Thursday, October 6, 2016

Horrors of October - Re-Animator

Re-Animator (1985)

Medical student Dan (Bruce Abbott) seems to be doing alright for himself: He's got a full scholarship at Miskatonic University, he's secretly sleeping with the dean's daughter (Barbara Crampton), and he's being taught by leading brain surgeon Dr. Hill (David Gale). Unfortunately, new student turned roommate Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) brings total chaos with his personal research and creation of a serum that can revive the dead. RE-ANIMATOR still remains as one of the best cult classics of the 1980s, brewing a perfect mixture of extremely gory practical effects and gallows humor. It helped introduce some of the top names in the modern horror scene, from its demented director Stuart Gordon to the entertaining likes of Combs and Crampton. I wanted to re-acquaint myself with the film this season in order to see if it really stacks up and gets better with age. Additionally, I wanted to see if movie critic/podcast host Devin Faraci is correct in stating that it is worthy to be inducted into The Canon of Greatest Films of All Time. After sitting through 86 minutes of glowing green syringes, raging zombies, and a sex scene with a severed head, my results this time have revealed that it is pretty damn entertaining but severely flawed in a couple of areas. Scenes seem to be missing or cut from the final reel, as there are many jumps in the story, such as how we're supposed to be well aware of Dan's cat after having only one brief scene with the animal, simply for a lame jump scare. Then, there's the confusing moment where West's feud with Dr. Hill comes to a head (ha ha), in which he oddly conducts some new research solely for the movie to have a proper third act. However, the most egregious element of the film has to be Richard Band's score, which often rips off Bernard Herrmann's music from PSYCHO but changes a couple of notes here and there so its themes can be "original". It may not be standing side by side to EVIL DEAD II and ARMY OF DARKNESS in my opinion but it's still a very fine horror-comedy.


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