A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.
October 15, 1985
Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West
Bruce Abbott as Dan Cain
Barbara Crampton as Megan Halsey
David Gale as Dr. Carl Hill
Robert Sampson as Dean Alan Halsey
One of my favorite authors is H.P. Lovecraft. His intellectual ability to mix horror and sci-fi has been unmatched. The problem is that his stories have shown to be very difficult to transfer to film. In other words, most of them “suck”. But Re-Animator breaks the mold.
Loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West: Re-Animator”, this film starts by not only introducing us to Herbert West (expertly portrayed by Jeffrey Combs) but also introducing us to the type of film we are about to see. It seems that Mr. West has a “re-animation” fluid that, when injected into the brain, brings the dead back to life. (You must commend someone who creates a zombie on purpose)
Herbert ends up at Miskatonic Medical University where he meets up with Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) who has a room for rent. Through a basement altercation with a dead, re-animated, then dead again cat we soon discover that Herbert West is the epitome of a mad scientist.
After bringing Dan Cain into the fold of his madness Herbert is confronted by Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale) who longs to have the magical serum and to take credit for all of Herbert’s work. Of course, Mr. West will have none of this and during a slight disagreement Dr. Hill loses his head, literally. Again giving the audience another look into madness, Herbert West decides to re-animate the severed head and body of Dr. Hill.
What follows in is a gory, twisted, and over the top classic that defies all reality and yet is a blast to behold. Stuart Gordon (director) does a great job in creating the atmosphere of the Lovecraftian world. Lovecraft had the ability to grab and suspend your idea of reality and draw you into his. Stuart Gordon does a great job of transforming Dennis Paoli’s screenplay to do the same thing.
Re-animator has everything a good horror movie needs: a great horror actor (Jeffrey Combs), a fast pace, lots of blood and gore and some gratuitous nudity to top everything off. I recommend Re-Animator to anyone who loves horror.
**Note: The only other Lovecraft adaptations that are worth viewing, in my opinion, are From Beyond and In the Mouth of Madness, both of which I highly recommend.