"Crawford, please don't eat those."

Touch me!

I just watched From Beyond, which Stuart Gordon made a year after the more famous, and similarly Lovecraft... ish... Re-Animator.

(There's an animated 2006 version of From Beyond, as well, but an IMDB rating of 1.7 doesn't tempt me.)

The movie didn't get off to a good start. Every automatic door in a hospital - including the glass swinging doors on the exit - made the Star Trek door noise.

(This movie also turned out to be the source of the "giving them drugs, taking their lives away" sample from Empirion's acid-house classic Narcotic Influence. Which is neither here nor there, but which I found surprising enough that I just had to mention it.)

The acting is also not a good reason to watch this movie. And the script has only the tiniest skerrick of a connection with the original Lovecraft story.

Chompy otherworldly jellyfish thing

The special effects have their ups and downs, too.

(Actually, this beastie looks pretty good in motion.)

Oh, and then there's the bondage gear. And the supernaturally-induced horniness. I don't remember that from the original story either.

But, for all that, I quite liked it.

Like all good horror movies, From Beyond gives you the impression that there's some method to the madness even if you can't really figure it out. It also held my interest; there were no long predictable scenes with characters walking backwards into the grasp of a monster or failing to be believed by scornful, obviously-doomed townsfolk.

The movie's also got classic-horror stalwart Ken Foree, amiably tolerating a bit of light blaxploitation. And the silly bits of the ending are also the funny bits of the ending, so that's OK. I've watched far worse movies with far better production values.

As Neil Gaiman points out...

...visual media are not a good place to put Cthulhu Mythos stuff, because the whole idea is that the ghastly Things are as far beyond human comprehension as Jupiter is beyond the comprehension of an ant. But since this isn't really a Lovecraft-y story, that doesn't matter.

The version I watched is the unrated Director's Cut released only last year, which includes a couple of bits of footage that didn't make it past the censors when the movie was in theatres. Pay attention and you can spot the places, in a couple of particularly nutritious shots, where the recovered-from-the-cutting-room-floor footage was spliced back in.

Oh, and I made a panorama of the laboratory.

From Beyond lab panorama

You're welcome.

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