FROM BEYOND Shirt

FROM BEYOND Shirt

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The Resonator, a powerful machine that can control the sixth sense, has killed its creator and sent his associate into an insane asylum. But when a beautiful psychiatrist becomes determined to continue the experiment, she unwittingly opens the door to a hostile parallel universe... and to the deviant behavior within the human psyche. With its victims becoming creatures who feed on (and become aroused by) human brains, the Resonator is the ultimate man-made monster. And now something’s gone horribly wrong and no one can turn it off!

Director Stuart Gordon followed his gleefully gruesome Re-Animator with From Beyond (1986), another freewheeling H.P. Lovecraft adaptation that blends classic mad scientist tropes with a hearty dose of polymorphous perversity and gallons and gallons of gore and goo. Gordon's stalwart leading man Jeffrey Combs returns to the laboratory as a research scientist working with the grandiose Dr. Pretorius (Ted Sorel) on a device that stimulates the pineal gland in order to supercharge perception. Unbeknownst to them, the machine has a few (quite literal) kinks in its design: not only does it bring the user into contact with extra-dimensional creatures with an appetite for humanity, but it also supercharges both evolution and desire, transforming Pretorius into a gelatinous, megalomaniacal libido monster while reducing Combs to a psychopath with a taste for brain matter. While From Beyond does not command the same cult following as Re-Animator--it lacks that film's coal-black humor, which tempers its explosions of morbid autopsy-room splat-shtick--it's also an outrageous experience unto itself. It more than matches its predecessor in terms of bloodshed while also conjuring a heady brew of Frankenstein references (Pretorius name-checks Ernest Thesiger's sexually ambiguous medico in Bride of Frankenstein), Cronenbergian body horror, and a quivering mass of Freudian peccadilloes, all filtered through Gordon's own avant-garde theater sensibilities and '80s-era grindhouse aesthetics. It also benefits from a remarkably game cast, led by the unfettered twin forces of Combs and Sorel and abetted by fellow Re-Animator alum Barbara Crampton, who kicks out the jams as a strait-laced psychiatrist who discovers her libertine side through their invention, and Ken Foree (the '78 Dawn of the Dead) as a brawny detective whose pro-football past proves no match for the picture's array of monsters.