Gordon's second Lovecraft adaptation has more than a touch of Clive Barker about it, with its undead sadomasochistic antagonist & notion of unlocking potentially transgressive desires offering a precursor to Barker's own Hellraiser. The film is a fairly sensationalised take on Lovecraft, with the staid atmosphere replaced by gore & sexuality, but the hallucinatory colour scheme & low-budget claustrophobia are superb.
Gordon wound up following up 'Re-animator' with another H.P. Lovecraft adaptation which tested the limits of the MPAA with its extreme body horror. Barbara Crampton excels here with strong support from Ted Sorel and Jeffrey Combs. Sick and twisted material that is certainly for not all tastes but well worth seeking out for the horror maven. This unrated cut certainly surpasses the '86 release cut.
Gordon's followup to Re-Animator isn't nearly as comical or entertaining, but it's much stronger in its story and creative visuals, despite the characterization being as two-dimensional. The subtext of lust and pseudoscience being equivocal to danger and addiction is more dimensional, while From Beyond isn't as effective in what it sets out to do as Re-Animator's smart-ass approach, the intention is much more mature.
A gooey and icky creature fest with a lean and effective script, a game cast and a clear sense of where everything is going. It might not be high brow filmmaking on any sort of level but the sheer craziness on screen and determination of the film makers has to be admired.
*Slight spoilers* I'm almost surprised Re Animator has a stronger cult following than this, its not the most intellectual horror film but its still probes at some really interesting ideas mainly the dark side of sexual exhilaration but whats amazing is it does while throwing in giant worms and brain eating. And few horror films turns its 'final' girl into a lunatic so effectively. Must see for horror fans.
Humans have a hard time conceptualising the mystical in cinema. This certainly does an excellent job of achieving the physical manifestation, but is severely underwritten when it comes to the thought process. It's a minor gripe when the film is this fun, with astonishing FX, excellent colour palette and willing cast. I wish I had this when I was 12.
Definitely a step backwards from the previous adaptation of Lovecraft’s work. The lighting and the bold colours recall Bava's visual paradigm but, as a postmodern horror, it doesn't really stand out if we intend the machine for pineal gland experiments as a metaphor for the absorbing aesthetics of the 80s. I was not surprised by all the gore and the gross "figurative" disfigurement achieved.
After a certain point, the film simply dissolves into an amorphous, slimy puddle of bile and lust and flesh. Just madness. God bless these creatives for getting together and saying, "We can do this!" and then freaking doing it. Which is coincidentally pretty much what the characters do too.