100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Monday, August 16, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Twenty-Four - "The Re-Animator!"

Hello my lovelies. And when I say "Hello," you know what I mean ....

Anyway, today sucks. I was behind before I even got out of bed this morning - not that I slept last night. Oh no, that would be too much to ask for.

So I gotta make this brief yet again, but tomorrow (hopefully) I will have time for a bigger post.

But I am excited for tonight's movie - one of my favorites from my teenaged years! Check out the skinny below!

The Re-Animator (1985): Directed by Stuart Gordon. Starring Jeffrey Coombs, Barbara Crampton.

The Skinny: One of the most well known 80s cult films and still one of the most disturbing! Based on a story (“Herbert West – The Re-Animator”) by horror master H.P. Lovecraft, Jeffrey Coombs stars as Herbert West, a young scientist who has isolated a chemical that brings the dead back to life. However, the serum is not perfect and the reanimated dead are violent and dumb. Plus, when a rival scientist gets his hands on the formula, West takes matters of vengeance into his own hands. It only escalates into madness and violence at that point.

What’s Good: Like the classic “Evil Dead” films by Sam Raimi, “Re-Animator” is a sick combination of gore and humor, bolstered by a suitably creepy performance by the incredible Jeffrey Coombs. His slick, smarmy and heavily agitated Herbert West is instantly unlikable and Coombs’ creepiness permeates the whole production. Also, this is a film that uses practical special effects to near perfection – scenes where a headless body carries said head around in a bag are the only unconvincing moments in the film. Well, there’s also the part with the dead cat, where the actors basically hold a stuffed animal to their heads while screaming “GET IT OFF ME!” But, these cheesy elements truly add to the gory mix of humor and horror. This is, without a doubt, a classic 80s cult film – one that effectively launched Coombs’ career and created a series of “Re-Animator” films that are all inferior to this stunning original. The presence scream queen Barbara Crampton – along with some steamy nude scenes – is also a bonus.

What’s Bad: Again, some of the effects are silly, but this is one instance where the silliness is intended. Also, the gore factor is enough to turn some people away – granted it’s no “Saw” or “Hostel,” but there are gushers of blood, dismembered corpses (one that continues to walk, talk and move around despite decapitation), and zombies in varying degrees of decay.

Why We Like It: This is one that has it all – sex, violence, gore, humor and a tragic central figure beautifully interpreted by a talented actor. As a teenager, I watched this movie constantly – I even read the novelization of the film, a copy of which I still have. It was and continues to be one of my favorite films in the genre. Coombs is super intense and never plays the part for the yuks, yet somehow manages to wrench laughs out of the slightest change in his chiseled, stony expressions.

Memorable Stuff: I have great memories of this entire film, but there is one sequence towards the end that is utterly unforgettable. Rival scientist, played by David Gale, kidnaps his former boss’s daughter and attempts to get a little action. Problem is, he’s a decapitated corpse, making his desirability factor considerably reduced. Not to be deterred, however, he simply has his zombie slave – which turns out to be the reanimated corpse of the girl’s father – chain her down to the table so his DISMEMBERED CORPSE CAN HOLD HIS HEAD BETWEEN HER LEGS FOR A LITTLE CUNNILINGUS! Yeah man, you read that shit correctly. And boy oh boy is it graphic. It’s so graphic that as a teen, I didn’t know whether to jerk off or be horrified … okay, let’s face it – we all know I jerked off.