USA / English
"H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale of horror "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.
The Greatest of All Lovecraft Interpretations
After learning all he can learn in Switzerland, Herbert West comes to
America to study life and death. Can death be overcome? West thinks so,
and with his reagent serum he might just prove to the world how right
"Re-Animator" ranks at the very top of my all-time favorite horror
movies. For a guy who has seen probably one thousand horror films,
that's quite the accomplishment. For me, the film is paced perfectly,
has plenty of gore, a fair amount of nudity (and a scene of sexuality
you won't find elsewhere), some black comedy and a simple plot premise
(a variation on the Frankenstein story).
This is the film that gave Jeffrey Combs his place in cult film
history. On the basis of this movie alone, he is sought after to appear
in other horror films and appear at horror conventions. Sure, some of
his other films are pretty good, and he had an impressive run on both
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "The 4400". But he will always be
known as Herbert West. None of the other stars (David Gale, Bruce
Abbott, Barbara Crampton) has gone on to such a level of recognition.
The film has some flaws. The score, which is supposed to be an "homage"
to "Psycho" sounds more like a blatant ripoff. And my biggest pet peeve
is trying to find a complete copy of the film. I owned the longer,
R-rated version on VHS. Now I own the shorter, unrated version on DVD
(the Millennium Edition). I have yet to find one that combines the gore
of the uncut version with the plot of the R-rated one (which I think
really drives home the story and fleshes out the motives and power of
But the sheer fun of the film makes up for the flaws. Jeffrey Combs is
clearly having plenty of fun, and the way they approach such things as
the reanimated cat and the use of the reagent as an intravenous drug
tells me they knew that the key was just letting a good time fly.
The people involved with this film (Combs, director Stuart Gordon and
producer Brian Yuzna) went on to make a variety of other
Lovecraft-inspired films. So I guess I have to thank the success of
"Re-Animator" for giving them the chance to pursue these other projects
(even the less wonderful ones like "Necronomicon" or "Dagon" (which
many people like but I wasn't impressed)).
If you're a horror fan and haven't seen this, shame on you. You simply
cannot have an in-depth conversation on horror without this film coming
up. I urge you to check it out and decide for yourself. Can thousands
of horror fans be wrong on this one? When have they steered you wrong
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