December 16, 2010

RE-ANIMATOR (Zombie Classic)

On the fourth day of zombie, my true love gave to me.....

     4 green syringes
                   3 eye gougings,
                   2-4-5 Trioxin,
                   and a Sumatran rat-monkey.


Director: Stuart Gordon
Writers: Dennis Paoli, William Norris, and Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton

SYNOPSIS:In this loose adaptation of the H.P Lovecraft story, Herbert West (Combs) is an antisocial medical student who rents a basement apartment from fellow classmate Dan Cain (Abbott). In the basement, West carries out taboo experiments using a glowing green re-agent that reanimates the dead. Megan (Crampton), the Dean's daughter and Dan's girlfriend, doesn't like West, but despite her warnings Dan joins West in his reanimation experiments until things go horribly wrong and their greedy instructor, Dr. Hill (David Gale), attempts to steal both the re-agent and Megan for himself.

BEST LINE: "Who's going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow."

BEST SCENE: The decapitated but reanimated corpse of Dr. Hill strips Megan nude and positions his severed head between her legs for what can only be described as preparation for cadaver cunnilingus.

CLASSIC STATUS: Like  Return of the Living Dead, Stuart Gordon's adaptation of Re-Animator was one of the first successful zombie films to tell its story with chills but also a quirky sense of humor. Unlike Return, which was quite conservative when it came to blood, Re-Animator pushed the envelope for blood and guts in zombie media. As well as being one of the first successful movies inspired by H.P Lovecraft's fiction, Re-Animator introduced audiences to cult-favorite Jeffery Combs and his take on Herbert West: an egotistical, obsessive, yet strangely likable young Frankenstein for the late 20th century. For his turn as Herbert West, Combs became a go-to actor for strange and bizarre characters, using his impressive on-screen presence to carve out a niche in cult cinema just as stars like Christopher Lee and Vincent Price did before him. Re-Animator influenced generations of films, such as Dead Alive, but as a stand alone film is clearly a zombie classic.