DVD review: FROM BEYOND
From Beyond was Stuart Gordon’s quick follow-up to his groundbreaking 1985 horror-comedy classic Re-Animator. Like its predecessor, it was a loose adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft, just not quite as good. But From Beyond still earned cult status because (1) it was unique, (2) it contained some of the twisted Re-Animator humor loved by so many, (3) it was better than most of the horror dreck out there at the time, and (4) an unrated director’s cut was long hinted at. Plus, absolutely no version, rated or unrated, was available on DVD. That is, until this past week.
Last Tuesday, the unrated From Beyond, featuring Re-Animator stars Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, slithered from the otherworldly ooze of the Old Ones and onto DVD shelves. And for folks like me who have a real fondness for Lovecraft, Gordon, Combs, and Crampton, this event is downright earth-shattering. Besides a beautiful transfer of the movie itself, the disc offers a short interview with Gordon about this notorious director’s cut, a featurette about the search for “lost footage,” storyboard-to-film comparisons, and a full-length film commentary with Gordon, Combs, Crampton, and producer Brian Yuzna. I have been having a great deal of fun with this DVD. But…
A VERY big warning: From Beyond is nasty stuff. It’s creepy. It’s slimey. It’s gooey. It’s gory. And it’s sexual — hoo boy, is it sexual, but not (of course) in a good way. So here’s what I suggest: even if you really love, love, love good horror movies, if you’ve never before seen From Beyond, don’t run out and buy a copy because “Conger says it rocks.” It does. But rent it first. Take it for a spin around the block. Then make your decision about purchasing a copy for your DVD library. That’s my recommendation.