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Author Topic: H.P Lovercraft's Re-Animator (1985)  (Read 9691 times)
The Firecracker
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« on: December 28, 2007, 03:14:55 PM »

Bought it at best buy using a gift certificate I got for Christmas.
Wasn't disappointed.
The first hour gives you a "been there, done that" feeling but the final half hour has some good surprises that will warrant a second viewing.


I can't help but wonder how much better it would have been had they followed Lovecraft's original short story (Herbert West-Re-Animator). The turn of the century feel of the story would have given the movie a much needed spooky atmosphere.

Something else I'd like to point out...
This movie has a reputation for being a horror/comedy.
Where was the humor?
A decapitated head attempting cunninglingus? That's it?
The West character had a few chuckable lines ("whose gonna believe a talking head? Get a job and a sideshow") but other than that I didn't laugh at anything.

7/10



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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 03:54:40 PM »

I agree with everything you said, that's pretty much what I also feel about the movie.

The decision to make Herbert West a modern-day character is the biggest flaw in the movie. Other than that, I really don't have any other major complaint. The movies is what it was supposed to be from the start - brainless gory fun.

The movie is certainly far from being a comedy, but it also is far away from being a real horror. The ending scenes, if I remember correctly, when all the zombies are going wild, could probably have been done darker. Especially if it was set in one of those old gothic wannabe hospitals from the start of the century.

All in all, interesting movie. 7/10

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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 05:40:29 PM »


Something else I'd like to point out...
This movie has a reputation for being a horror/comedy.
Where was the humor?
A decapitated head attempting cunninglingus? That's it?
The West character had a few chuckable lines ("whose gonna believe a talking head? Get a job and a sideshow") but other than that I didn't laugh at anything.

7/10
Better get a vial of Herbert West's glowing re-agent and inject yourself immediately. Your sense of humor is in serious need of re-animation.

Jeffrey Combs's line readings are hilarious. All of 'em. Even when the words are pedestrian, his delivery has me laughing out loud. ("Yes. Parts. I've never done whole . . . parts.") Some of the physical humor he does is good too. The bit where the re-animated cat puppet is supposedly clawing his back always puts me in, heh, stitches. Then when the cat is dead (again), he does the "Look out!" gag. An absolute scream.

It just gets funnier once West has decapitated Dr. Hill. He's having trouble getting the head to stay upright in the tray, but then the spindle holding his notes gives him an idea . . . Hah! The opening exchange between the re-animated head and West is also funny:

Head: West!
HW [preparing to take notes]: What are you thinking? How do you feel?
Head: You . . .
HW [writing]: "You . . ."
HW: . . . . baaaastaaaaaard!

There's lots of humor resulting from Dr. Hill's decapitated body moving about under the imperfect control of the separated head. When the body has trouble getting plasma out of the mini-fridge, the head actually rolls his eyes.  Then, even before the "giving head" joke, there's an even funnier bit where the body is groping the naked girl while the unattached head indicates he's really enjoying himself. This gives rise to another of Comb's great line readings: "You disappoint me Dr. Hill . . . trysting with a bubble-headed co-ed."

Combs is not the whole show, however. The actor playing the security guard at the morgue never fails to amuse. The guy is always taking a break, principally, it seems, so that he won't be around if anything bad should happen. One of the scenes has him at his desk reading a copy of "Boudoir" magazine. When someone shows up and goes into the morgue, he immediately departs with what could be his signature line: "Break time."

I have not even begun to enumerate the many gags in this very amusing film.

btw, FC, I need to disabuse you of a misconception. Lovecraft wrote "Herbert West--Reanimator" not as a short story, but as a serial. The six parts appeared in six successive issues of something called Home Brew (p. 823, Library of America ed). To do the episodes justice in a "faithful" dramatic version you'd have to do a six-part TV series.

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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2007, 06:29:47 PM »



Jeffrey Combs's line readings are hilarious. All of 'em. Even when the words are pedestrian, his delivery has me laughing out loud. ("Yes. Parts. I've never done whole . . . parts.") Some of the physical humor he does is good too. The bit where the re-animated cat puppet is supposedly clawing his back always puts me in, heh, stitches. Then when the cat is dead (again), he does the "Look out!" gag. An absolute scream.

The "look out!" gag felt awkward and misplaced. In fact when it happened I had to look over my shoulder to make sure nobody else was in the room during that embarassing moment.
Thankfully, nobody was (phew!).

It just gets funnier once West has decapitated Dr. Hill. He's having trouble getting the head to stay upright in the tray, but then the spindle holding his notes gives him an idea . . . Hah!

A chuckler at the most. Nothing to guffaw at.


There's lots of humor resulting from Dr. Hill's decapitated body moving about under the imperfect control of the separated head. When the body has trouble getting plasma out of the mini-fridge, the head actually rolls his eyes.  Then, even before the "giving head" joke, there's an even funnier bit where the body is groping the naked girl while the unattached head indicates he's really enjoying himself. This gives rise to another of Comb's great line readings: "You disappoint me Dr. Hill . . . trysting with a bubble-headed co-ed."

If you care for such things.

Combs is not the whole show, however. The actor playing the security guard at the morgue never fails to amuse.

Amusing yes, hilarious (fall right off your chair) no.


btw, FC, I need to disabuse you of a misconception. Lovecraft wrote "Herbert West--Reanimator" not as a short story, but as a serial. The six parts appeared in six successive issues of something called Home Brew (p. 823, Library of America ed). To do the episodes justice in a "faithful" dramatic version you'd have to do a six-part TV series.


I knew this already. I said "short story" because I didn't want to get into a big pointless paragrapgh explaining the origin of a 20 paged story (hence, short story).

I also know that Lovecraft had no love for this particular tale. It was too "explicit" compared to his more suddle works.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 06:31:57 PM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2007, 07:33:14 PM »

So, Dave. From what you've said on this topic I have a strange feeling, so enlight me - Do you think GBU is also a comedy?

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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2007, 07:43:40 PM »

Jeez can't someone have there own sense of humor? i mean if Dj thinks it's hilarious, and you don't couldn't you just leave it at that instead of turning it into some Spanish inquisition.

*saving you the trouble of finding a rebutle*

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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2007, 08:38:22 PM »

So, Dave. From what you've said on this topic I have a strange feeling, so enlight me - Do you think GBU is also a comedy?
GBU is an epic, which, by its very nature, subsumes all forms of literature (including comedy).

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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2007, 04:22:34 AM »

I've wanted so bad and so long to see this but last time I checked the Finnish DVD was out of print Undecided I gotta check it again.

So FC, how does it compare to Evil Dead series or Braindead? Less humor but as much gore?

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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2007, 09:29:19 AM »

GBU is an epic, which, by its very nature, subsumes all forms of literature (including comedy).

OK, you're right, my mistake. What about ''Full Metal Jacket''?

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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2007, 11:00:58 AM »

FMJ is satire.

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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2007, 01:26:19 PM »

Satire is humor, humor is comedy (in movies). But FMJ isn't a comedy, just like Re-Animator.

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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2007, 02:20:16 PM »

Satire is humor, humor is comedy (in movies). But FMJ isn't a comedy, just like Re-Animator.
I don't know what world you're living in, but in the one I inhabit terms are not interchangeable; satire is not (necessarily) humor, humor is not comedy (just as "weather" is not "climate"). English has the largest vocabulary of any language in the world for a reason. We have these different terms so we can better draw distinctions.

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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2007, 02:29:55 PM »

I don't know what world you're living in, but in the one I inhabit terms are not interchangeable; satire is not (necessarily) humor, humor is not comedy (just as "weather" is not "climate"). English has the largest vocabulary of any language in the world for a reason. We have these different terms so we can better draw distinctions.

Exactly why I find strange that Re-Animator is considered a comedy. Thank you, Dave. I rest my case.

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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2007, 02:33:44 PM »

So FC, how does it compare to Evil Dead series or Braindead? Less humor but as much gore?


Their is a alot less comedy in Re-Animator and their isn't half as much gore as their is in Braindead.


The first "Evil Dead" I don't see as a comedy at all but rather just a good spookfest. It wasn't until the sequels that the comedy element was injected.


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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2007, 02:34:46 PM »

To do the episodes justice in a "faithful" dramatic version you'd have to do a six-part TV series.


Somebody must have seen the documentary, on the second disc, where they say they exact same thing. Tongue

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