Hello Meat Sacks.
Stuart Gordon’s 1986 goop-fest “From Beyond” holds a near and dear place in my heart. Childhood memories of seeing pieces of it here and there stayed with me until my adult life. I finally saw it in its entirety in college, and suddenly all those fragmental recollections of “the dude with the worm coming out of his forehead who eats eyeballs” and “the stunningly hot blonde in the S&M getup” made sense. They all came from this one weird, perverse, disturbing, awesome movie, and amazingly, that movie was just as fucked up as I’d remembered it being when I was a kid. And it still is.
–Should I watch this?
If you’re ok with campy 80’s splatter-fests…abso-goddamn-lutely. I know a lot of people missed the boat on this one, and now that it has a recent Blu-Ray release, there’s no excuse. It’s a blast.
–Do I need to be drunk to watch this?
Need? No. But it’s a good drinkin’ film. You’ll definitely get some real kicks out of this baby if you got a good buzz on…though it’s plenty good on its own too!
-Are there titties?
Dear god, yes. This movie stars Barbara Crampton, whom I will discuss later. All you need to know now is, they’re real, and they’re magical.
As far as movies based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft go, there really is only one guy who has a track record with hitting home runs. Stuart Gordon is that guy, and “From Beyond” is one of his several adaptations (along with “Re-Animator” and “Dagon”, among others). Granted, the final result here, as in a few of his others, is pretty far from Lovecraft’s original short story, but Gordon takes the basic story concepts and spins them into his own wild and fucked up take on expanding consciousness, experiential experimentation, and brain eating. Also, sex.
Not uncommon in Stuart Gordon movies, sex is always somewhere in the picture in terms of his take on the dark side of human experience. Losing his head in “Re-Animator” only served to let the creepy old guy lose his inhibitions when it came to his young student, making him attempt to seduce her, even after he had become physically separated from his sexual organs. In “From Beyond”, expanding one’s mind into the greater dimensions of existence apparently also can make one a total perv, according to Gordon, and as a result we get to see Barbara Crampton do what Barbara Crampton does in Gordon movies, and that’s show off what God gave her.
Ol’ Uncle Frank is going to take a moment to pay tribute to Miss Crampton, for a moment, as she is pretty much the definition of what ol’ Frank looks for in a woman in horror. She’s easy on the eyes, she can actually ACT, and she’s game for fucking ANYTHING. I seriously would love to have the balls that Stuart Gordon has, to be able to ask a woman who looks like Crampton does to do the things he asks Crampton to do in his films. Like, how do you DO that, Stuart? “Hey, so in THIS film, I want you to get in a dominatrix outfit that would make Cher blush. Also, a weird inter-dimensional mutant Sicilian is going to try to rape you. Cool?” The fact that Babs WAS cool with it is one of the reasons to watch this film. Did I mention she starts out the film looking like a hot librarian? Yeah. This movie gets ALL the hormones going.
Ok, but schoolboy crushes aside, this movie also delivers the goods with the gore and the holy-jesus-what-the-fuck moments. Not all the special effects are totally successful, but man, some are almost too good. This is like Carpenter’s “The Thing” level shit. Jeffrey Combs (who is up there with Brad Dourif in the horror GOD category to me) earns every penny he made from this movie, between his scenery-chewing performance and his batshit insane prosthetics. Good body horror repulses you and also makes you empathetic with the plight of the afflicted, and Combs is the absolute reason that balance is struck in this film.
If you liked “Re-Animator” but felt it wasn’t weird enough, if you didn’t mind the shitty evil cat but loved naked Barbara Crampton, if you think Jeffrey Combs is Jehovah and Ken Foree is Yahweh, and after all that you still HAVEN’T seen “From Beyond”, then I only have to ask….what the actual FUCK are you waiting for?
If you’re here reading this website this movie is probably for you, unless you take yourself and your horror way too seriously. It’s dark, gross, crazy, and funny. It also has one of the great horror trifectas in Crampton, Combs, and Foree. See it.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DRUNKS CORNER:
Drinkin’s a good idea for this film, as it’s the kind of goony fun that lends itself to a bit of inebriation. With that in mind, while watching this movie, drink any time you see the color purple, drink any time Ken Foree laughs, drink any time there’s blood on Jeffrey Combs, and finish your drink when Barbara Crampton reveals her chest, because dammit, that’s time for a celebration.
UNCLE FRANK’S SPLATTER SCORE:
-Four and a half weird Jeffrey Combs pineal gland boner heads out of five.
QUAFF QUOTIDIAN: *NEW FEATURE!!*
-(Drink what Uncle Frank drinks with our new gullet-wetting recommendation section!!) During this review, Uncle Frank was downing a Belhaven Scottish Ale, fresh from a nitro can. It’s malty and easy-drinking, and has a great bit of bitter backbone so you don’t think you’re drinking a caramel cream soda. Also, the nitro can gives it the thick head you might recognize from Guinness, but without the whole eating-a-loaf-of-bread feeling you get from Guinness. 5.4% ABV. Beer Advocate gives it a 90/100!
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Categories: Wasted Wednesday