We all know and love Stuart Gordon’s 1985 iconic cult classic Re-Animator. And what’s not to love? Decapitations, dismemberment, and buckets of blood. But this isn’t Re-Animator. This is Reanimator Academy. And lemme tell ya, it’s a whole other ballgame sister.
Reanimator Academy is a gem. And by that I mean that I don’t know how the hell I found it and I kind of don’t believe that it’s real. The credits do not name the actor who plays each character so I’m not going to bother really with names. The director’s name is Judith Priest which I have a hunch just might be a pseudonym thought up by a hard rock loving college kid who thinks that he is very clever. And the main character’s name is Edgar Allen Lovecraft – step aside Brangelina we got a hot new name smash. Could you imagine how messed up the child of Poe and Lovecraft would be though? I know that that’s not how babies are made, but still.
The story is quite predictable. Edgar Allen Lovecraft is the token nerd of the Delta Epsilon Delta fraternity whose members are known as “DED Heads” (nice Grateful Dead reference!) and are constantly throwing a party. It is during one of these keggers that Edgar returns back to the frat house but makes a bit of a scene as he is carrying a decapitated human head that the morgue gave him to do scientific research on. Party foul! It turns out that Edgar isn’t your typical fratty meathead, but has developed a serum that will bring the dead back to life. Just another college boy thinking he’s god am I right ladies. Edgar’s human head wakes up from his not-so-eternal-slumber with the iconic line “Hey buddy can you get me an Aspirin, I feel like Roseanne Barr just sat on my face.” Now that’s what I call 90’s humor!f He also reveals that his name is Fred. Fred the Head. I know and I’m sorry. Word gets out about Edgar’s discovery. Soon a local gangster/pimp/all-around-family-man named Mugsy forces Edgar to bring his dead girlfriend/prostitute/all-around-wholesome-gal Hot Lips, back to life. Yeah Mugsy killed Hot Lips because she was hoarding her profits. But hey, what relationship hasn’t had its ups and downs? What’s important is that he is making an effort now! Problem is, when Hot Lips comes back to life, she’s a total buzzkill and starts beheading all of the other students! Bad Hot Lips!
I would say that one of the most disappointing aspects of the Reanimator Academy was the lack of gore. My life coach tells me that I should expect less and be grateful for more but I WANT BLOOD DAMN IT. If you are going to reference the gore-filled Re-Animator and use its title as a selling point, your film needs to at least contain some blood. Re-Animator had 24 gallons of blood. Reanimator Academy had 0 gallons of blood. A big ole goose egg.
When I sat down to watch Reanimator Academy, i was expecting to hate it and turn it off almost immediately. This is a no-budget film that was obviously filmed with a camcorder, and not even a good one. It is a home-movie that seems like it was never intended to be seen by anyone other than those who made it. In a weird way it reminded me a lot of the horror movies that me and my brother would make in our backyard as children. Full of slapstick comedy, not scary, but still thoroughly enjoyable and innocently silly. OMG I’m getting really nostalgic right now. Reanimator Academy is a film that wasn’t good to begin with and 30 years later it’s still not good. But still, its a film that I’m definitely going to show to all of my friends.
Review by: Alex Schultz