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Saturday, October 5, 2013

31 Days of Scream-O-Ween! - HP Lovecraft’s From Beyond

By Garon Cockrell

I’ve been a horror fan pretty much for as long as I can remember but even after so many years of watching there are many, many films I’ve missed.  This is just one of the many reasons I’m a huge fan of Scream Factory.  Not only are they releasing a lot of films I’ve never seen, they’re doing so in excellent quality releases.

Prime example? The Stuart Gordon classic From Beyond.  It’s the first time seeing it for me and outside of a theater, there is no better way to see it than this Scream Factory collector’s edition.

HP Lovecraft’s From Beyond

The Film:
The folks behind Re-Animator (another one I’ve yet to see) reunite for another Lovecraft adaptation.   This time telling the story of The Resonator, a machine that can control the control the sixth sense and tap into another dimension.  The machine is powerful enough to kill its creator and drive his assistant to near madness.  A psychiatrist decides to continue the experiment and unleashes the darkest desires of the human psyche and allowing The Resonator to turn its victims into creatures who feed on (and are turned on by) human brains.

This unrated director’s cut restores the film to its original glory.  Even if you have seen From Beyond before, you’ve never seen it like this and it is a helluva lot of fun.


The Disc:
Scream Factory has again delivered a gorgeous disc here.  The picture quality is stunning.    This movie looks brand new like it was shot yesterday rather than nearly 30 years ago. 
Sometimes with these transfers you get the inevitable aging of effects.  This is a problem that plagues the Friday the 13th films on Blu-ray.  The effects just don’t stand up to a high-def transfer.  Not so with From Beyond.  The effects, character design, and gore all hold up beautifully. 
As is tradition with the Scream Factory Collector’s Editions, the studio has commissioned all new cover artwork to enhance this release.  I am a huge fan of all of the art so far and From Beyond is no exception.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the original also.  Scream Factory keeps their purists happy as well by including the original artwork on the opposite side of the sleeve.  I usually flip the sleeve to the original artwork so I have both the new and old easily visible.  New on the slipcover, old on the sleeves.

Of course no title is complete without the myriad of extras that Scream Factory again nails here.  They have both older features carried over from a previous release and all-new specially created features for this release.

The Features:
  • Audio Commentary with writer Denis Paoli
  • MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS – A look at the film’s extensive Make-Up & Creature Effects with Special Effects Creators John Buechler, Anthony Doublin, John Naulin, and Mark Shostrom (20 mins)
  • PAGING DR. MCMICHAELS – An interview with Actress Barbara Crampton (15 mins)
  • A TORTURED SOUL – An interview with Actor Jeffrey Combs (15 mins)
  • AN EMPIRE PRODUCTION – An interview with Executive Producer Charles Band (5 mins)

  • Audio Commentary with director Stuart Gordon and the cast
  • THE DIRECTOR’S PERSPECTIVE - interview with Stuart Gordon
  • THE EDITING ROOM: LOST AND FOUND - Gordon Stuart and MGM restoration team interview
  • Interview with composer Richard Band
  • Storyboard to Film Comparisons with Introduction
  • Two photo galleries

The Specs:

·         1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1)
·         DTS HD Master Audio Stereo
·         English-only Audio & Subtitles.
·         Original Release: 1986
·         Runtime: 86 minutes
·         Rated R

  • Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) (DVD)
  • Dolby Digital Stereo

Final Grades:
Story:  A / A great adaptation of Lovecraft’s work keeps the scares and squirms coming.  Really fun tale that holds up great.
Presentation: A / A wonderful transfer keeps the film vibrant and timeless.
Scare Factor: A / Jumps, creeps, gross-outs, and a bit of science make this super fun.
Gore Factor:  A / A giant blob of gore and goo done with superb practical effects?  Sign me up.
Repeat view-ability:  A / I wanted to watch it again as soon as it ended.  I think a Re-Animator/From Beyond double feature is in my future.

Add From Beyond to your collection, click HERE!

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