Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weird Science brings sexual perversion 'From Beyond'

From Beyond (1986)
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree, Ted Sorel and Carolyn Purdy-Gordon
Director: Stuart Gordon
Producers: Brian Yunza and Charles Band
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

A pair of physicists (Combs and Sorel) create a machine that causes our dimension to merge with another. They end up unleashing horrors--and sexual perversion--unlike any our world has ever seen before.

"From Beyond" is one of those gory, goopy movies that you do NOT want to watch while eating. If you like fast-paced monster movies with a high quotient of mad doctors--there is only one out of the five major characters who isn't a doctor who is unhinged in some fashion--and you don't mind sexually-themed horror, then you'll enjoy the heck out of this movie.

With excellent special effects--particularly during the final battle against the monstrous creature from beyond--and great performances by all the actors, this movie is a fun ride. Although only the first few minutes of the film is actually based on H.P. Lovecraft's story of the same title, Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton both capture the obsession and the madness that was a hallmark of many of his characters and stories. Further, the creatures and the entire style of the movie evokes the atmosphere of Lovecraft's writings. Even better, the film provides some great laughs to offset the terror, with Ken Foree (best-known for his role in the original "Dawn of the Dead") serving double-duty as comic relief and Macho Action Hero and succeeding equally well at both.

"From Beyond" is an excellent movie to show at a Halloween party where adults or older teens make up those in attendence. If you want to get a copy to show, make sure you get the unrrated DVD director's cut, because it features some really cool scenes that were cut to earn it an R rating during its original release--such the scene where Dr. Bloch (Carolyn Purdy-Gordon) has her brain sucked out through her eye-socket and some of the bits of a tentacle-beast from Dimension Lovecraft getting to know Dr. Katherine McMichaels really well.