Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Flashbacks: Re-Animator 1985

Re-Animator 1985
Director: Stuart Gordon
Writer: Dennis Paoli
Starring Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbot, Barbara Crampton, David Gale and Robert Sampson

Lovecraft, when you think of that name and when I think of Lovecraft films the team of Gordon and Combs comes immediately to mind. Re-Animator was their first commingling and still by far the best. This is my 3rd favorite horror film of all time. It is just one of the most perfect blends of horror with comedy. A great film with greating performances by Combs and Gale. The humor in this film is really in the form of bad taste and it works so well in this film. I think if any other director had tired this it would come out feeling forced, but Gordon really makes it feel like a natural part of the telling of the tale.
The plots basics are this, we open in Switzerland, where a experiment goes horribly wrong. This is where we meet Herbert West (Combs), a brilliant scientist who has discovered how to bring life back to the dead. He arrives in America at Miskatonic University and is introduced to Daniel Cain (Abbott) another promising mind and he rents a room from Cain. West also meets the resident professor in neurosurgery Dr. Hill (Gale) and they do not get along well. Soon, Cain discovers what West is doing and begins to help him, which starts a domino effect rippling throughout his life. Hill soon discovers West's formula and steals it but not before he is killed, decapitated and brought back to life. He then abducts Megan (Crampton), Dean's girlfriend and this all leads to a insane showdown at the morgue.
I cannot rave about this film enough. Gordon's direction is tight as always, but this film is definitely his masterpiece. The writing is excellent, with great one liners for both West and Hill. It is a really subversive script and it plays with the dark humor really well. The acting is great especially Combs and Gale. My favorite scene with West has to be when he confronts Gale at the end of the film and just lays insult over insult. And what can be said about Gale's Coitus scene with Crampton, I still laugh my ass off whenever I see it. The effects in the film is phenomenal too, for being low budget it all looks really believable. I also love Richard Band's score, which was a riff on Psycho's score while still being original. This is a classic genre film and if you have not seen this yet you are really missing out.
5 dead cats out of 5

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