Tuesday, November 20, 2012



 Re-Animator Directed by Stuart Gordon. Starring Jeffery Combs. (1985).   
       The first Re-Animator has a strange effect on most of the population that see it! It’s so well crafted, it’s a combination of spatter, wacky comedy and dramatic elements. It inspired Chas Balun to write his own magazine and publish books that inspired me to tribute him! There’s something so likeable and infectious about Re-Animators campy style and boldness to do crazy shit like have a room full of the ugliest naked zombies imaginable tearing people apart, Dean Halsey head butting a served head (played by David Gale) or that neon green serum being injected frivolously into every orifice imaginable. As a youngster (who has yet to grow up) I fondly remember seeing the most gruesome gore makeup effects in the pages of Fangoria. I first saw it on WDZL(channel 39) the first year I moved to Florida from Long Island, NY at age 11. 
       When I first moved there in one week they played this along with the first Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday The 13th. Nothing was cut out in the version I first saw, which clocks in at 86 minutes.  The R rated version is longer and has more scenes of Dr. Hill (David Gale) practicing his hypnotism on Meg played by the beautiful Barbara Crampton, who most horror nerds have had a crush on to one time or another. Kids today have it so easy! they never even see the TV versions (of VideoDrome, Repo Man and other castrated shit of that ilk) all this craziness went on during the uber conservative Reagan era, they get to see the whole enchilada and are often jaded by it! I should talk though, I’m afraid to watch any of the sequels and have put the first film on a pedestal. There are a lot of Re-Animator sequels, all I’ve successfully avoided and even a musical on the way (which might be good). If Stuart Gordon were to be measured by two films, he couldn’t make more of an impressive impact then Re-Animator and From Beyond, two flawless classics in my opinion and Dolls is pretty good too!
      The basic premise is that Herbert West (played by the overly dramatic Jeffery Combs) has to leave Switzerland after an eye bulging accident involving his mentor Hans Gruber occurs (this entire name would later be hijacked for Die Hard). He moves in with Dan Cain and Meg Halsey and immediately conducts secret experiments on their cat Rufus. He also makes an enemy with Dr. Hill (David Gale) who has a cool high powered laser drill that can burn a hole into a brain as he dunks in an extra long Q-Tip (this seems to me a cooler trick then his hypnotism, but what do I know)? My favorite character in recent years have gone from Herbert West to Dean Halsey, I like how stodgy he is in the beginning and then after being crushed by a steel door, having his fingers bitten off and then thrown violently against a wall (by Arnold Schwarzenegger's real stunt double) he dies. After being given the serum, he turns into a googly eyed lunatic with blood constantly dripping out of his mouth. With him out of the picture and thrown into an asylum, West and Cain are able to experiment on as many corpses as they want! Each dead body must be timed out perfectly with freshness and serum injection and there is alot of dangerous trial and error. The creepiest kinkfest that happens at the end with Dr. Hill attempting undead oral copulation is still by far the weirdest any mainstream unrated film ever got! I’ve seen Re-Animator at least 20 times and like Evil Dead it seems as fresh as when it first debuted in the glory days of explicit horror. This film made H.P. Lovecraft famous and I’m glad they took liberties with the storyline and made it more insane then the original story! Lovecraft is a genius writer in his own right but no film adaptations have been as entertaining. Revisit it right now over at Netflix!

Dean Halsey unhinged

Dr. Hill's zombie army

 CHECK OUT this highly entertaining take on Chas Balun and Fangoria that uses the Video Drome banner that I used for my blog! Right Here

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