- Film (1985). Re-Animator Productions/Empire. Dir Stuart Gordon, starring Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale. Screenplay Dennis Paoli, William J. Norris, Gordon, based on "Herbert West - Reanimator" (1922) by H.P. LOVECRAFT. 86 mins. Colour.In this Grand Guignol film Herbert West (Combs), a medical student at Miskatonic University, develops a reagent which restores corpses to life: they become vigorous but brain-damaged zombies. He decapitates an evil professor (Gale) who is envious of his brilliance, resuscitates both head and body,and mayhem ensues. Sponsored by Charles BAND's Empire Pictures, based on an untypical series of sardonic sketches by H.P. Lovecraft, R-A is a lively SPLATTER MOVIE featuring the kind of undergraduate humour that assumes it is funny to be disgusting. It very nearly proves the point, not least in a scene involving the sexual activities of the still-living severed head. R-A opened up new perspectives in bad-taste movies, and helped introduce the comedy trend that dominated HORROR cinema in the late 1980s.The sequel was Bride of Re-Animator (1989; vt Re-Animator II) dirBrian Yuzna, who had produced R-A. A lethargic reworking of R-A's bizarre imagery, again starring Combs, Abbott and Gale, with a plot recapitulating parts of The BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935), it lacks the zest necessary for the desired horror-comic effect and is merely emetic. Yuzna's SOCIETY (1989) is so much better that the two hardly seem the work of the samedirector.PN
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.