Day 24: Dr. Herbert West, the Re-Animator. Published in 1922, it’s actually considered Lovecraft’s worst work, only driven to write for the money. West is a fiercely driven student in Miskatonic University’s medical program. Rather narcisistic, having little respect for the living or dead, his theory is that the human body is merely a machine that can be restarted after death using his serum. West and his companion, who narrates the story, proceed to test the serum on grave robbed corpses, the dean of the school, and WWI soldiers before meeting his end at the hand of his creations.
In 1985, the story is adapted to film, starring Jeffrey Combs as West. Despite some gratuitous nudity and gore in true 80’s fashion, I really enjoy the movie. Part of me would like to see a remake with a higher budget treatment, but I worry it would be terrible Combs is fantastic in the title role and I can’t imagine anyone else as the character. It’s really astounding with such great source material, good Lovecraft movies are so hard to come by, with Re-Animator being only one of two I can think of that are actually adapted, albeit loosely, directly from his works. The Call of Cthulhu, a silent film from 2005, is the other. In the Mouth of Madness and Event Horizon are both good movies with a Lovecraft theme.
Did you know: Lovecraft wrote Herbert West—Reanimator as a spoof on Frankenstein.