Tuesday, March 02, 2021

The Resonator: Miskatonic U (Part 2)

Fictional Miskatonic University might be highly selective, but once you are in, it takes a lot to get kicked out. For instance, Crawford Tillinghast stole university resources, including plutonium, to conduct unsanctioned experiments that resulted in the death of one friend and the non-fatal impalement injury of his girlfriend Mara Esteban. However, Prof. Wallace is willing to paper-over the entire business if Tillinghast will give him access to his late father’s breakthrough. Of course, the older mad scientist’s motives are highly suspect in the second concluding installment of William Butler’s The Resonator: Miskatonic U, which premieres this Friday on Full Moon Features.

As was the case in Stuart Gordon’s classic
From Beyond, the Resonator stimulates the pineal gland, allowing people in our dimension to see creatures from other dimensions. Unfortunately, if you can see them, they can see you—and that is extraordinarily dangerous. After the horror show of the previous episode’s test-drive, Tillinghast reluctantly agrees to shut down his Resonator experiments, until Prof. Wallace comes along to blackmail his old rival’s son into sharing the secrets of the Resonator with him, much to the alarm of the deceased Dr. Tillinghast’s disembodied spirit.

Resonator is a pretty satisfying riff on Lovecraft and Gordon’s cult-favorite adaptations, but the first somewhat longer episode is probably better than the second, because it devotes more time to the character development and group dynamics of Tillinghast’s friends, particularly Esteban and the meatheaded Bear Johnson. Frankly, the second episode feels like it hurries to bring the story to a close. For what its worth, the ending does not make much sense, but that is not necessarily inappropriate for what it is.

Regardless, it is still quite a bit of fun to revisit the Lovecraftian elements of
From Beyond. Fans will also dig watching Michael Pare double-down on the villainous scenery-chewing as the evil Prof. Wallace. Of course, Butler leaves plenty of room for further Resonator-related conflicts at Miskatonic, which we would be down for. In fact, The Resonator really cries ought for a conventional multi-episode series treatment, like a Lovecraftian Riverdale.

For the time being, these two parts are what we have and they are pretty entertaining. Recommended for fans of Lovecraft, Gordon, and Full Moon, the second installment of
The Resonator: Miskatonic U starts streaming this Friday (3/5) on Full Moon Features.