What. The. Actual. Hell?! From Beyond is quite possibly the most completely, utterly and whole-heartedly mental film I’ve ever seen. I can’t overstate this fact. Seriously, I don’t think I can fully express in words quite how insane it is. It’s based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft ,who must’ve been a complete head-case, if the film is anything to go by, although I’ve yet to read the story so I’m not sure how true the film is to the source material.
Directed by Reanimator’s Stuart Gordon and starring the same actors, Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, From Beyond is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’m a little baffled by the plot (such as it is) but from what I could gather Combs is physicist Crawford Tillinghast, assistant to Dr. Pretorius, who is investigating the role of the pineal gland (it’s in the brain, that’s about all I got). This leads Pretorius to the creation of a device (the resonator) that allows them to see creatures from a parallel universe. This is complicated by the fact that these creatures seem to be homicidal, and consequently Dr. Pretorius doesn’t last long.
Tillinghast is fingered for his murder and, for some reason, is released into the custody of Crampton’s Dr. McMichaels who takes him back to the house to check out his story. Further utter weirdness ensues. A lot. Not only does the machine allow you to see creatures from another universe, but it also seems to make everyone near it really randy.
From Beyond won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you liked Reanimator or Gordon’s excellent film Dolls, it might be worth 86 minutes of your life. It’s probably worth it just for the crazy creatures and the general insanity of it all.
Thanks to Table 9 Mutant at the excellent Cinema Parrot Disco for the recommendation. I’m not sure I’d have found this one without the tip!