The second film in my first match-up in the first round of the 80s US Bracket!
Screenplay By: Stuart Gordon, William Norris & Dennis Paoli
Directed By: Stuart Gordon
I’m as into cerebral movies as much as anyone you will find. I love movies that make me think, I love well made movies, I love genre films that belong at the highest level of cinema, even if others vehemently disagree. But, I also love cheesy movies, I love movies so terrible they end up awesome. Before I go any further, no, Re-Animator isn’t a movie so terrible it’s awesome. Re-Animator is something we should all look for in our movies, pure, unbridled fun! That’s where Re-Animator fits into the mix, it threads the line between a movie so terrible it is awesome and a movie that knows what it is doing. I don’t want to say it’s a movie that just wants to have fun, but in a lot of ways that is the best way to describe it. At the same time such a description does a great disservice to the movie, because Re-Animator is so much more than a movie that just wants to have fun.
Okay, I’m getting a little side tracked in my point, so let me try again. Re-Animator knows what genre it is, it knows what its fans expect, and it knows how to play with every single one of those expectations and have a great time while doing so. As I said earlier, I love movies that make me think, but I also love movies that cause me to laugh out loud almost every minute. I love a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously and doesn’t want you to take its seriously, a movie that says, “This is cheesy, you know it’s cheesy, we know it’s cheesy, but that is why this movie is awesome and you will love it.” I don’t know if I’m doing a good job of describing why I had such an honestly enthusiastic reaction to Re-Animator, so I present to you what made Re-Animator so darn awesome (as well as an exclamation mark bonanza),
–Awesome dead cat mayhem!
–The plot just jumped ahead about three hundred steps, but who the fuck needs a cohesive plot?
–Dead man mayhem, blood and gore everywhere!
–Creepy old doctor stalker love!
–Shovel through the throat, twitching body, severed head!!
–Headless body attacks!!!
–Emotional break-up, wait, reconciliation, never mind, it’s dead daddy time!!
–Naked unconscious chick!
–The headless body is copping a feel and now naked chick is awake!
–We have now reached zenith, or as I like to call it, a decapitated head sucking a naked woman’s nipple and licking a bloody trail down her body!
–Holy shit, the decapitated head was about to see if the carpet matched the drapes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
–You seriously can’t beat this dialogue, “You’ll never get credit for my discovery. Who’s going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow!” Go ahead, try and beat that, I dare you!!
There’s plenty more, I guarantee you that. But, I just wanted to give you a taste. The basic gist is that Re-Animator is oodles of fun, it knows what it is and what it wants to accomplish and it does so in perfect fashion. I am often guilty of focusing on great technical achievements and great acting, and great this or great that. But, Re-Animator is a perfect example of how a movie can look terrible in almost every aspect, yet be a great and darn near perfect film. That’s not to say there aren’t legitimately great things in Re-Animator, but raving about the make-up work or the acting of Jeffrey Combs would go against the motif of my review. To keep it very simple, I’m happy as all get out that the Filmspotting 80’s US bracket allowed me to discover Re-Animator, because it is a joy to watch and a transcendent experience of awesomeness!