The Resonator: Miskatonic U. ( 2021)
Created by Charles Band
Written and Directed by William Butler
Not Rated, Episode 1: 39 minutes Episode 2: 29 minutes
After more than 30 years Full Moon Features returns to the arcane campus of Miskatonic University with The Resonator: Miskatonc U, a film that serves not only as an homage to an honored genre director, but an entertaining continuation of a cinematic universe that he helped create.
Taking its inspiration from Stuart Gordon’s 1986 classic Lovecraft adaptation From Beyond, The Resonator introduces us to Crawford Tillinghast (Dane Oliver, Cupid’s Match, Flux), the son of a deceased former Miskatonic professor, who wishes to continue his father’s research into resonance waves and alternate dimensions. Unaware of the terror that awaits Crawford reconstructs his father’s Resonator, a towering nuclear powered device that allows humans to access alternate dimensions thru stimulation of the brain’s pineal gland via sonic resonance.
After a tragic first attempt to power up the device, Crawford recruits three of his fellow students, including his neglected girlfriend Mara (Christina Braa), to witness the true power of The Resonator resulting in a cosmic event of psycho-sexual horror.
Unbeknownst to Crawford, his father’s former colleague and rival, Professor Wallace (Eric Paré, Streets of Fire), is also witness to the Resonator’s capabilities and sets out on a plan to claim the Resonator for himself.
Divided into two episodes The Resonator: Miskatonic U is a fun romp into the weird that harkens back to some of Full Moon’s more entertaining productions like Shrieker (1998) and the recent Weedjies: Halloweed Night (2019). The film makes the most out of its meager budget thanks to the skillful direction of writer William Butler (Madhouse, Demonic Toys 2). Butler puts his storytelling talents to good use, not only guiding the audience through an outrageous Lovecraftian nightmare, but also allowing for solid moments of character development, especially between Crawford and Mara, that are rarely seen in these types of productions.
Established genre veterans, including Paré, Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Jeffery Byron (The Bold and The Beautiful) give strong performances aside from a briefly overblown ghastly visitation. The young ensemble all are all given their moments to shine, with lead Oliver’s not-so-mad scientist portrayal of Crawford Tillinghast and Braa’s Mara Esteban being among highlights.
The slime soaked practical creature effects, sweetened with CGI overlays, are inspired and in one particular case quite seductive. That is, if you are attracted to topless squid/human succubae.
The film is peppered with references to Stuart Gordon’s aforementioned film, including the design of the Resonator and the color palette used for the dimensional shifts. The character Professor McMichaels, portrayed by Wyss, also serves as a subtle nod to Barbara Crampton’s Dr. Katherine McMichaels from the original film. In a nice touch Gordon himself is mentioned as a university professor from whom Crawford may have stolen components from to construct the latest version of the Resonator. Even a very young version of Herbert West (Josh Cole) from Gordon’s Re-Animator makes an appearance.
As with all of Full Moon’s productions it is best to enjoy The Resonator: Miskatonic U. with a very high suspension of disbelief. If you are willing to look Beyond all its limitations you’ll be rewarded with a rousing good time filled with blood, breasts, and beasts.
The first episode of The Resonator: Miskatonic U. is currently available with the conclusion debuting Friday March 5th. You can find it through the various Full Moon Features channels on Amazon Prime Video, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Play, and Xbox One. It is also available to stream from FullMoonFeatures.com and via the Full Moon Features app.