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  • Gareth Crook

Re-Animator (1985) - 7/10

I’ve always shied away from horror. So here’s a review from a none horror fan. First up thanks to the era’s film techniques and it being clear that this was made to entertain, the gore isn’t too graphic. It’s still quite shocking, with some blokes eyes bleeding out on the opening scene, but the blood is a bit too like bargain basement red paint to be that disturbing. Anyway, we’re in America. In a hospital. With a young doctor called Dr Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott). Dan doesn’t like losing patients. Neither does Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs). He’s a prickly new kid on the block with a fierce stare and some wild ideas. Classmates and soon roommates. Dan is the darling student to the maverick Herbert. Herbert you see has some new ideas. Disagreeing with the current theories on death, when it occurs and what’s possible after. He instantly butts heads with Dr Hill (David Gale) and Dan’s girlfriend Megan (Barbara Crampton) isn’t a fan either. Especially when Rufus the cat goes missing. It’s all a bit goofy and schlocky. Creaking floorboards, staccato strings all over the score (I’m sure some have been nicked directly from Hitchcock). It’s a gripper though and worthy of its reputation. It’s rather funny too, although I’m not sure if I’m laughing in all the right places. The point though is it’s fun. It’s very obvious what Herbert is up to, I mean it’s the name of the film. He’s bringing things back to life. He can cheat brain death he claims, with his super neon green ‘Re-agent’. Enlisting Dan they get to work in the hospital morgue, injecting a body to test if it works on more that cats. It’s not going to end well is it. The bodies come back to life, but they’re not very friendly and result in some dizzying blood splatter. There’s method to all this though. Logic buried between the hammy acting and bizarre deaths. Lines are drawn then blurred between good and bad, alive and dead and there’s some genuinely great scenes that ultimately lead to a fantastically batshit finale. This must’ve been a ton of fun to make and it’s a fantastically bloody watch. Maybe I need to try more of this horror lark. 



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