Saturday, May 26, 2007

Finally! FROM BEYOND Coming to DVD in September!

"Humans are such easy prey."

Since the advent of the DVD format almost everything I've been itching to see has made its way to store shelves. RE-ANIMATOR? Three versions. THE EXTERMINATOR? Director's cut. DAWN OF THE DEAD? How many cuts do you want?

But my video shelves have always felt a bit empty, and not just because I still have half of Klaus Kinski's filmography to track down.

No, it's the continued absence of two of my favorite films of the ER era... Fred Dekker's brilliant zombie-action classic NIGHT OF THE CREEPS and Stuart Gordon's incredible RE-ANIMATOR follow-up, the Lovecraftian FROM BEYOND.

As of September 11 I'll be able to scratch one of those titles off my "Where Is It?" list. Fangoria is reporting that MGM will release the director's cut of FROM BEYOND – which premiered last year on the Monsters HD channel – along with a widescreen special edition of another 80s terror classic, THE BURNING.

For those of you who have never seen FROM BEYOND, you're in for a treat. While not the infamous genre classic that is RE-ANIMATOR, Gordon's second flick is no red-headed stepchild.

The story concerns the experiments of Dr. Edward Pretorious (Ted Sorrel), a mad genius who also happens to be an S&M/leather freak. His new invention, The Resonator, is a large, phallic device which stimulates the pineal gland and allows people to see things around them that the naked eye cannot observe.

Of course, there's a drawback. Those same things can now see us!

One of the creatures chomps off ol' Doc P's head and his assistant Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs) is locked up for the murder. Enter Dr. Catherine McMichaels (the luscious Barbara Crampton), a psychologist that has been called in to see if Tillinghast is fit to stand trial.

To determine his sanity, Tillinghast, McMichaels, and ex-football-player-turned-cop Sgt. Buford "Bubba" Brownlee (DAWN OF THE DEAD and LEATHER FACE star Ken Foree) return to the scene of the crime to re-enact the experiments.

Needless to say, this is another case of cinematic logic gone awry.

That's all I'll say about the flick and that all happens in the first 20 minutes. Unlike the fast-paced, manic exercise in black humor and horror that was RE-ANIMATOR, Gordon plays FROM BEYOND mostly straight. While this serious treatment slows the flick down a tad at the beginning things kick into high gear again for the last half and the result is a well-acted, slimy and FUN horror pic with the bonus of featuring Ms. Crampton in some serious leather gear.

Having only seen the R-rated release that Empire dumped onto video instead of giving a proper release in theaters, I cannot wait to see this slice of 80s horror cinema in all its glory.

Thanks to Bruce Holecheck for the tip!

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