In case you've been out for a beer run, news of a director's cut of FROM BEYOND has been in the works for some time, and now fans of the Stuart Gordon film can see for themselves if this version was worth the wait.
Monsters HD, the 24-hour high-definition channel devoted to horror films, announced yesterday in a press release that the restored director's cut will premiere on the channel June 10th at 8PM. Those of us without high-definition TVs (or satellite, for that matter) will either have to crash at a buddy's place to see the film, or wait for the DVD. In the press release, director Stuart Gordon tells how the restoration process went (handled by the film's director of photography Mac Ahlberg), and how the film's neutering was a revenge trip for the evil dark lords known as the MPAA, as they let Gordon's other H.P. Lovecraft story-turned-film, RE-ANIMATOR, go unrated:
"So we had to submit FROM BEYOND at least a dozen times, maybe more. [Meeting with the MPAA] was like going to the principal’s office to get scolded. They sat me down and the woman I was meeting with said, 'This is disgusting. Instead of pulling away you keep pushing in and pushing in and pushing in!' and I was like, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry!' We ended up cutting out over a minute’s worth of material to finally get it released with an R rating. They really took out some of the best stuff."
So what was some of 'the best stuff', you ask? "The scene that upset them the most—and as I describe it, it is truly disgusting—is when Jeffrey Combs' character's pineal gland has gone out of control and he's hungry for brains. He attacks a psychiatrist, played by my wife [Carolyn Purdy-Gordon], and he plants his mouth onto her eye socket and starts sucking. And the material that was cut out was when he actually sucks her eyeball out, spits it onto the floor and the eyeball lands looking back up at him and he continues to suck her brains through the eye socket and the camera pushes in. It's really disturbing and it's the longest restored piece; my guess is it's about 30 seconds or so. I think it's the most horrific moment in the whole movie." Thirty seconds?! That's a long time to be sucking brains out of someone's eye socket in the horror movie world.
Gordon goes on to say that for quite some time he had been pushing MGM to do a recut version of the film, but after Sony bought the company, the plan went in the toilet. That's where Monsters HD president David Sehring came in, who offered to restore the film to it's uncut status on his own dime in order to have it premiere uncut on the channel. Not only that, the audio was restored to 5.1 Dolby Digital to boot, making the brain-sucking that much more distgusting! The film will be shown during Monsters HD's Lovecraft celebration that will also include showings of THE UNNAMABLE, DIE MONSTER DIE and Dan O'Bannon's THE RESURRECTED. As for the FROM BEYOND DVD, there's no word as of yet, but as you know, that will change soon enough.