“H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond” marks the second entry in Director Stuart Gordon’s slate of films based on the writer’s works. Shout! Factory delivers another cult classic on Blu-ray for the first time packed with extra features and consisting of an Unrated Director’s Cut. It’s just the sort of royal treatment this piece of 1980’s horror history deserves.
Two scientists use a device called the Resonator in an attempt to stimulate the pineal gland. After lead doctor Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel) experiments on himself, he discovers a side effect is seeing creatures from another dimension. They pull the scientist into their invisible world.
His assistant, Dr. Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs), Psychiatric Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton), and Detective Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree) return to the house where Pretorius performed his experiment to investigate his disappearance. Dr. McMichaels becomes obsessed with repeating the experiment and finding out where the creatures come from and where the missing scientist vanished to.
Director Stuart Gordon does a fabulous job taking an 8 or 9-page story and transforming it into an 85-minute movie. It doesn’t feel like screenwriters Brian Yuzna, Dennis Paoli, and Gordon purposely added fluff or stretched out the source material to get it to a feature length running time. The pacing is good and the setting and atmosphere pull you into it.
The special effects in “H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond” are a testament to the hard work artists used to put into creating physical models, monsters, and mechanical prosthetics. The practical effects seen here are so much more effective than what we get now with CGI. There are times when the hideous twisted creatures onscreen might make viewers feel queasy and exclaim, “Gross!”
“H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond” looks wonderful in high-definition. Certain scenes stand out more than others, such as how the third eye sees objects in weird colors that remind me of heat vision goggles. Horror fans will also be pleased that the picture clarity showcases every disgusting inch of the monster’s slimy body. A 5.1 surround sound mix makes the best of every disturbing bump, scream, or buzzing laboratory equipment you see on screen.
Special features for the Blu-ray include two separate audio commentaries. Director Stuart Gordon, Producer Brian Yuzna, and Actors Barbara Crampton and Jeffrey Combs are on one and Screenwriter Dennis Paoli gives his input on the other. There are several featurettes and interviews which focus on different aspects of the filmmaking process. Producer Charles Band, Director Gordon, the special effects team, and actors all talk about their roles in the creation of the film. A photo and trailer are included as well.
“H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond” is a fine example of Shout! Factory’s dedication to preserving horror classics in the best format possible. A delightfully grotesque feature film coupled with an impressive amount of extensive bonus materials makes this a must-have for any genre enthusiast. There’s plenty of gore and slime for everyone to enjoy. It will once again remind you why horror movies of the 1980s still resonate with people 27 years later.
“H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond:Collector’s Edition – Unrated Director’s Cut” is available now in a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Movie Review: “Evil Dead”
Blu-ray Review: “The Vampire Lovers”
Blu-ray Review: “Earth’s Final Hours”