From Beyond – USA, 1986

from beyond great poster

‘Humans are such easy prey’

From Beyond is a 1986 American science fiction-body horror film directed by Stuart Gordon, loosely based on the short story of the same name by H. P. Lovecraft. It was written by Dennis Paoli, Gordon and Brian Yuzna (Necronomicon; The Dentist; Society).

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The movie stars Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead) and Ted Sorel.

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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 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…

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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.

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Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Review:

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 gore (eyeballs sucked out, brains eaten) and the sexual aspects of the story. Sex 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, Horrorpedia

UK From Beyond
Buy: 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
  • Director’s Perspective
  • The Editing Room – Lost and Found
  • Interview with the Composer
  • Commentary with Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna and Jeffrey Combs
  • Photo Montage
  • Storyboard to film comparison
  • Includes English subtitles for hard of hearing

Other reviews:

“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 Ass Cinema

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“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, Chicago Sun-Times

“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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Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

“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. Buy it now!!” J.R. McNamara, Digital Retribution

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from beyond vhs

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5 Comments on “From Beyond – USA, 1986”

  1. Its NOT fully uncut. If you look at the back of the VHS cover above(fourth photo up from bottom), you will see a still of Crawford and Pretorious heads amid a load of goo. That still is from the very end of the film during the scene where the Crawford is reborn through Pretorious body, and a fight ensues between the two of them, amid the remnants of the Pretorious monsters body. The fight sequence itself is still in the so called uncut version, but there is still footage missing from that scene, which didnt make it back into the directors cut. The still above, is from part of that footage. It is NOT a publicity still!
    Also, during the scene where Crawford kills the ambulance driver, there was a shot of Crawford sucking her brain through the wound. The censors made small trims to that scene. They also zoomed and re-framed the shot of the brain sucking. If you watch this scene on the DVD you will notice an abnormality where the viewer is only able to see Crawfords head from the nose up, in the frame. You cant see the full shot of Crawford and the ambulance driver because of the zoom and re-frame.
    The very first Pretorious transformation scene is also still cut. One of the missing shots occur after Pretorious head splits in two. Just after that happens, there was a shot of Pretorious reaching up and tearing his own head off his body just before Bubba begins shooting at Pretorious. There is a clip of this scene on you tube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd-eoXg4YLI

    Another scene that was cut was an S&M scene where Pretorious shoved a nail through the tounge of his girlfriend during one of their S&M sessions. However, Stuart Gordon cut this particular scene himself.
    None of the footage listed above made it into the directors cut This is because Stuart Gordon was unable to find all of the footage that had been cut. They only found a small box of trims and not all of it. Some of it was lost. The original negative was also lost, although it might turn up some day.

  2. Some full on sickening body horror going on here with pineal glands breaking free of their owners foreheads and full on beast-outs all filled with tons of pumping gore and slop a la Society. I love the idea of this inter dimensional horror with strange beasties swimming in the ether and although it’s absolutely awesome it never reaches the full on heights of indescribable cosmic terror set out by Lovecraft – but then what does? what can? Well worth your time if only to see the madness that is Geoffrey Combs sucking out a nurse’s peeper!

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