Re-Animator: Special Edition
Director: Stuart Gordon
Well, what do...we...have...here? A fuckin staple in 80s gore, beotches! Though Gordon's a true fan of Lovecraft, this is, in truth, a bit of an abomination in that regards. Oh well, he'd do the same with his follow-up From Beyond, which, with any luck, we'll see actually released on DVD within the next couple of months or so, and who finally achieved in a halfway decent adaption with 2001's Dagon. This, well, this is just 80s splatter exploitation at its finest, giving Jeffrey Combs the perfect role as the scientifically-deranged scientist Herbert West.
Modern school of (limited) thought believes the brain can survive 6 to 12 minutes max beyond death. Herbert West thinks otherwise, and through numerous unsanctioned experiments, he proves everyone wrong. Problem is, the serum that revives the dead tends to have an ill-effect on its recipients. Plenty of gratuitous gore, naked dead, and frenzied medical staff become embroiled in a danse macabre.
Okay, so the plot and dialogue ain't exactly on the Gone With the Wind level of standards, but I'm a sucker for these illogically inane bloodfests, particularly when you have a man like Jeffrey Combs just chewing up the scenery. He's like Bruce Campbell's long-lost brother. Sure his acting skills aren't the best, especially when given sub-par dialogue. But it's not what you say, it's how you say it as you're fighting off countless numbers of re-animated dead people, you know? A classic, nice to revisit from time to time. This is followed by two sequels, neither directed by Gordon, both starring Combs. But fear not, Gordon's returning to his Lovecraftian roots once again for the "Masters of Horror" series adapting Dreams in the Witch-House, which should be a genuine treat considering all of the talented directors and writers that are contributing to the series...
Great Scene: Despite the low budget, creative camera work and body double make Dr. Hill carrying his own head quite effective and pretty damn creepy to boot.
DVD Notes: Widescreen treatment by Elite Entertainment, and quite the treatment it is with multiple trailers (some very amusing WARNING! ones in there), quite a few deleted scenes of lamer shit they added in for the "R" rated version to make up for all the gore they cut out of the Unrated version they present here, and multiple audio including the films soundtrack and two commentaries, one with director Stuart Gordon and the other with the cast. Listening to the one with Gordon is pretty interesting and informational on how not only is this his first film after a substantial amount of time spent in Chicago theater, but how it was researched and what various reactions were to the piece. It's kinda hard to believe a classy guy like Gordon got his start with a film like this. Way to go!