Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stream-And-Run, Halloween Edition: Re-Animator (1985)

           A classic, through and through.

         Confession time: I’ve gone throughout my entire 27 years of life without having seen this ghoulish classic. Which is quite surprising, given how much a fan I am of horror films and HP Lovecraft and the triumvirate of Stuart Gordon, Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton. I have of course heard much about the film over the years, and already knew many of the details before having seen it, so there was always the possibility that it wouldn’t hold up to the movie that I had built it up as in my head. Fortunately, Re-Animator is every bit the film I hoped it would be, a blacker-than-black comedic gorefest that’s still as icky and over-the-top as it was upon its initial release. Combs is the stand-out, immortalizing Dr. Herbert West alongside other famous mad scientists, but it’s kind of surprising how much of a side character he is throughout. His actions are the catalyst for the entire film, and Combs plays him at such a fevered pitch that all eyes immediately gravitate towards him whenever he’s on-screen, but he’s neither the antagonist or the protagonist - instead just a weirdo who pops in from the sidelines to drive the film forward from time to time.

           Having said all that, I think I still prefer Gordon’s follow-up From Beyond, which also stars Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton.

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