In 1985 when Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator — an extremely loose and abundantly bloody adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “Herbert West, Re-Animator” — came to theaters, the idea of a funny horror movie was mostly limited either to the comedy relief in classic horror, or to the concept of movies that were in the so-bad-it’s-good category of unintentional mirth. A case can be effectively made that Paul Morrissey’s two horror movies that Andy Warhol “produced” (well, his name’s on them) — Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula (both 1974) — beat Gordon to the punch, but Morrissey’s blend of deliberately bad acting, blood, viscera and soft-core porn was just plain too odd for all but the most specialized audience. Today, Gordon’s approach is more accessible and his spurting blood seems more akin to Monty Python than Morrissey. In any case, it felt very fresh at a time when — Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) to one side — at least it seemed to consist of nothing other than meat-on-the-hoof teens being pursued by the maniac of the moment. This was new. It was different. It was witty and cheeky and even a bit literary (don’t take that last too far).
If you don’t know about the film, read up on it here: http://avl.mx/sd
The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen Re-Animator Thursday, April 18 at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge of The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.