Creepy Guys: 9/10
OK, I know that I’ve been a little lagging lately, but even the best of us (and I am the very best) need to take a little vacation. Did I go to some tropical island and lay out on a sandy beach whilst drinking everything from a coconut? No. I did, however, sit in my usual chair and play a great run-through of Fable 3 while maintaining a steady diet of Mac’n’cheese and water (because I’m poor). I’m back now, ready to tackle the next 100 movies with even more verve and style than I did with the first 100, and I’ve got a great one for today. I bring to you a classic from the shadows, Re-Animator, and a possible new inductee for my Bad Movie Badasses.
Dr. Herbert West is an extremely brilliant and mildly creepy student of the human brain. His specific expertise is in the reversal of brain death, which causes a body to gain the appearance of life. West has developed a re-animation agent that he can introduce to the brain of a dead subject, and that’s all you really need to know for right now. Recently kicked out of his school in Europe (you can assume why), West has come to America in order to continue his research, and is introduced to Daniel Cain. Daniel is an up-and-coming doctor with a lot of potential and a spare room for rent, so it seems like the ideal place for West to temporarily rest his hat.
When Daniel’s cat “mysteriously” dies, West has the opportunity to prove that his re-animation agent works, and Daniel can’t deny the results. He takes his observations directly to the Dean of their University, who is convinced that Daniel is crazy, and ends up getting kicked out of school. Desperate to prove that West is right, Daniel agrees to help with a little demonstration. They break in to the morgue and plan to re-animate a body, hoping to gain evidence and credibility to their claims. The experiment doesn’t go terribly well, especially when the re-animated corpse goes naked crazy and kills the Dean, who came to the morgue while hunting down our boys. They only have one option: use the re-animator agent on the Dean!
Things go from bad to worse when another doctor, Dr. Hill, who also happens to be a professor at the University, experiments on the Dean and discovers what has happened. He goes to West with the idea of blackmailing him in to revealing his secret formula, only to end up being decapitated with a shovel. West then shows remarkably poor judgement by using his agent on Hill, who can still control his body even though he’s no longer attached to it. Hill knocks out West, steals all of his formulas, and runs away to his own lab to begin his plan to sleep with the Dean’s daughter (i.e. Daniel’s girlfriend). It’s up to Daniel and West to save the day, but they first must battle all of the re-animated corpses that Dr. Hill has learned to control (through the use of lobotomy, it would seem). West manages to shoot up Hill’s body with an overload of re-animator agent, and then gets attacked by the body’s intestines. Meanwhile, Daniel tries to rescue his girlfriend, but he doesn’t make it in time. She dies, but Daniel still has some of the agent in a syringe. He wouldn’t, would he? Totally.
I really only had one major issue with this movie, but it’s kind of a big one. West mentions that he has to inject his re-animator agent directly in to the brain in order for it to work, since it reactivates the chemical reactions that occur there. Why, then, would it be able to re-animate a headless body? And why would that body’s former head still psychically be able to control it? Just some plot holes, and I may be over-analyzing, but I’m pretty sure that should have been addressed. Oh, and if you’re wondering who is my newest addition to the Bad Movie Badasses, then look no further than Jeffrey Combs. He stars here as Herbert West, and pretty much makes the entire movie worth watching (as with anything else he is in). Here’s to you, Jeffrey, congratulations on this most prestigious honor!
Until next time, guys and girls, keep watching and re-watching those bad movies, even after death.