From Beyond: Unrated Director's Cut Stuart Gordon

From Beyond: Unrated Director's Cut Stuart Gordon

Following up a seminal horror flick like Re-Animator seemed a daunting task for Stuart Gordon, but once again he turned to the literary genius of H.P. Lovecraft to deliver another barmy genre classic. Nobody plays "crazy scientist” better than Jeffrey Combs, and he returns as Crawford Tillinghast, an assistant to Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel). Together they develop the Resonator, a machine that can control the sixth sense and basically make you either a ghostly killer blob, a psychopath that sucks out eyeballs thanks to a protruding pineal gland working as a third eye, or just really horny. It ends up killing Pretorius and committing Crawford, but with the help of psychiatrist Dr. McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) and some muscle from Bubba (Ken Foree), he tries to put an end to the Resonator and the now homicidal Pretorius, who’s using his supernatural powers to re-enter the world. From Beyond is a very, very bizarre satirical horror that at times, gets more complex than it needs to. But Gordon and his gifted special effects team manage to bring the insanity to life via ample gore and eye-popping (literally) visuals that make Styrofoam balls believable as a flesh-eating threat. Surprisingly risqué for a studio picture, the film straddles all sorts of sexual connotations and this unrated cut restores the film to its original glory before it was "castrated” (a featurette shows the challenges Gordon faced to return the degraded MPAA-disapproved trims). Like the recent Re-Animator reissue, Gordon invites Combs and Crampton back for an active commentary that demonstrates the chemistry is still there between the trio. It’s funny hearing Crampton’s reaction to her passionate S&M scene, which is apparently a hit at her dinner parties, and made Gordon’ mom disappointed that he’d peddle pornography. Gordon sits down for "The Director’s Perspective,” and tells of how they developed the film from a seven-page story into a full-length feature, and the need for combining horror and sex. Plus: composer featurette, storyboard to film comparisons. (MGM)