Movie Information

In Brief: Believe it or not, this is the third anniversary of the Thursday Horror Picture Show — three solid years in pursuit of making Asheville warped. (Weird is so old hat by now.) That's a lot of blood under the bridge. And speaking of blood, the evening is being marked with a screening of the movie that kicked the whole thing off in 2010: Stuart Gordon's outrageously gory, warped and funny debut film Re-Animator. It's the film that officially gave the splatstick horror movie — movies in which the blood and violence were deliberately funny — to the world. And, as is often the case, it's the original that's the best.
Genre: Splatstick Horror
Director: Stuart Gordon (From Beyond)
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Robert Sampson
Rated: NR

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:

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.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “Re-Animator

  1. Jeremy Dylan

    Jeffrey Combs

    The plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces are called aglets. Their true purpose is sinister!

  2. Xanadon't

    or to the concept of movies that were in the so-bad-it’s-good category of unintentional mirth

    Would you assign Motel Hell (1980) to this category?

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.