Monday, 2 May 2011

Re-Animator (1985)

Written by Happywax on May 2 2011
Rating 8 out of 10

Director   -   Stuart Gordon

Jeffery Combs          -   Herbert West
Bruce Abbott           -   Daniel Cain
Barbara Crampton   -   Megan Halsey
David Gale              -   Dr. Carl Hill
Robert Sampson     -   Dean. Alan Halsey

Hey all you tortured souls, Happys back in the dungeon tonight to bring you one of my altime favourite movis.
Re-Animator is one of those super-duper-holy-shit-WTF horror movies. You know the kind. It's a movie that if you didn't see it in the theaters, you had to see on video( like your old pal happy did), Or, as is the case now in the 21st century thanks to Anchor Bay, on DVD. And you may not see it right away since it isn't a name brand like a Freddy or Michael Myers, or with the pedigree of Sam Raimi. You have to look into finding this one . But once you see it, it's another reminder of how sick and twisted and hilarious a film can be when its creators keep logic dangling by a thread - sure, some of this is logical, but that's after setting up the 'fact' that people can come back to life by some weird green liquid that one isn't really sure how it's made but, hey, it's Herbert West so maybe you just don't want to know...

No one going to believe a talking head, get a job at a sideshow
Simple premise: Herbert West (Herbert to his friends) is at a medical school when he takes a room with Dan and Megan, an engaged couple who also are connected to the medical university (Dan also a student, Megan daughter of the uptight dean), and tries out his formula to extend life past the expected amount of time the brain can function after death. Turns out it works, first on a cat, then on something... else, like say a huge muscle man in a morgue! From here on its turns into a match of wills - Herbert West versus the vindictive and power hungry Dr. Carl Hill, who wants nothing but to take West's formula - and then when dead and a severed head, to create a zombie army that only he can control through lobotomies... yeah, still crazy? Just you wait.

This is the stuff 'cult' is made of in the film world. You watch it and realize as you're laughing and cringing that you're almost part of a club when watching this. It's a splatter-fest, coupling the  gore of a B (or Z) grade horror movie with some of the dread one maybe found in the original Lovecraft story. Some of the movie is just too bizarre and weird to totally qualify as comedy, or some of it just so much that it goes even further (or at least toe-to-toe) than its other 1985 zombie-comedy, Return of the Living Dead. But probably the best assets to make it crazy-funny as opposed to just crazy is David Gale as Carl Hill (mostly after he's a severed head and body, doing more campy takes than one could ever ask for outside of Bela Lugosi), and Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West. Combs is so good here at projecting this determined, insane but almost admirably passionate *scientists* that it's a shame that he only has one other stand-out performance - as a crazy agent in the Frighteners.
Sure, the acting by the two leads isn't always at its best from Bruce Abbott or Barbara Crampton (a good screamer and a sexy body, but also on par with Abbott for talent), but this is the least thing to worry about, as they're supposed to be the bland-leads. What makes the film so incredible and enduring since its release is its attention to real horror - the body that is just there in the background BOLTS UP oh no! - and some real insane comedy. It's not exactly a spoof either, since it's so daring in its subversion of the Frankenstein formula. It is what a die-hard genre fan is salivating for, pun intended: bloody fun, with chunks, the thicker the better. Im sure most of you have have seen this movie already and i bet much like me you`ve seen it more than once, it really is a movie you can see over and over again and never get tired of it, and if you havent sent it, what the hells wrong with you , get off the couch and go find this movie , or at the very least check out the trailer below.

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