|By Chris Derosa||Wednesday, 30 May 2007|
When horror and comedy blend together so well, you just know that you have something special. In Re-Animator, you get an extremely tongue in cheek adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story combined with a zombie movie angle that would make you think Romero had a hand in this in some way. 20 years later, this movie has continued to maintain a life of its own, which is ironic considering the subject matter.
Re-Animator tells the tale of an up and coming student at a medical university. He also is conveniently dating the dean’s daughter. He needs to find a roommate for his new place, and the first person that comes knocking is a transfer student from Europe. He soon finds out that the new roommate, Dr. Herbert West, has an unhealthy infatuation with the concept behind “brain death” and the theory that a lifeless body could actually be brought back to life. After experimenting with a specific specimen (which I won’t spoil), it only goes terribly wrong from there. But you’ll be hoping for the worst at every moment, and this will deliver. Every character soon gets involved, and it snowballs into a fantastic bloody climax that (of course) leaves open the possibility of a sequel (which would eventually happen).
The actors, while not amazing by any means, still get across a great amount of character that almost cry out to be loved. It works well in this sense, and the “range” of the actors portraying the living dead are absolutely fantastic. It helps in a comedic fashion, and the violence that accompanies them only ups the ante. Along with the atmosphere comes a nice and flowing soundtrack courtesy of Richard Band, who delivers a theme song that could be compared to something along the likes of Psycho.
Re-Animator runs at an almost perfect length, close to an hour and a half. No unnecessary filler, and still plenty of moments for you to take in and remember well after you finished watching it. The tone stays light while keeping the visuals and effects dark and violent. It’s the extreme humor in some moments that would inspire many horror comedies, such as Shaun of the Dead. It’s a shame that B movies of this nature are never done anymore. For the Millennium Edition, you get a nice amount of extra footage. If you’re in for some classic horror, and you can find this dvd, then you’re in for a treat.