BY ANTHONY GALLI
Okay, so maybe there’s something to be said for not raising the dead. History seems to show that nothing good ever comes from it. Exhibit A: 1985’s Re-Animator.
Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s 1922 short story “Herbert West: Reanimator,” Re-Animator tells the story of a mad, young scientist who kills his mentor, an old mad scientist,while trying to bring him back to life. Dr. Herbert West is then, unsurprisingly, exiled from the University of Zurich to the now infamous Miskatonic University Medical School in Arkham, Massachusetts.
And yes, Lovecraft’s Arkham is the namesake of Batman’s notorious Arkham Asylum, home to such notorious reprobates as The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, and Bane. Small world.
Herbert West was convinced that animal life could be reanimated successfully after death because life is no more than merely a cellular reflex function; animals are nothing more than electrical machines. Dr. West was convinced that “the so-called ‘soul’ is a myth.”
West’s Promethean hubris will prove to have dire and fatal consequences. Or, as one famous margarine commercial from the 1970’s reminded us, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”
“Herbert West: Reanimator” is a modern-day re-telling (or, re-animation, if you will) of Mary Shelley’s 1818 classic Gothic novel Frankenstein. Mary Shelley, 21-years-old when Frankenstein was originally