Beyond the pages of science

Have you ever heard of the name H. P. Lovecraft? If you have, lucky you! If you haven’t…lucky you! I’m about to tell you who he is.

Many movies have been inspired by Lovecraft; like The Thing, Ghostbusters, and The Evil Dead. Unfortunately, the direct adaptations of his work have never turned out very well – safe for one of his short stories: Herbert West-Reanimator.

In 1985 director Stuart Gordon transcribed the tale into a 95 minute blood-pumping gore-fest of a film, simply titled Re-Animator…and it turned out great!

“A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.”

– IMDB

If you don’t like “blood n’ guts” then you should skip this one, but if you like a little meat spilling – then it’s a must-see. This movie is a wonderful blend of morbid humour, carnage, and sex. The acting is hilariously over the top, but that’s one of the greatest things about it. This movie is the Frankenstein of the 80’s.

Ok, so let’s say that this sounds terrible to you and you can’t imagine who would ever be interested in a movie like this! You prefer movies with more substance, maybe with more “sophisticated” writers and filmmakers at the helm. Maybe a movie like…American Beauty?

Yes, that’s right. American Beauty is a film about seeing past the bland commons of life and recognising the gorgeous and the magical. The writer of American Beauty, i believe, not only included a reference to Re-Animator in the script because he was a fan – but also because it is itself a beautiful film. Finding the charm and value in everything is an important human quality and it can definitely be extended to grungy gushing splatter-flicks like Re-Animator.

Alright, so maybe a mangled bleeding zombie cat is hard to appreciate for its aesthetic value – if you’re PETA or something. Please don’t kvetch about the “poor thing”. It’s a puppet, and anyways…as every self-denying hater says: “some of my best friends are cats!”. The one in this movie is used to make an important narrative point  anyway, so it’s all okay in the end…right?

I recommend Re-Animator as a challenge. If you are someone who only watches high-brow artsy films, try seeing if you can spot the “art” in Re-Animator. It’s there if you just…look closer.

Also, it’s a great choice for this years Hallowthreen, if you’re still looking to complete your list. Speaking of Hallowthreen…

…I found another movie for mine! Sorry, I know I “segwayed” badly into that one…

Actually it’s worse than that. That entire recommendation, whilst important in and of itself, was also a segway in order to tell you about my new Hallowthreen discovery. See, Stuart Gordon, the director of Re-Animator, also made another movie inspired by H. P. Lovecraft – called From Beyond.

It’s almost a sequel to Re-Animator; as it also stars Jeffrey Combs, who played Herbert West.

Fun, funny, rude, romping, rebellious, and ridiculous…all the reasons why I’m dying to see it! The most amazing about it is exactly that; it’s still a mystery to me. I’ve known about it for a while but never bothered to give it a gander. Well, this Hallowthreen I’m going for it – I hope it’s every bit as good as Re-Animator.

– Rant Over

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