Thursday, March 24, 2011

Re-Animator (1985)

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

I don't know what was in the water in 1985, but I could sure use a glass of it now. Come on, August 16 brought us RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, and two months later RE-ANIMATOR came along. Laugh? Brother, you'll just die.

Herbert West is a third-year student at the Miskatonic University Med School. His specialty is death—or more correctly, the reversal of same. His roommate Dan Cain agrees to help him with his experiments but things get out of hand and pretty soon the rest of the cast is killed and brought back to life, and killed again, and so on.

Jeffrey Combs became a horror icon as West, Bruce Abbot is a wonderfully frazzled Dan, Barbara Crampton enters the Scream Queen Hall of fame as Dan's girlfriend (the Dean's daughter), and David Gale becomes the maddest scientist of all time.

Written by Dennis Paoli, William Norris and director Stuart Gordon, the film has everything from a dis-embodied head going down on a bound, naked coed to a cameo by James Cameron's father. It's a high-gore-level gumbo of sick humor and creepshow parody served up by those mad missionaries from the Church of Splatter Day Saints.

Fans of ZOMBIELAND should definitely check it out, but don't think that the relatively tame gore of the newer film will in any way prepare you for the floor-to-ceiling ick of this masterpiece. And there's the added bonus of the scrumdiddilyumptious good-sport nudity of Ms Crampton.

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