Friday, October 21, 2011

GENRE (SPECIAL EDITION): Horror - R

Re-Animator (1985) – Stuart Gordon

Picking up where Frankenstein left off, Re-Animator (1985) is not a sequel, but it does simplify the tale of returning life to the dead. This time it is by way of an advanced serum pioneered by ideological young med student, Herbert West. Set at the fabled Miskatonic University in Massachusetts, West's ego and blatant disregard for authority, and those around him, lead him down a dark path of murder and resurrection, all in the name of science. The film walks a very thin line between horror and comedy, which puts it in good company among An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987). Nevertheless, the film is considered a classic in the genre and is responsible for kicking off a wave of films associated with the work of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. The score for the film is notorious for shamelessly being "influenced" by Bernard Herman's work on Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). Re-Animator (1985) received a cultural shout out in American Beauty (2000), which no doubt helped its cult status and paved the way for a second sequel, Beyond Re-Animator (2003). This film also marks Stuart Gordon's first foray into the cinematic presentation of H.P. Lovecraft's work, a territory he has become synonymous with throughout his career. 



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Check back tomorrow for the next installment of the Horror Alphabet.

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