While tonally and thematically divergent (and nowhere near as successful as its predecessor) Poltergeist II: The Other Side has nonetheless amassed a sizable cult following in the decades since it’s release. The sequel is most notable for its introduction of the demonic priest Kane (played by Julian Beck).
What many never realized (and still don’t) is that famed Swiss surrealist and inventor of bio-mechanical art H.R. Giger designed many of Poltergeist II‘s supernatural apparitions–including that hideous “vomit monster”!
If it’s been a while, or if you’ve yet to experience the film for yourself, check out the trailer and synopsis for Poltergeist II: The Other Side below.
The Freelings have escaped their haunted house, which is now being studied by paranormal investigators, including shaman Taylor (Will Sampson). When Taylor realizes that the Beast, masquerading as the Rev. Kane (Julian Beck), knows where young Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) now lives, he goes to warn the family that their daughter is in danger again. To protect Carol, her father, Steve (Craig T. Nelson), and the rest of the family must plot to take down the Beast.
The only family member absent from the film is Dana, who according to the script is off at university, but a scene explaining away her absence was never filmed. Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend John Thomas Sweeney (who later changed his name to John Maura and disappeared) shortly after Poltergeist (1982) premiered. Ultimately, no mention is made of Dana in the final film, or of her being in college. It was decided by the filmmakers to retire the character and not recast her out of respect for the deceased actress and her family. (Source)
Julian Beck’s gaunt appearance is the result of stomach cancer that would claim his life. (Source)