review for From Beyond on AllMovie

From Beyond (1986)
by Craig Butler review

Stuart Gordon, From Beyond's demented horror-visionary director, seems to be a kindred spirit of H.P. Lovecraft. Not that his adaptations of Lovecraft's works are especially faithful to the author; indeed, there's a lot that the writer wouldn't recognize or approve of. But Gordon is that rare breed who truly finds inspiration in another creator and uses that inspiration to craft a film that captures the essence of that creator while still being totally and uniquely his own. The result is gory thrill ride of a movie. It's definitely not for everyone, especially not for those who are squeamish or who place a high value on restraint of any kind. But for those who like their horror films dripping in blood, ooze, and every other kind of gloppy liquid imaginable, and who welcome creepy explorations of sexual desire, Beyond is a total winner. And Gordon has the good sense, in the midst of all this, to keep things humorous (in a macabre way, of course). Indeed, even at its scariest -- and it can be quite menacingly frightening -- Beyond is fun. The special effects, crucial to this kind of film, are very well done; even when they're clearly artificial, they seem appropriately so. And the manner of acting is exactly what is called for, with special applause for Jeffrey Combs and Ted Sorel. Surreal, crazy, and more than a little gross, Beyond is a trip -- and those who appreciate it will want to take it again and again.