“You’ll never get credit for my discovery; who’s gonna believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow.”
Story: Hooray — got into med school! Oh no; I’ve got Herbert West as a roommate. Didn’t he get kicked out of his last school for trying to raise the dead? Graduation seems a loooong way away…
Scares: Strictly camp, with a few gotchas thrown in because hello, dead people.
Splat factor: Dead people coming back to life via a glowing green substance. When they get too much? Gory hilarity ensues. And hey, those dead people coming back to life gotta come from somewhere. Of course this film is goopy.
Closing scene “shocker”?: Nope, but the end of the movie is a real scream…
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: A film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s novella “Herbert West–Reanimator.” And bee-tee-dub, they made this movie into a Broadway musical. No, I’m serious. And don’t call me Shirley.
Trick or Treat?: A campy horror classic that is equal parts camp and creep, with a healthy dose of weird. I mean really weird. I enjoy the hell out of this movie, but I’m not sure I can count it as one of my favorites. Director Stuart Gordon throws down the oddball gauntlet here, and he’s created a masterpiece of midnight movie madness. It may not work for everyone, but if you’re in the mood? Damn it delivers.
This movie may not be for everyone? Yeah, I said it. Gals, you’ll never think of Ladytown in quite the same way after one particular scene. But Jeffrey Combs is a hoot as Herbert West, with the late David Gale as dastardly ick-meister Dr. Hill, West’s perfect foil.
The FX here is amazingly effective, and stands up well even with today’s superspeed CGI wonderland. There’s a re-animated cat that is an absolute hoot, as it looks like a rabid muppet on Herbert’s back. And Dr. Hill’s “separation” is also excellent.
Re-Animator feels like a mix of old-school Stuart Gordon gorefest, daytime soap operas, and slapstick. It works, however fans looking for scares are best served elsewhere. Though if you’re a horror junkie and haven’t seen this? Well, you really can’t call yourself a true horror nerd without giving this a look.
Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.