Sunday, November 11, 2012

Re-Animator

When people talk about the best cult horror movies, Re-Animator is routinely on the list of the best ones to date. This is one of the best black comedies that you will ever see and has some of the best makeup effects ever recorded. Jeffrey Combs also lends his considerable talent to the movie and simply takes over ever scene that he is in. This is one of those movies that falls into the category of "they just don't make them this way anymore". The combination of gore, story, and great performances make this one of the most under appreciated horror movies of all time.

The story of Re-Animator is a modern day retelling of the classic H.P Lovecraft story, "Herbert West- Reanimator". We follow Dr. Herbert West(Jeffrey Combs) in his search for a cure for death, and he is actually successful in bringing the dead back to life but with mixed side effects. Joining him in his quest is his roommate Dan Cain(Bruce Abbott), who becomes involved in West's quest after they reanimate Cain's dead cat. Their main goal is to defeat death but there is moral dilemmas in their way because most people are not going to accept "zombies" as living people. Another doctor at their school, Carl Hill, is obsessed with becoming famous and will do anything in his power to achieve his goals. Hill and West come into direct conflict and the results are gore filled to say the least.

For being a cult horror film, this movie actually does have some stellar performances in it. Jeffery Combs takes over ever scene that he is in and you really start to believe that he could be this modern day mad scientist. I for one loved this character and viewed him as an anti-hero while others may view him simply as a mad scientist. His main goal is to simply defeat death, we aren't given an of his back story as to why he has this need to overcome death but there is something definitely disturbing lurking in his past. Combs plays the role with an amazing amount of intensity so the character never become silly, over the top at times, yes, but never silly. These are the types of performances that I miss in my horror movies, casting directors in Hollywood really need to start seeking out talented character actors to play main roles in new horror movies, not just hot, young twenty-somethings. The art of the cult actor is a lost form that seems to be only really kept alive by Bruce Campbell and Jeffrey Combs.

The effects in this movie are simply mind-blowing. The amount of effort and time that was put into these effects seem to be well worth it and it made the movie a thousand times better than it would have been with modern day CGI effects. Hill's decapitated reanimated head in the surgical plate is one of the best effects that you will ever see in any horror movie. The amount of planning that went into that effect must have been staggering. All of the effects are great and none of them seem goofy at any point which lends to the effectiveness of the action and the story being told on screen. These are effects that should be admired and set as the goal for each and every practical effects worker in the movie industry.

This is a must see movie in my opinion and is one of the best movies that the horror genre has to offer. A lot of people have seen the iconic poster of this movie but have never seen the movie itself. Well, guess what? Its time to actually sit down and watch the movie. It features one of the best performances in any horror movie and features innovative effects work. Rent it from Netflix or but on Blu Ray/DVD, either way you need to see this movie right away.