‘Humans are such easy prey’
From Beyond is a 1986 American science fiction body horror film directed by Stuart Gordon from a screenplay written with Dennis Paoli and Brian Yuzna (Necronomicon; The Dentist; Society), loosely based on the short story of the same name by H. P. Lovecraft. It was
The movie stars Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead) and Ted Sorel.
Many members of the production staff for Re-Animator also held similar roles in the production of From Beyond, including screenwriter Dennis Paoli, producer Brian Yuzna, executive producer Charles Band, director of photography Mac Ahlberg, and special effects artists John Carl Buechler and John Naulin.
Gordon, Combs and Crampton would work together on a third Lovecraft adaptation in 1995, the direct-to-video release Castle Freak.
A pair of scientists are attempting to stimulate the pineal gland with a device called The Resonator. An unforeseen result of their experiments is the ability to perceive creatures from another dimension that proceed to drag the head scientist into their world, returning him as a grotesque shape-changing monster that preys upon the others at the laboratory…
From Beyond was shot in Italy with an Italian crew in order to save money. Gordon says that the film would have cost fifteen million dollars to make in the United States, whereas the foreign production enabled him to hold costs to approximately two and a half million dollars. It was shot on a soundstage called Dinocitta just outside of Rome built by producer Dino Di Laurentiis (King Kong; Amityville 3-D; Maximum Overdrive).
According to Gordon, securing an “R” rating from the MPAA was a challenging ordeal. He quotes them as initially saying his presented cut of the film had “ten times too much of everything”. He was ultimately able to get away with making small trims, and without removing any entire sequences from the film. Current Blu-ray releases are fully uncut.
Bathed in a constant glow of purples and pinks, From Beyond is visually arresting, and rarely holds back from exploring the excesses of sensory over-stimulation. It’s unsurprising that the film had so many censorship issues, given the heady combination of graphic splatter (eyeballs sucked out, brains eaten) and the titillating aspects of the story. The libido is at the heart of this story, more than horror in many ways, and the film doesn’t shy away from exploring it.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk
Stuart Gordon on From Beyond
Gothic Adaptation – An interview with writer Dennis Paoli
The Doctor Is In – An interview with Barbara Crampton
Monsters & Slime – The FX of From Beyond
The Editing Room – Lost and Found
Interview with the Composer
Commentary with Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna and Jeffrey Combs
Storyboard to film comparison
Includes English subtitles for hard of hearing
“The director of Re-animator fires on all cylinders for this sexually charged body horror follow up that, in some ways, surpasses his previous, more well-known effort. The special effects are incredibly ambitious and gruesomely creative.” Cool @ss Cinema
“Eyeball-sucking, brain-eating, pineal gland chewing, boob squeezing, sexy, horny, bloody, slimy good fun, all dressed up in pink lights with a light sense of humour. Lovers of Re-Animator will become lovers of this film.” Digital Retribution
“At a time when almost any exploitation movie can make money if its ads are clever enough, this is a movie that tries to mix some satire and artistry in with the slime.” Roger Ebert
“From Beyond is a visual treat for those who enjoy gooey monsters and Barbara Crampton in leather (and who doesn’t?). It’s intense prologue is actually a compelling and rather accurate film adaptation of one of H. P. Lovecraft’s stranger tales. And although the gross sexual excess may displease hard-core Lovecraft fans, at least the house doesn’t burn down on-screen.” Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H. P. Lovecraft
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