Sunday, October 27, 2013

Re-Animator (1985)

Re-Animator (USA, 1985) - Color, Director(s): Stuart Gordon
MPAA Rating: UR
[UK: 18]
Approx. 95 min.

Z-rating: 5 out of 5 stars for pure 80's cheesy entertainment

Cheese Factor: 3 out of 5 stars

Re-Animator is another movie I've mentioned quite a few times on this blog but never gave a formal review. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite movies of all time because of the cheesy 80's effects and the awesome score by Richard Band (brother of Charles Band!). I'm also a big fan of mad scientist films, so a guy with syringes full of glowing green liquid that brings corpses back to life is right up my alley.

Jeffrey Combs plays Herbert West, an unassuming medical student who has found the key to conquering death itself. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) is a star student at Miskatonic University and is also dating the dean's daughter. The two becomes roommates and eventually partners in crime when West reveals his reanimation agent to Cain. We are soon introduced to the film's antagonist in Dr. Carl Hill, played by David Gale, who West butts heads with on the subject of brain death (specifically how long the brain will continue to function after death). Cain and West are conducting experiments after hours at the school, when the dean tries to interfere and is accidentally killed by one of their "subjects". Seeing an opportunity to work with a fresh cadaver, West injects him with the reanimation agent. How far will their experiments go?

Too far...

One biggest reasons why I'm such a huge fan of this movie is because I always wanted to be a mad scientist when I was a child. I grew up on shows like The Munsters and loved the idea of test tubes bubbling in a laboratory, imagining all the disgusting experiments I would conduct. I also love how the reanimation agent glows green, which seems to be the go to color for strange substances of an unknown origin in these kinds of movies.

Everybody chill the fuck out, I got this.

Nudity: You get to see Barbara Crampton's sweet boobs a couple times throughout the film. Towards the end, she's fully nude on an operating table as we see Dr. Hill's severed head hovering between her legs, ready to go muff diving. She's got a really nice body too!

Gore: Maybe not as much as a typical zombie film but there's plenty of blood and practical splatter effects. Dr. Hill's head is severed from his body with a shovel and someone's eyes explode due to an overdose of reanimation agent.

Awesome: to the MAX!!! Even though the "science" is completely hokey, the movie itself was a lot of fun (giving someone a lobotomy does NOT give you remote control of their brain!). I know I've reviewed a couple zombie movies already and some people may make the connection to the reanimated corpses in this film, but I really wanted to focus on Herbert West. Even though reanimated corpses do play a big role, the story is really about a mad scientist obsessed with his experiments. This movie is based on a story by H.P Lovecraft titled, "Herbert West-Reanimator" which was written as a parody of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. There was even a Broadway musical adaptation of this film! Great movie to play for a group at a Halloween party, especially if you look up glowing green cocktail recipes. For extra fun, you can make green jello shots in syringes for the party!