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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

From Beyond [Blu-ray]

 

(Stuart Gordon, 1986)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Empire Pictures

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:25:36.172

Disc Size: 44,716,481,098 bytes

Feature Size: 25,775,652,864 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.33 Mbps

Chapters: 21

Case: Standard Blu-ray case in cardboard sleeve

Release date: March 26th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2997 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2997 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1856 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1856 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1564 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1564 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1680 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1680 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Cast and Crew

• Commentary with Screenwriter Dennis Paoli

Multiple Dimensions (23:42)

Paging Dr. McMichaels (13:45)

A Tortured Soul (17:46)

• An Empire Productions (5:02)

The Director's Perspective (8:51)

• The Editing Room - 'Lost and Found' (4:45)

• Interview with the Composer (4:33)

• Photo Gallery (4:23)

• Trailer (:59)

Storyboard to Film comparison (5 scenes; Introduction - 1:23, Appearance of Dr. Pretorius - 1:22, Death of Bubba - 2:16, Hospital Escape - 2:59, Katherine Frees Herself - 1:09)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: H.P. Lovecraft’s classic tale of suspense became ’a grisly amalgam of sex, shock and satire’ (Newsweek) in the hands of the creators of Re-Animator. And now, armed with shocking never-before-seen footage and special features and on Blu-ray for the first time, this ’ bloody good entertainment’ (Time) has evolved into one of the most gruesomely riveting film experiences of all time!

The Resonator, a powerful machine that can control the sixth sense, has killed its creator and sent his associate into an insane asylum. But when a beautiful psychiatrist becomes determined to continue the experiment, she unwittingly opens the door to a hostile parallel universe... and to the deviant behavior within the human psyche. With its victims becoming creatures who feed on (and become aroused by) human brains, the Resonator is the ultimate man-made monster. And now something’s gone horribly wrong and no one can turn it off!

 

 

The Film:

The production team responsible for the twisted cult classic Re-Animator -- including director Stuart Gordon and producer Brian Yuzna -- returned the following year with this equally depraved (perhaps more so) follow-up, based once again (and very loosely) on the pulp-horror fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. Also returning to the fray is Jeffrey Combs, here playing the mild-mannered Crawford Tillinghast, apprentice to the dangerously obsessed Dr. Pretorious (Ted Sorel) and co-inventor of an enigmatic and ominous-looking device known as "The Resonator" -- a machine designed to stimulate the vestigial sensory apparatus contained within the human pineal gland. Such stimulation allows participants to "see" the slimy creatures which occupy a dimension parallel to our own, but with some chilling side effects -- the first of which being that the interdimensional vision works both ways. When a powerful sentient force devours Pretorious and assumes his consciousness, Tillinghast panics and destroys the Resonator -- soon to find himself in a padded cell, accused of his mentor's murder. Called to the case are Dr. McMichaels (Barbara Crampton, another Re-Animator alum) and amiable cop Bubba Brownlee (Dawn of the Dead's Ken Foree), who escort Tillinghast back to the shattered laboratory in an attempt to corroborate his deranged account by re-creating the experiment. Their attempts are all too successful, and the Pretorious-thing emerges to take control of the reactivated Resonator and draw the others into its hideous realm. Also called forth are the participants' darkest sexual desires -- another interesting by-product of pineal stimulation -- and, in Tillinghast's case, an uncontrollable urge to devour human brains. Just when it seems it can't get any weirder...it does. Gordon explores this demented scenario with relish, allowing nearly every scene to go completely over the top into surreal mayhem while retaining the dark brooding sense of menace characteristic of Lovecraft's work. (It's not likely, however, that the author's dignified upbringing would have explored the psychosexual dimensions of the premise -- at least not in the kind of detail seen here.) All manners of perversities abound, accompanied by the wizardry of four dueling special-effects studios and the rich, creepy score by Richard H. Band, bringing the film to a literally explosive climax and a chillingly poetic final shot .

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

After the success of Re-Animator, a gooey and imaginatively depraved adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story Herbert West—Reanimator, filmmaker Stuart Gordon reunited with eccentric leading man Jeffrey Combs, adventurous starlet Barbara Crampton, and savvy producer Brian Yunza to return to similar territory. The resulting movie, From Beyond, is probably even more faithful to that netherworld of Lovecraft's fiction, where otherworldly monsters lurk just under the fabric of our reality. Mad scientist Dr. Pretorious (Ted Sorel) and his assistant Crawford Tillinghast (Combs) create a machine called The Resonator that allows humans to tap into an alternate universe of gooey, tentacle-sprouting creatures. After the experiment goes wrong and only Crawford is left alive and borderline insane, a psychiatrist (Crampton) and police detective (Ken Foree) attempt to figure out exactly what happened the night Pretorious dipped into the sixth dimension.

Excerpt from Slant Magazine located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

From Beyond is transferred to Blu-ray by Shout! Factory via a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate.  I can only imagine that it looked quite similar to this theatrically. There is a smattering of grain and even less noise. Much of the film was shot in low-level lighting. The many effects don't show any transparency in 1080P. Contrast is strong exhibiting decent black levels which are a factor in the occasionally impressive detail. This Blu-ray does produce any depth but the image quality is consistent with true colors. The 1.78:1 aspect ratio visuals gave me a solid presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio gives the option of a decent bump via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2997 kbps or a, more original, DTS-HD Master stereo 2.0 channel at 1856 kbps. There are a few adroit separations sin the surround option. I even noted some depth in the lossless stereo - so both offer supportive audio for the multiple sound effects and composer Richard Band's score. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region A'-locked as the back cover tells us.

 

Extras :

Shout! Factory stack the disc with new and vintage supplements. We get a lighter group commentary by members of the cast and crew, plus a second commentary with screenwriter Dennis Paoli focusing on the story. There are new video pieces (Red Shirt Productions) including the 24-minute Multiple Dimensions - a look at the film's extensive make-up + creature effects with special effects gurus John Buechler, Anthony Doublin, John Naulin and Mark Shstrom. Paging Dr. McMichaels is a 14-minute interview with Barbara Crampton, A Tortured Soul is an 18-minute interview with Jeffrey Combs and An Empire Productions spends 5-minutes with Executive Producer Charles Band. There are some older MGM video pieces, The Director's Perspective runs 9-minutes with director Stuart Gordon. There is also The Editing Room - 'Lost and Found' (4:45), an Interview with the composer Richard Band, a Photo Gallery, Trailer and Storyboard to Film comparison (5 scenes; Introduction - 1:23, Appearance of Dr. Pretorius - 1:22, Death of Bubba - 2:16, Hospital Escape - 2:59, Katherine Frees Herself - 1:09).

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Over-the-top effects and sexy Barbara Crampton keep the Lovecraft-style horror groupies attentive in this gooey, gruesome genre flic. The story gets complex, but not enough to overly confuse but some background on the characters and Pineal gland would have benefitted, IMO. Still, this borders on the iconic with its graphic forays into the monster-mach-ups. The Shout! Factory on Blu-ray
covers a lot of ground with the supplements and gives a solid 1080P a/v presentation. For fans there is a ton of value here. Recommended to the niche!

Gary Tooze

March 18th, 2013


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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