Stuart Gordon

commentary-frombeyond

Stuart Gordon‘s 1985 film, Re-Animator, remains one of the absolute best horror/comedies of the last three decades thanks to its spectacular mix of over the top, extremely bloody shenanigans and blackly comic sense of humor. The creative forces on that film (including Gordon, writer Dennis Paoli, producer Brian Yuzna, stars Barbara Crampton and Jeffrey Combs, and many members of the sfx team) joined together on another film a year later that once again adapted the work of H.P. Lovecraft into an eyeful of a movie. From Beyond never achieved the same levels of popularity or infamy as its predecessor, but it remains a fun, sexy and practical effects-filled romp into the unknown. Scream Factory continues their bid to become the Criterion Collection for genre fans by bringing the uncut From Beyond to Blu-ray for the very first time complete with a beautifully restored picture and loads of special features. Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary track for From Beyond.

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Drinking Games

It might not be October yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start gearing up for some horror movies. One of the legendary gorefests from the 1980s is hitting Blu-ray this week: Stuart Gordon’s tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, Re-Animator. While it didn’t redefine zombie movies, partly because Gordon was paying homage to Frankenstein more than he was the standard walking dead film, Re-Animator was a financial success in limited run theaters and helped launch the career of Jeffrey Combs. It also showed us one of the many uses of glow stick fluid. New on Blu-ray, it’s time to give this film another watch in high definition.

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For newbies to the column, I’m recalling defining moments that made me what I am: A Special Effects Make Up Artist looking for relevance in the 21st Century. The time is 1985, and I have finished a tour of duty for Stan Winston’s Studio. I am 23 years old. Freelance. Footloose and fancy-free. Unemployed again. I had tasted of the good life and knew that, somehow, I needed to return to Stan Winston Studios. It was everything I imagined working in a Hollywood special make-up effects studio would be and more. It certainly was first class all of the way but at the moment, it was irrelevant. Alec Gillis and Rick Lazzarini had left and joined Stan and the rest of the crew in England to continue work on Aliens. I, on the other hand, needed to find work. Toward the end of Invaders from Mars, a rumor began circulating that Rick Baker was putting together a crew to build a Sasquatch suit for a film entitled Harry and the Hendersons. Now, regardless of what others may or may not think, I knew that my work was below the established standard of excellence at Rick’s studio. This was confirmed when I interviewed with him and I wasn’t hired.

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31 Days of Horror Header

Really good horror comedies are notoriously rare, but this one works because it’s balls to the wall nuttiness.

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