1985, Movie, NR, 86 mins


H.P. Lovecraft, a Rhode Island native and recluse, wrote a large number of short stories, most of which were published only in lurid pulp magazines like Weird Tales. He has since been acclaimed as the most important and influential writer of horror and fantasy to appear post-Poe and pre-King. Several attempts to film Lovecraft's eerie tales of monsters and madness have been made, ranging from DIE, MONSTER, DIE to THE DUNWICH HORROR. While RE-ANIMATOR fails as a faithful adaptation of Lovecraft, it is an incredibly demented movie in its own right that combines a plethora of downright disgusting grand guignol with disturbing black humor. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) is an intense young med student determined to make a scientific breakthrough and bring the dead back to life. He works at home on mysterious experiments and finally, using the glowing green fluid he has developed, revivifies a dead cat. The next stop is the med school morgue, where Herbert reanimates a human corpse. Of course, this and every other cadaver he brings to life becomes a bit difficult to subdue. A major-league splatterfest, RE-ANIMATOR has a number of horrifying moments, made even more macabre by the grisly humor evident in almost every unforgettable scene (the most memorable and bizarre being the sex scene with a cadaver's detached head). Perhaps the film's only drawback is the somewhat arch self-consciousness of the performers, who are constantly winking at the viewer as the horrible is defused into the safely ludicrous. Director-coscreenwriter Stuart Gordon again turned his attention to Lovecraft in FROM BEYOND. leave a comment

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