Sunday, 6 May 2007

Dr West

Now available uncut (1st time on DVD in UK), Stuart Gordon’s directorial d├ębut Re-Animator is that rare beastie, a comedy horror flick that remains entertaining over two decades after it first panicked viewers into helpless laughter. Jeffrey Combs’ career defining performance as Herbert West, the obsessive scientist of H.P. Lovecraft’s tales, is part Frankenstein, part heroic zombie slayer.

The film is charmingly preposterous, defies all rationality with absurdly theatrical tragedy and unsettling moral quandaries, and overflows with mortuary gore. However, it’s still dramatically compelling and provocative, especially in its uncompromising tangle of sex and violence. Although the sequels (Bride Of Re-Animator, Beyond Re-Animator) merely imitate the inspired lunacy exhibited here, both narratives have moments of gleeful madness. Green-juice fans can look forward to Gordon’s House Of Re-Animator (due 2008), which reunites the original cast and finds crazy Dr West in the White House, presumably to revive a brain-dead president!

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