Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Horror I Missed: Re-Animator

Hello all and welcome back to the week. Things are moving a bit hectic around here. Trying to get funds together to get Rotten Ramblin' On to Sound Cloud so everyone can enjoy them including our earliest stuff when we didn't understand stuff like dialing back decibels or compressing files so they sound clearer. At any rate, Rotten Reelz is back with more Horror I Missed. Now to clarify by that I mean Horror films that genuinely had a scary premise, a more or less original story or something tapped into by a good writer. Today we explore the dark and disturbing storyline of one Dr. Herbert West, his gruesome experiments and the impact this H. P. Lovecraft novella had on the screen viewers. This is Re-Animator.

Jeffery Combs or Morrisey in this light?

Based loosely on the horrific novella, Herbert West: Re-Animator and brought to us by veteran Director Stuart Gordon (From Beyond, Dolls, Robot Jox, Daughter of Darkness, The Pit and the Pendulum, Fortress, Castle Freak, Space Truckers, Dagon and Stuck) comes the well paced Sci-Fi/Horror/Comedy that launches so many questions and sadly turned more than a few stomachs with its practical effects, gore gags and slapstick comedy in a dark enviroment. In the University of Zurich Institute via Switzerland, Herbert West (Jeffery Combs of Frightmare, The Man with Two Brains, From Beyond, Dead Man Walking, Freddy's Nightmares, Robot Jox, The Pit and the Pendulum, Trancers II, Doctor Mordrid, Love and a .45, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Enterprise and Voodoo Moon) brings his teacher back from the dead but with horrendous side effects screaming to the authorities he brought him back from the dead.

Wow finally a companion for Jan in the Pan!

So with impending expulsion looming over his head, West makes his way back to the states and enrolls his further studies to Miskatonic University in New England. He rents a room from a medical studen Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot of Tag: The Assassination Game, Velvet, Command 5, Summer Heat, Bad Dreams and Dark Justice) and asks to convert the basement into his own laboratory. Cain feels a bit put out by these requests but really needs the money agrees to this conditions. West demonstrates the effect of the formula with Cain's cat Rufus who "died under mysterious terms" as he is brought back from death.

Heads up! Hehe if I had sides they would be splitting.

Cain's fiancee Megan (Barbara Crampton of Love Thy Neighbor, Body Double, Chopping Mall, From Beyond, Puppetmaster, Robot Wars, Guiding Light, Space Truckers, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Lords of Salem) already creeped out by West witnesses this experiment and freaks out. Dan tries telling her father who is dean of the university but he will hear none of this, convinced they are both cuckoo for coco puffs, the dean bars them from the hospital so Cain and West have to sneak into the morgue and re-animate a corpse. The dosage reacts differently with different people so now we have a zombie with a pre-psychotic rage. If he was a necromancer I would tell him to raise an army like that and go forth and ruin the realm. The dean walks in on all the crazy but he himself gets killed by said zombie causing West to kill it with a bone saw.

With madness piling up, Cain and West have to figure a way to resolve this, publicate the findings and prove that tampering in God's domain is not only possible but very feasible.

Will the boys succeed? Is this experiment possibly unethical? How much karo syrup is Gordon out of pocket?

For a nine hundred thousand dollar budget, Re-Animator pulled in over $2 million making half of its money on opening weekend via 1985 on October 20th. The special effect department spent over 25 gallons of fake blood during the shoot. That had to be fun to clean up. What director Stuart Gordon and writer Dennis Paoli (Re-Animator, From Beyond, Castle Freak, Mortal Sins, Body Snatchers, Dagon, The Dentist and The Black Cat) were trying to create was to be true to the source material ended up a gross parody of Frankenstein.

This has spawn a cult following to the likes of Evil Dead and Dead Alive fans to the point of making two additional sequels.  For me as a Stuart Gordon fan, I always love that a shovel ends up being used as a weapon at some point in time of the flick. Still love the fact the name Hans Gruber is used in this movie and immediately I think of the late great Alan Rickman in Die Hard.

Maybe they're playing "Hide the Soul", like Chucky does.