Today's Pick: Re-Animator (1985)
I've said it plenty of times, but it bears repeating: the eighties were the golden era of effects-driven horror. The revolutions that were happening in the burgeoning field meant lots of on-screen benefits for viewers. With this fun attitude infusing the effects, the eighties also provided us with plenty of classic horror-comedies. One of the absolute best of these is Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon's loose adaptation of a series of H.P. Lovecraft stories.
The effects work isn't the only thing that makes the film memorable. There's the hilarious lead performance by Jeffrey Combs as the mad scientist, Dr. Herbert West. Combs is a ham but he also takes the character seriously, which makes for an insanely watchable time. David Gale as the villainous Dr. Hill is equally entertaining, especially once his head is removed from his shoulders. You also get to ogle the insanely gorgeous Barbara Crampton, who to this day is still as ravishing as ever. Everyone is having a hilariously good time, but manage to do so without ever undercutting the material.
Another element that stands out is the direction by Stuart Gordon. For all of its low budget pedigree and gory subject matter, Re-Animator is a fantastic looking picture. You can tell that Gordon really wanted to make the best picture he could. This isn't a hack job. Gordon went on to adapt many other Lovecraft stories, so you know he's a true fan of the source material, even if his fealty to it isn't the greatest. But that's okay, because the movies themselves (especially Re-Animator) are such a blast that it doesn't matter.
As far as goopy, zany pleasure goes, Re-Animator knocks it out of the park. It's exactly the kind of movie you want to introduce people to because their reactions are just as enjoyable as the film itself. This is the definition of a party movie, so hunt down a copy and get to viewing!
Tomorrow's movie is Night of the Creeps. I already spoiled it back in my Slither entry, so hints be damned! See you then!
31 Days of Drew 2 (2014)
31 Days of Drew (2013)