The team behind 1985’s Re-Animator reassemble themselves a year later for another slimy helping of H. P. Lovecraft.
Jeffrey Combs plays another mad scientist, this time trying to expand perception using a device called the Resonator; a more confusing premise but executed with the same demented glee by director Stuart Gordon, producers Brian Yuzna and Charles Band, his composer brother Richard Band and their father Albert Band as production manager. This gives it the kind of scrappy singularity and genetic similarity to Re-Animator that one might expect from a group of friends and family, inviting us to partake once more in their elaborate deadpan in-joke.
As well as losing some of the novelty value of its predecessor, the biggest weakness here is the absence of plot; a side-effect of the short story being just 7 pages long. The movie is really a parade of gelatinous monster effects, which is hardly a problem given these indelible, creative realisations of Lovecraft’s often unfilmable ideas. There’s a stronger emphasis on body horror this time around, splicing together phallic Cronenbergian and S&M-inspired Clive Barkerian imagery to create another energetic case of slime over substance.
Along with great work from Barbara Crampton and Dawn of the Dead‘s Ken Foree, this makes From Beyond an enjoyably eccentric horror-comedy that’s somehow stickier but less cohesive than Re-Animator.