Scientists create a resonator to stimulate the pineal gland (sixth sense), and open up a door to a parallel (and hostile) universe. Based on a story by H. P. Lovecraft. —IMDb
Stuart Gordon is a creative horror film director who started his directing career in 1985. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, Gordon worked as a commercial artist prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin as Madison as an Anthropology major. Unable to get in with the film teaching classes, he enrolled in the theater class. Gordon then pursued his own theater troupe called Screw Theater.
In 1969, he started a counter-culture adoption of Peter Pan as a political statement and form of protest. Gordon dropped out of the university and moved his theater group to Chicago where he organized the Organic Theater, which put on satire shows with comic and violent themes. The group performed in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and even in Europe. Gordon’s Organic Theater troupe performed in a play by David Mamet titled “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” which launched Mamet’s playwriting career. The improv-based comedy “Bleacher Bums” ran for seven years in Los Angeles… read more
For me the most accomplished (and fleshed-out) Gordon/Crampton/Combs collaboration; also the most satisfying version of Lovecraft I've seen from Gordon (though I'm still somehow yet to see *Dagon*). Though the ero guro of things like *Re-Animator's* morgue scene (that always reminds me of the similar scene in *Elektra Lives Again*) or the ghoulish beheadedness of John Kerry-lookalike Dr. Carl Hill seems like
The chemistry and importance of the cast here also seems more evenly distributed (not that it's not in *Re-Animator*, but here it's moreso), more (ahem) resonant with both the author's themes and the visual version of those themes we see played out onscreen. (It maybe also helps that Combs' character is much more sympathetic and vulnerable; I found myself really hoping he and Crampton would come through somehow at the end.)
There's something also to be said for the FANTASTIC lighting, most notably in the Resonator scenes and highly reminiscent of things like *Suspiria* or *Inferno*. And the memorable practical effects that continue to hold up, even on Blu-ray. And the deft alternating between the two main locales, the hospital and the house (which seems like basically the same model used to structure *Re-Animator*). Better than I remembered.
Great performances by Combs, Crampton & Sorel and inspired production design are let down by a weak script. Still worth checking out at least for the dark sense of humor.
*Slight spoilers* I'm almost surprised Re Animator has a stronger cult following than this, its not the most intellectual horror film but its still probes at some really interesting ideas mainly the dark side of sexual exhilaration but whats amazing is it does while throwing in giant worms and brain eating. And few horror films turns its 'final' girl into a lunatic so effectively. Must see for horror fans.