B-Movie Corner: Re-Animator

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First Posted: 10/19/2014

The horror-comedy is a fine line to walk and some films aren’t funny enough or graphic enough to fall steadfast into either category, but Re-Animator manages to plant a firm foot in both camps; thus helping to solidify the cult like status among some other fan favorites such as Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive.

Re-Animator’s original theatrical release was in 1985 during one of the horror film booms and the film had a decent showing at the box office and managed to gain a loyal following almost immediately. However, due to extreme gore many non-diehard horror fans did not count this as a favorite film.

The plot for Re-Animator is based on a story from horror writer icon H.P. Lovecraft titled Herbert West–Reanimator. The story follows Dr. Herbert West in his never-ending quest to reanimate dead tissue.

Dr. West moves to Miskatonic University in New England from Zurich, Switzerland where he was studying with the renowned Dr. Hans Gruber, who died and was reanimated at the hands of Dr. West.

Upon arriving Dr. West moves in with fellow medical student Dan Cain and quickly begins his studies once again in the basement. Dan first becomes aware of the happenings when discovering that Dr. West has brought his dead cat Rufus back to life with horrific, and hilarious, results.

From this point on in the film Dan and Dr. West are implicated in this “miracle” together, eventually getting them barred from medical school, and soon set off to the morgue for Dr. West to show the true capabilities of the serum he has invented.

The rest of the film is filled with slapstick humor, both extremely gory and funny. There are decapitated corpses running amok, intestines attacking victims, and enough reanimated corpses to satisfy the most zombie crazed fans.

Final Verdict: Re-Animator was fairly successful upon its release, but immediately catapulted into cult status among horror fans. It has remained there ever since with a new generation of horror re-discovering this classic film. The film has gained such a cult status that it was ranked #32 on Entertainment Weekly’s Top 50 Cult Films and also now a musical adaptation that premiered on Broadway in 2011. The film also spawned several sequels with another that has been long talked about, but remains to be seen if it will ever be finished and released.

Where can I get it? : Re-Animator is widely available on both DVD and Blu-ray at many stores including Best Buy, Walmart, and Books-A-Million. The film is also available online through retailers such as Amazon and Overstock. Re-Animator is also currently available for streaming on both Netflix and Amazon!

Suggested Beer Pairing: Re-Animator is a film that will make you both laugh and cringe at the same time and if you have the opportunity to watch this with friends it will only enhance the experience. Like the film a beer that is easy drinking and complex is the best pairing, and the best style to offer this diversity is the American Pale Ale. Some great choices to pair with Re-Animator are: Sierra Nevada- Pale Ale; Oskar Blues- Dale’s Pale Ale; Half Acre Beer Company- Daisy Cutter; Firestone Walker- Pale 31; Great Divide Brewing Company- Fresh Hop Pale Ale; and 21st Amendment- Bitter American.