Re-Animator: The Musical
Sloppy horror with dismembered plot
This article is from 2012.
A warning: Re-Animator has a splash zone. This camp comedy horror musical, based on the film which was in turn based on the HP Lovecraft story ‘Herbert West – Reanimator’, delights in covering the auditorium’s first few rows with blood, vomit, brains and whisky (none of it real, one hopes).
Slops and all, the story is standard horror fare. Herbert West is a creepy medical student obsessed with trying to bring the dead back to life, using a glowing serum injected directly into the brain stem. It works, but the only problem is the violent and uncontrollable nature of the re-animated corpses. West’s promising fellow student and roommate, Dan Cain, is intrigued, but their desire to research the effects of the serum leads to pretty much every character getting it in the neck.
Re-Animator starts off slick and pacey with great songs and regular laughs, but before long it manages to disintegrate completely. The point of no return is the scene in which a sexual assault and attempted rape is played for laughs, a thoroughly offensive and uncomfortable moment that shows the company just hasn’t thought it through. And from here on out things descend into a series of disjointed sketches, punctuated by the cast running and screaming all over the stage, clearly having a whale of a time but wholly disengaged from the audience.
The original story is not one of Lovecraft’s best, and he himself wasn’t proud of it. Though this adaptation tries to be as camp and as gory as possible (look out for the shovel decapitation and terrifying zombie cat), there’s nothing imaginative or interesting to pull It together. If you really fancy donning a plastic poncho and getting soaked, you might be better off taking your chances on the Royal Mile.
Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 27 Aug (not 13, 20), 10.40pm, £14 (£12).