 release, and finally Second Sight stepped up to the plate. This Blu-ray looks terrific, I never imagined I'd see the film so detailed, vibrant and uncut. To my eyes, From Beyond looks fantastic and this is far and away the best the film has ever looked. Not only does it look great, but there's plenty of goodies on the disc as well. There's a really fun and informative commentary with Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, Barbara Crampton and Jeffrey Combs, though for some reason the box doesn't list Crampton as being on it which is strange. There's a 21 minute interview with Gordon, a 16 minute interview with Paoli, a 15 minute interview with Crampton, a 20 minute feature about the effects, another 9 minute interview with Gordon, a 5 minute feature about the lost footage that was later found, a 5 minute interview with composer Richard Band, a photo montage and storyboard to film comparison. It also has a lovely cardboard slipcase cover.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2012
Stuart Gordon (Director) is best known for the excellent cult 8o's comedic horror film 'Re-Animator'. 'From Beyond' was the next movie he directed. It does have less humour than the previous film but it makes up for this with an excellent intelligent story line and impressive special effects for a small budget movie. Jeffrey Combs once again gives a compelling performance. Barbara Crampton also is central to the film showing that she is a great actress (her final scene/scream is just awesome) Such a shame that neither of them went on to bigger recognition. This film delivers for all sci-fi/horror lovers. It is also very atmospherically sensuous . Unfortunately the DVD is not available in England or the U.S.( I searched all over California for a copy) This DVD originates from Korea and is really rather good (but no extras). The colours are lush, the picture sharp with good sound (in English) Anyone who loves strange Sci-Fi/Horror MUST see this movie. It's one of the best.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2013
This Blu-ray edition by Second Sight is a labor of love.
The film has been restored in all its pink, lavender and turquoise
glorious colors, and its gory, slimy and tentacled horror.
The product contains hours of extras, but none of the extras are
subtitled in English SDH.
I got most of what writer Denis Paoli and actress Barbara Crampton
were saying, but most of the other stuff was beyond my aural capabilities.
One star off from a very frustrated, handicapped reviewer!
on 8 May 2014
After the success of Re-Animator, a gooey, brilliant and imaginatively depraved cult classic adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story Herbert West—Reanimator, filmmaker Stuart Gordon reunited with eccentric leading man Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton and producer Brian Yunza to return to similar territory. The resulting movie, From Beyond, is probably even more gory and over the top horror film than his previous one. Mad scientist Dr. Pretorious (Ted Sorel) and his assistant Crawford Tillinghast (Combs) create a machine called The Resonator that allows humans to tap into an alternate universe of gooey, tentacle-sprouting creatures. After the experiment goes wrong and only Crawford is left alive and borderline insane, a psychiatrist (Crampton) and police detective (Ken Foree) attempt to figure out exactly what happened the night Pretorious dipped into the sixth dimension. Once again Gordon and producer/co-writer Brian Yuzna make a gory horror/black comedy loosely inspired by a H.P. Lovecraft story, and get cult hero Jeffrey Combs and scream queen Barbara Crampton to star. And you know what? It's actually as great in its own way as 'Re-Animator'. They really pulled it off! Combs isn't quite as outrageous this time round, but he's still excellent, and Crampton has a more important role, which includes her memorably dressing up in bondage gear. Another 'Re-Animator' actor Carolyn Purdy-Gordon also appears in the supporting cast, as does Ken Foree, one of the stars of Romero's zombie classic 'Dawn Of The Dead', and Ted Sorel plays Dr. Pretorious (a deliberate reference to 'Bride Of Frankenstein'), in a role one could almost imagine was written specifically for the late David Gale ('Re-Animator's Dr. Hill). The story is original and unpredictable, the humour dark and surprisingly subtle, and the special effects are excellent and very effective. For me this movie is extremely underrated and gets better with each subsequent viewing. Kinky, wild, often visually breath-taking, filled with great atmosphere and blessed with unbridled performances, From Beyond is a truly weird but effortlessly entertaining ride. It also holds up so well because it improves on each viewing. It’s nuts, and we love it all the more for that reason.
Shout Factory in my opinion has done a fantastic job with this blu-ray, I also own the previous MGM dvd which actually had a great transfer but the blu-ray looks even better. I can only imagine that it looked quite similar to this theatrically. There is a smattering of grain and even less noise. Much of the film was shot in low-level lighting. The many effects don't show any transparency in 1080P. Contrast is strong exhibiting decent black levels which are a factor in the occasionally impressive detail. This Blu-ray does produce any depth but the image quality is consistent with true colors. The 1.78:1 aspect ratio visuals gave me a solid presentation. Audio gives the option of a decent bump via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2997 kbps or a, more original, DTS-HD Master stereo 2.0 channel at 1856 kbps. Shout! Factory also stack the disc with new and vintage supplements. We get a lighter group commentary by members of the cast and crew, plus a second commentary with screenwriter Dennis Paoli focusing on the story. There are new video pieces (Red Shirt Productions) including the 24-minute Multiple Dimensions - a look at the film's extensive make-up + creature effects with special effects gurus John Buechler, Anthony Doublin etc. Paging Dr. McMichaels is a 14-minute interview with Barbara Crampton, A Tortured Soul is an 18-minute interview with Jeffrey Combs and An Empire Productions spends 5-minutes with Executive Producer Charles Band. There are some older MGM video pieces, The Director's Perspective runs 9-minutes with director Stuart Gordon. There is also The Editing Room - 'Lost and Found' (4:45), an Interview with the composer Richard Band, a Photo Gallery, Trailer and finally Storyboard to Film comparison.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2013
I first saw this film back in the 80's and found it an amusing mix of gore, fetishism and dark humour. Barbara Crampton gives a convincing performance as a steely research scientist, right up to the point where she strips off and don's her dominatrix-wear. She then launches herself at the hapless Jeffrey Combs, whose over-stimulated pineal gland fairly bursts from his forehead at the sight of her! Whatever would H.P. Lovecraft say? However, for all that, the film is very entertaining. It was good to see it again and it's a welcome addition to my DVD collection.
This has long been one of my favourite genre movies from the mid 80's days when I had it on VHS and watched it dozens of times, now finally we have a decent DVD version.
The film is based on a very short Lovecraft story and as Stuart Gordon and Dennis Paoli say in the extras the events described in the original Lovecraft story are pretty much covered in the pre-credit sequence.
The main feature follows in the aftermath of what happened when Dr's Pretorius and Tillinghast first switched on the resonator to look into parallel dimensions. A young Doctor (Barbara Crampton) persuades patient Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs) to repeat his experiment to prove he was not responsible for that tragic event.
There's plenty horror, a little eroticism and a decent dose of humour thrown in.
The fact that this version contains several of the lost sequences that were cut by the censor to ensure it made an R rating is a major bonus. There's even a documentary about how the short clips were found and digitally edited to blend in with existing scenes.
There's a whole rake of extras, an interview with Barbara Crampton, features on the special effects and music as well as a commentary by Lovecraftian stalwarts Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna and Jeffrey Combs.
There's so much crammed onto this one disc, I'm going to be playing it regularly over the next few years.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2014
Perfect movie and uncut version ! I had doubt about the fact that this blu ray had the uncut version but I've just received the answer from Second sight : """" From: email@example.com
Our release is the uncut version. The Blu-ray runs at 86 mins, the DVD runs at 82 mins due to the frame rate difference of Pal video. Hope this helps.
Chris""""""" So enjoy the movie and the many extra's .
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
If you ever wanted to see a movie where a female doctor gets her brains sucked out through her left eye socket then look no further.
Adapted from a 7-page story by HP Lovecraft, and liberally embellished to make a feature-length running time, this mid-80s shocker has all the components to be as memorable as Hellraiser or The Fly, but doesn't go all the way with the gore or tension. Hellraiser had themes of sexual perversion, while the Fly had perversion of science subtext. From Beyond has both, but ultimately just doesn't gel and doesn't fully realize its fantastic ideas.
Jeffrey Combs is Dr. Crawford Tillinghast, a physicist laboring in the attic of a spooky house on an experimental resonator that can open the door to a universe beyond our perception by stimulating the pineal gland in the brain. The experiment is a success, but Tillinghast's sado-masochistic mentor Dr. Pretorius (a name borrowed from Bride of Frankenstein) is seduced by the possibilities of the unknown and is mutated. Tillinghast is driven temporarily insane and flees the house.
A psychologist, played by the very sexy Barbara Crampton, has Tillinghast released from the loony bin on the condition that he fixes the resonator and repeats the experiment. Chaperoned by cheery cop Bubba Brownlee (the always enjoyable Ken Foree) the full horror of Pretorius' fate is teased at, but never fully revealed, as all three of the group suffer from sensory overload, with the female protagonist becoming increasingly sexual (a scene with her wearing S&M gear, even by 1986 fashion, is very hot).
I can't fault the film for its copious make-up effects and gore. There's simply not enough of it to turn it into a classic barf bag movie like John Carpenter's The Thing, but in an age where virtually ALL gore effects are done with shoddy CGI (even the most minute blood trickles) it's a breath of fresh air to see them done practically and in-camera.
Jeffrey Combs has made a career out of playing oddballs and mad doctors, including Stuart Gordon's own Re-Animator, which came out the year before (and which also inspired the Splatterhouse series of video games - and I wouldn't be surprised if From Beyond was an influence too). Barbara Crampton also returns, but while Re-animator was a campy, occasionally humorous, bloodbath From Beyond plays it straight and falls short of its goal. Probably the reason it has not endured as much Gordon's other series.
It's strange that From Beyond never got a sequel. The movie seems like a pilot episode for a series that could go literally anywhere. The full potential simply isn't realized in this manic 86-minute shocker. It could have been so much better, but is still a fun time.
The Blu-ray features an uncut, nicely restored 1.85:1 1080p picture with decent DTS HD-MA 4.0 sound. There are are lots of interesting extras and long interviews. The BD comes in a sturdy slip box, but features nothing inside apart from the disc. When loaded in my PS3 the disc was recognized as BDMV, which is the first time since 2008 that a new release has not been labelled with the movie title and a thumbnail avatar. Minor complaint, but notable.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2010
This a truly a hidden B-Movie style gem! Another H.P. Lovecraft story starring Jeffrey Combes (who is also in Re-Animator, another Horror delight written by H.P. Lovecraft) which makes with the Horror and Gore pretty much from the get-go!
When an experiment goes horribly right (yes, right) after a new Invention called the Resonator is powered-up, shocking "its" from "the other side" are released and the Inventor, Dr Pretorious meets a rather grizzly end, leaving his somewhat horrified Assistant Dr Crawford (Combes) in a Mental Instution rambling about what attacked him on that fateful night when Dr Pretorious lost his head over the Invention (literally!)
It's also attacking Crawfords brain like a Tumor, so his newly-assigned Psychiatrist and her Bodyguard/Cop Friend are sent to see this Invention in action at the House of the late Pretorious, despite repeat warnings from Crawford that he is going to destroy the Machine the first opportunity he gets. After seeing the Resonator live the Psychiatrist believes she has witnessed a positive breakthrough for Mental Health, and potentially a cure for schitzophrenia, but the Monsters from beyond and the Resonator have other ideas. Will anyone get out sane?
I really enjoy this Movie because it's extremely original, I truly haven't seen anything else like it at this point, so for me it makes it a pretty stand-alone Horror. It's been really well directed and stays interesting and scary all the way through!
Prepare yourself, you never know what's waiting to be found...!!