Full Moon Tackles Stuart Gordon

Full Moon may have a new hit franchise on its hands with The Resonator: Miskatonic U. Director William Butler’s monstrously fun b-movie follows up Stuart Gordon’s cult classic From Beyond with gruesome effects and deliriously crazy psychosexual thrills. It’s Lovecraft meets Lloyd Kaufman for a new century, campy extra-dimensional monsters running wild.

The Resonator: Miskatonic U should almost be called From Beyond: The Next Generation.  Easily one of Full Moon’s best new projects in years, it’s a trashy, terrifying, and visually impressive monster flick in every way expected from them.

The Resonator: Miskatonic U is a blast for anyone who remembers Stuart Gordon’s cult classics

The Resonator: Miskatonic U doesn’t have the sheer star power of Jeffrey Combs or Barbara Crampton leading the cast, From Beyond’s original stars. However, an ensemble of young newcomers and recognizable veterans like Michael Pare and Amanda Wyss produce genre magic. It captures the tone and spirit of From Beyond without feeling like a pointless remake.

Brilliant Miskatonic University student Crawford Tillinghast discovers his deceased father’s notes on the Resonator, a terrifying device which opens portals to other dimensions through the pineal gland. Crawford has been so distracted he’s neglected his girlfriend Mara and close friends.

Finally revealing the Resonator’s awesome power, Crawford and friends tangle with terrible forces far beyond their control. Bizarre and grotesque monsters emerge which recall From Beyond’s best scenes with shiny new wrappings.

It’s a wild ride with intensely trippy visuals. Made with both practical and special video effects, creepy monsters and eye-popping neon colors collide in spectacular fashion. The Resonator: Miskatonic U is a cut above Full Moon’s usual b-movie standards in terms of production design. The premise neatly fits their brand and this first installment successfully introduces the primary players in what should be a promising franchise.

The Resonator: Miskatonic U is a blast for anyone who remembers Stuart Gordon’s cult classics from the Eighties, Re-Animator and From Beyond. It’s a good time for fans filled with imaginative special effects and relatable characters, neatly setting up the next volume in the series. Originally airing on Amazon Prime as a series, let’s hope Full Moon realizes what they have on their hands because I want more.

Resonator Miskatonic U Blu-ray screen shot

Video

Like many recent Full Moon productions, The Resonator: Miskatonic U has a bright, glossy presentation with razor-sharp definition. It may actually be too sharp for the genre, though effects blend fairly well for a cheap horror flick. The 1080p video is shown in a high-contrast 1.78:1 aspect ratio, which highlights the striking neon colors glowing on screen when monsters appear around the machine. The pristine clarity reveals a few limitations in the source material, namely some black crushing in darker shadows.

The main feature runs only 63 minutes on a BD-25. It’s a satisfactory AVC encode that doesn’t have any problems maintaining digital transparency with the spotless source. Primary colors are nicely saturated while flesh-tones may be a little washed out, often an issue with cheaper indie productions.

Audio

Full Moon isn’t a big believer in lossless audio. Solid 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtracks are the only sonic choices. Fairly thunderous bass and tight dynamics create a big impact for a b-movie horror flick. The score by Richard Band has a rich texture and nice depth, heard in flawless fidelity.

Dialogue is smoothly reproduced within the highly directional surround mix. It’s an engaging, well-rounded soundtrack with discrete special effects often coming from behind. The machine lights up the entire soundstage and monsters fly across the screen with acute movement.

No subtitles are included, a common complaint on most releases by Full Moon.

Extras

The Resonator: Miskatonic U is #341 in the Full Moon catalog. The BD is coded for all regions. A competent behind-the-scenes look includes the director and others breaking down the project.

Full Moon On Amazon Prime Promo (01:26 in HD) – Plays before the main menu.

The Resonator: Miskatonic U Trailer (01:08 in HD)

Behind The Scenes Featurette (17:02 in HD) – Director William Butler discusses the film’s influences, paying tribute to Stuart Gordon and his wonderful work on From Beyond.

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Blade: The Iron Cross (02:04 in HD)

Weedjies: Halloweed Night (01:56 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

The Resonator: Miskatonic U
  • Video
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  • Extras
4

Movie

Excellent special effects highlight this entertaining follow-up to Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond with creepy visuals and fun characters.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 50 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray: