From Beyond is one of those horror films that’s so 80s it almost hurts, but it’s also fantastically great!
Stuart Gordon followed up one of my favorite movies of all time (Re-Animator) with another Lovecraft adaptation starring Jeffery Combs and Barbara Crampton, but this time the villain is a power-mad scientist who’s created a way to see into “The Beyond” using his pituitary gland. The only problem is, the over-stimulated gland causes some really gross mutations, and apparently a zombie-like desire to eat people.
Combs is, as usual, brilliantly uncomfortable in his role as the scientist’s helpless assistant, and Crampton tries her hand at some Librarian-inspired sexuality, tossing her oversized glasses off and letting down her hair during an S&M scene in which her pituitary gland is overtaken by lustful thoughts.
Ted Sorel is gruesomely skeevy as Dr. Edward Pretorious, and omg. Ken Foree (who you may know from the 1978 Dawn of the Dead and The Devil’s Rejects) is both hilarious and fascinating at the same time. He’s just. perfect.
Another thing that’s perfect about this whole film — despite several laugh-out-loud moments (watch for Combs’s “gingerbread man” line) — is the appropriate horror movie ending. I’m not gonna give it away, but it’s a memorable end to a memorable movie, and I LOVE it.
Recommended for everyone! It’s another horror film that’s fun, but also has tons of really grotesque, gory splatter.