It's back to the classics for this series's #7: H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator, a jewel of a horror-comedy. There's plenty to giggle about here - from the cheery, tinkling score, to the animatronic zombie cat, to the pratfalls and lobotomized walking dead - but there is also plenty of gore and nasty bits, starting with the pre-credit exploding eyeballs.
It's been a while since I read Lovecraft's original short story, "Herbert West: Reanimator," and I can't tell you how much the 1985 movie differs from the 1922 original without referring to Wikipedia (apparently a lot). In the movie, however, our hero, handsome young medical student Dan Cain, befriends the brilliant-yet-demented Herbert West, recently dismissed from a Swiss graduate school for his ghoulish experiments. West has developed a "re-agent" which, when injected into dead tissue, reanimates it. West and Cain soon move from experiments on dead cats (the aforementioned animatronic zombie feline) to the corpses in their medical school's morgue: they find that the fresher the body, the better the zombie. As you might imagine, things get out of hand very quickly, West and Cain finding themselves overrun with zombies, including the med school's Dean (and father of Cain's girlfriend) and their neurology professor, Dr. Hill, whom West killed when Hill tried to steal the reagent potion.
I had a feeling going into this one that it was going to be heavy on the gross and gory and, oh my, yes: zombies in varying stages of decomposition, limbs being torn asunder, talking decapitated heads floating in tubs of blood, death by strangulation by zombie intestines. Re-Animator is close to being on a par with The Evil Dead and Dead Alive (although I did like both of those movies better, being just that much more crazier) - it should certainly be counted in the same horror/comedy category.
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