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Saturday, 16 March 2013

From Beyond (1986).

Finally getting a release in the United Kingdom from Second Sight Films is this classic take on the short story by H.P Lovecraft. Directed by Stuart Gordon, the director of Re-animator and Dagon, this film is one of the most outstanding body horror movies outside of Cronenberg's output and Brian Yuzna's Society and of course, John Carpenters The Thing.

Dr Pretorius (Ted Sorel) creates a machine called the resonator. A machine which stimulates the pineal gland, which allows you to see beyond what normal people can see. What appears isn't pretty. Lovecraft called them 'Jellyish monstrosities'. There are also strange Eel like creatures that float in the air, and as soon as you see them, they see you! Dr Pretorious is murdered, and his partner, Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffery Combs), is the cheif suspect. Tillinghast tells the police the story of the resonator, and as Tillinghast is placed under the care of a psychologist named Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton), the police cannot close the case due to many strange occurrences, one of these being that while Dr Pretorious' body was recovered, his head never was.

Tallinghast is taken back to the mansion where the experiment took place, along with Katherine McMichaels, who wants to recreate the experiment, and a cop named Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree). At the flick of a switch, all hell breaks loose.

The FX in this movie are still incredible 27 years after the movie was released. The monsters are a combination of twisted limbs and oozing slime, and everything is bathed in a sickening purple light. The pacing of the movie is tight, with only the Hospital scenes feeling slightly out of place, but it more than makes up for it with a sickening set piece involving the removal of an ocular orb and ...well, I really don't want to spoil it for you.

The job Second Sight have done on the transfer of this movie is amazing. Everything looks incredibly crisp, and every bit of detail stands out so you can see every slime covered inch of the creatures. The acting is as over the top as to be expected, with Dr Pretorious coming across as vile and sickening. Just the way any villain in a horror movie should.

The movie holds up incredibly well, and if you haven't had the chance to see it, you should get round to it as soon as possible.

There are also a number of extras on the disc, which are incredibly interesting. You get a commentary featuring Jeffery Combs, Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna, interviews with various members of the cast and crew, a photo montage and much more.

This is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated gems of 80's cinema, and I for one am happy it has finally got a release for all to see.

Be sure to check out the Second Sight website to see what they have coming up in the future.

You can purchase From Beyond on Blu Ray from Second Sight by clicking here.

It is also available from Second Sight on DVD, which you can purchase by clicking here.

Darkest regards......Dani.

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