Loosely based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, Re-Animator is yet another example of a good eighties horror movie. Cooperation between Stuart Gordon (From Beyond, Castle Freak, Stuck) and Brian Yuzna (Society, Faust) produced an interesting mix of comedy, horror, and gore. And some pretty outrageous and grotesque scenes. If one of the main characters walks for half a movie as a body without a head, you pretty much know what you’re in for. Just to be perfectly clear, he carries the head with him like a normal person.
Also, Re-Animator presents a rather good, and especially nowadays, almost feasible idea of reanimation of the dead. In the ’40s Soviets were experimenting with the reanimation of dogs producing questionable results. So we can only imagine what technology will bring us in the future. Back to the movie, the formula of its success is that it did not take itself too seriously. Granted there are some serious moments, but soon they are soon replaced by something totally over-the-top.
Herbert West is a brilliant young scientist working on a special formula for a serum. A serum that should (in theory) revive the dead (it certainly looks pretty cool with that green ooze glow). After some unfortunate events in Switzerland, he returns to America. More specifically to the Miskatonic University where he will try to perfect his formula.
Graphic and hilarious at the same time, Re-Animator is now one of the most famous eighties horror comedies. I mean, the movie opens with a scene where a man horrifically dies in front of police, and our brave doctor just comments, of course, he died, the dosage was too big. It’s amazing just how right the atmosphere was for this type of stuff. And when I say stuff I mean blood, guts, brains all sort of other internal organs you’ll be seeing in all their glory. Plus some sweet, sweet eighties-style nudity.
This is a twisted and humorous take on the all-too serious Lovecraft’s source material. Now, if you were spoiled by modern horror comedies, it might take you a while to get used to this. And you might even think that the whole thing is just cheesy and silly. And you would be right but it’s at the same time very compelling and entertaining. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Re-Animator, I highly recommend you check out The Return of the Living Dead. It’s just as graphic and even more funnier than this one.
Director: Stuart Gordon
Writers: H.P. Lovecraft, Dennis Paoli, William Norris
Cast: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Gerry Black
Fun Facts: The special effects department went through 25 gallons of fake blood during the shoot.