Re-Animator (1985)

“Re-Animator” (1985)

Fantasporto 2010


reflexive homage

This was the first half of a double session i watched that ended with Braindead. It was fun, very fun. The reason why we laugh at films like this is, i think, related with the fact that we understand the breaking of cinematic conventions. in other words, if i’d never seen any gore “serious” film before, this one would just sound silly. This means we have a comedy attached to a specific genre, and which plays with it. Well, we are given absolutely every element we are supposed to get from the genre: zombies, lots of blood, graphic depictions of guts, the object woman, who necessarily has to loose her clothes along the way and be the catalyst of desire of basically everybody on the film (except the inventor). We are even given those elements in the right place, and order, and with the right weight, according to what we except from the genre. But we will just laugh at it, just as the filmmakers did making it. This film doesn’t twist the genre (like the new Thirst, by Park Chan-Wook does), instead it turns it into a cartoon, and that’s also a good experience.

This re-animator has a special interest, basically and simply because it is well executed. Unlike a very vast majority of the guys who did these films, Stuart Gordon does have a cinematic eye. He cares for how every shot is constructed, and that ends up summing up to the experience. Again, in other words, the film matters as cinema, instead of just an artifact for blood gore lovers to appreciate how they modeled the intestine that gains life in the final scene. Some moments, intentionally ridiculous in their plot description, work incredibly funny because of how they were shot. The best example is a shot in which you get, on a single frame, half the naked body of the female protagonist. We see her breasts, being handled by the hands of the headless body. Standing next to the girl we see the head itself, in a platter, with gazes of pleasure! it’s incredibly visual, so much that i am laughing just remembering that frame. Other than that, the fluidity of the camera helps all the way.

So, in the end, this doesn’t have the juice of those films that play, twist, and re-deliver a genre, instead it falls on a larger group of films which are “hommages”. This is a pretty decent one, and you certainly will laugh at it.

My opinion: 4/5

This comment on IMDb


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