From Beyond (1986) Lovecraftian Weirdness in the Late 1980s
From Beyond is a wild, weird film based (loosely) on an HP Lovecraft tale of the same name. It tells the tale of a genius scientist and his assistant, who built s resonating machine that stimulates the pineal glands in one’s mind, opening one up to another dimension od creatures, and making one visible to them also.
There’s just one problem: the other dimension is full of danger and a pure evil, brain eating creature – that’s all.
From Stuart Gordon, creator of the excellent Re-Animator as well as the recently watched and reviewed Society, he has created another masterpiece of dark weirdness that makes me ask why it’s taken so damned long to watch them. Staring Jeffrey Combs (you might remember him from The Re-Animator and various Star Trek gigs), as Crawford Tillinghast, assistant to Dr. Edward Pretorius (played by Ted Sorel). Crawford has been wrongfully accused of the murder of Dr. Pretorius, after one of their sessions with the resonator left Dr. Pretorius a headless body. With no evidence other than a body and a very agitated Crawford, leaves only one credible suspect. Never mind that he’s claiming he’s innocent and that a creature from another dimension killed Pretorius – I mean, that’s crazy… right?
Yeah, he’s so worked up that they put him in a mental hospital where a Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) takes over his case. When a brain scan shows that Crawford had an enlarged pineal gland, she is convinced that there may be something to his story, and that perhaps he’s not a murderer after all. Getting permission to leave the hospital with Crawford, and an escort from Detective Bubba Brownlee (played by the always great Ken Foree). Once there, McMichaels gets Crawford, against his better judgment, to rebuild the resonator. Acivating the device they all see the creatures Crawford described. Despite his warnings, they all act like jerks and don’t take any precautions that Crawford insists on. Bubba get bit by a nasty alternate dimensional jellyfish like creature.
The experience seems to drive McMichaels who is compelled to run the machine again, thinking she can control the experience. Crawford had seen this compulsion before, in Dr. Pretorius – the compulsion that got his head bitten off. Against both Crawford and Bubba’s advice, McMichaels starts the resonator again, and this time meets the creature that ate Pretorius. Apparently, by eating the brain of a victim, it/he absorbs their memories and experiences – and he craves more. At the same time, the extended exposure to the resonator is changing Crawford, who’s pineal gland is growing like crazy – so much so that it pops out of the center of his forehead. Another thing that grows in him is a hunger… a hunger for human brains.
Oh there’s more… And I think you should watch this movie.
This was a very cool movie that I highly recommend. Look for it and watch it – it’s worth it.
Check out the trailer below: