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Episode 84: RE-ANIMATOR

  

289 members have voted

  1. 1. Is RE-ANIMATOR Canon?

    • Yes!
      144
    • Call time of death on this one.
      145


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Yeah I voted no.

 

While I understand the desire to want to put purely fun movies into the Canon I'm not sure that by itself is the main argument for inclusion. Devin threw a lot of pretentious sounding arguments at the wall to see if any would stick, but the core argument came down to "this movie was fun and I love it."

 

To use an example from a different genre that sort of reminds me of this film: Hudson Hawk. I love the film unreservedly (as I saw it at the ideal age). Hudson Hawk is pretty funny, has a very stylistic series of choices, and is kind of both funny and weird. There's also no doubt that the film's directorial choices were specifically made for that tone. But it's also inarguably a TERRIBLE movie. Just because the film checks off a bunch of boxes that a good film would also have doesn't make it a good movie. And just because it's so bad it's great, doesn't make it worthy of the Canon.

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I was sure this was going to get in based on the Homework thread, but being behind 35-19 doesn't look too promising.

 

Amy's main argument, as far as I could tell, for why this shouldn't be in is that there is already too much like it in the canon. My problem with this argument is that it implies that the canon only has a finite amount of space, and that Re-Animator's inclusion would mean that something doesn't get in in the future. Obviously we don't want to let just everything in, otherwise what's the point, but I'm all in favor of a more accepting canon. I feel that Re-Animator is one of the defining horror films of the 80s, created too many stars, and yes, is an all around fun film. A big YES from me.

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I don't think this is a particularly great movie. I don't think it's particularly important, either. If I wanted to show someone unfamiliar with 80s horror or Mad Scientist movies, this wouldn't be near the top of either list. I'm glad people are showing a little more restraint with 80s horror than they did with 90s indie.

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OH YES! This has been one if my favorite movies for about twenty years. I even had a VHS dub of it as a teenager that I made my own cool cover for and everything. Good work, Devin! I might actually be too close to this movie to see it academically for its benefits and its faults. But I also don't really care, and have voted 'yes.'

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It also appears that Devin has a lot of pet peeves. Maybe I shouldn't have taken some of his previous comments so personally, because he more or less hates EVERYthing.

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One more thing: According to the DVD commentary, the 'jawless dude,' with the bandage around his head is James Cameron's dad.

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This was a hard one for me, but I'm a soft No.

 

I've never been a horror guy, and this was the first time seeing this movie. I feel like if I had seen it with some buddies late at night in high school I would love this movie, but it just didn't do anything for me. Devin came really close to winning me over to a soft Yes when he was talking about the idea of letting movies in because they're fun, and we don't pay enough attentin to fun movies, but I just agreed with Amy too much on this one. It just didn't think it was good enough to get into the Canon. Sorry Devin, I gave it a shot, but it just didn't gel with me, and I didn't see any extenuating circumstances to push it into the Canon.

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This is a yes for me. I like when we do episodes about genre stuff they are just as important as other types of films. As Amy pointed out the argument for voting something in because its enjoyable gets a little boring. Reanimator is great. I love it, I do think people should see it but, its not a movie that I ever really recommend to anyone. I think it strays to heavily into tropes that make it a little less accessible to people who don't like horror. I want more horror in the canon but, I want it to be stuff like The Fly that reaches a little higher.

 

I'm a softer yes than I thought I would be but a yes none the less.

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I love RE-ANIMATOR and I voted YES.

 

I often think Amy makes strong, interesting arguments. Over the course of the show, despite our differences in taste, I have come to agree with her more than I thought possible.

 

But I really have to disagree with the notion that EVIL DEAD II and RE-ANIMATOR are interchangeable. ED2 (which certainly belongs in The Canon) has almost no narrative for the most part. It's more of a beautiful formal exercise. RE-ANIMATOR's main modus operandi is the twisted nature of its own narrative. And, while I side with her on stuff like JERRY MAGUIRE, I found some of her arguments about the horror genre in general to be very, very reductive.

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Going no.

 

 

Really good and fun movie but a lot of really good fun movies will not go into The Canon. That doesn't make them bad, they just aren't that upper echelon of films that deserve canonization. I agree with Amy, there is a line and this movie doesn't reach it. Not a knock.

 

This is a beloved film but Shawshank, Gump, and Goonies are all beloved and they aren't in The Canon.

 

Scott Pilgrim, John Wick, Attack The Block, even The Force Awakens are all good fun that will never make The Canon.

 

The Thing, Cannibal Holocaust, They Live, Rocky Horror, Evil Dead 2, Battle Royale, plenty of genre movies that have gotten in.

 

I frankly do no see anything that makes Re-Animator stand out from the pack to say it belongs in The Canon.

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I love RE-ANIMATOR. But this just doesn't quality for me. It's a well made movie and I enjoy it when I watch it. But there's nothing truly innovative in it and fun isn't enough. I mostly agree with Devin on the Canon, but not this time.

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I'm staying out of the vote, because I neither love nor hate RE-ANIMATOR enough to pick a side. I'm here because I like an inclusive Canon. Amy asks, "Would you show an alien EVIL DEAD II or RE-ANIMATOR?" Well, what if the alien says, "Wow, EVIL DEAD II was great, what else do you recommend?"

 

I'm not sure why this argument comes up again and again, apart from the fact one of the hosts is just peeved they had watch and talk about the other host's pick. The "we've already got one" argument is just not valid. "Sorry, we aren't going to add CITIZEN KANE, because we agreed to include TOUCH OF EVIL, so we're good for expressionist Orson Welles movies." That kind of thing sounds dumb, right? Right?

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There have been a lot of comparison to "Evil Dead" in this thread and in the episode. That's partially why I'm a hard "yes". What I mean is, just as Bruce Campbell offers as unique and fantastic performance in those films; I absolutely love the criminally underused Jeffrey Combs. Between Dr. Herbert West as well as his performance in "The Frighteners" (and as The Question in the JL: Animated series), I had always wished he had pushed a little beyond the C- or B-level. (fortunately, looking at his imdb, seems like he's always working.)

 

But that aside, I don't think the comparison applies. The Evil Dead had a different kind of humor to it. The way Raimi and Gordon shoot give their films entirely different vibes appropriate to each movie. EDII is, possibly the pinnacle, "Cabin in the Woods/Haunted House" film while R-A deals with humanity, obsession, and sanity and (as Devin points out) is a "mad scientist" movie.

 

For Re-Animator I adore the soundtrack (more "classic", compared to the "creepy" of Evil Dead), the practical effects, and the general Lovecraft-ian vibe. By that I mean, the subtle insanity lurking a little bit behind the eyes of the characters. It hits all the right notes for me. I guess my argument that this should be in "The Canon" rather than "my canon" is that I can't think of another film quite like it. There is something still so unique to me about this film that it makes me think it should be worthy. As a Lovecraft reader, I think it works.

 

The Bride of Re-Animator would be a sure "in" for me as well. And "Phantasm" I and II. There are different kinds of great, and I don't think that should be limited to prestige pictures. Most all of the great directors were heavily influenced by "genre" pictures, so in my opinion there can't be too much of it in The Canon.

 

Full disclosure: I was so excited for this nominee that I wrote this post before listening to the episode, so made minor edits since.

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I voted no, partially because I'm frustrated (along with Amy) that it would get in before any Cronenberg movie, and partially because I found Devin's argument for "fun" movies really short-sighted. It seems as if only horror, thriller, and sci-fi movies are "allowed" to be both campy and Canon-worthy -- I would like to see a lot more "fun" movies, but maybe next time fun movies like Mommie Dearest, Funny Girl, Pink Flamingos should be allowed to get in based on the same argument.

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A big YES for me. I had a feeling this wasn't going to go in (and it's still early, so I'm holding out hope). I don't agree with "this is like Evil Dead 2" argument. I've always considered this a pretty unique film, fun, but also filled with things that make you think (man playing god, bringing a loved one back from the dead, etc.). And while I would vote for Bride of Re-Animator, I could see that not getting in. I'm perplexed on so many No votes.

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I never thought much about whether or not West killed Dan's cat, but he 100% kills Dr. Hill by cutting his head off with a shovel.

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I feel a bit bad about making two negative comments about Devin the the last two weeks (and I fear that like Trump, criticizing D. only makes him stronger) but I was just so blown away and annoyed by the way the conversation went this week.

 

Devin is seemingly incapable of making or understanding an argument. I mean this as a criticism, and I mean it in a very specific way. He's knowledgable and passionate, but at the end of the day he mostly just talks like an articulate fanboy who nevertheless can't quite understand that movies he likes aren't the best just because he likes them.

 

It's an attitude that's literally the opposite of being a film critic. And that makes it so frustrating and really off-putting to hear him take an undeserved shit on well-thought-out arguments that Amy provides when he both refuses to make an argument himself or acknowledge that he even understands what Amy is saying. It's childish to constantly interrupt, make fun of, hyperbolize and outright misrepresent what your conversational partner is saying. But that was fun and entertaining for like 50 episodes so whatever, it's part of the format I guess, but by this episode it got really old and annoying.

 

You'll always notice when Devin realizes he's wrong because he'll be silent and then just say something about another movie he doesn't like. Amy drew an analogy about the cannon and explaining movies to aliens and what the implications are for whether Re-Animator makes it in. Rather than simply answering the question of whether you'd show the alien Evil Dead II or Re-Animator, or even acknowledging that a good point was made about niches and the overall quality of movies, he just said "I wouldn't show them Working Girl," and said Amy, a working film critic, doesn't understand genre. WTF. Actually, I'm glad I mentioned Trump earlier, because really, Devin is the Donald Trump of film critics — except that Devin he can put together a grammatical sentence. But his approach to conversation is basically identical. Change the subject, adopt your opponent's point as your own when you think they're not paying attention, then insult them. Pretty simple to figure out.

 

Anyway. Re-Animator is fine. It's the the exact same argument we already had about They Live, ironically re-animated for no good reason in a second episode. Except this time there's no relevant political message that still resonates to push Re-Animator over the line undeservedly. Otherwise they're in exactly the same category of decent, competent, slightly above average movies that don't deserve to be remembered except by film historians.

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I've always loved Re-Animator and last night when I sat down to watch maybe 20 minutes of it to refresh my memory on some points before voting, I found myself sitting through the whole thing. However I'm voting no because I feel Amy is right on this one. It's a lot of fun. It's a movie I've seen many times and will likely watch a few more, but I have a lot of guilty pleasures like this that appeal strongly to me but that I wouldn't necessarily consider showing to others as an example of great cinema. I'm not even certain this is my favorite Stuart Gordon Lovecraft adaptation. So I'm glad The Canon gave me an excuse to watch this again, but I have to give it a soft No.

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I'm a soft no.

 

But first: WTF, Devin?!? First, you bullied Amy into coming out with her opinion about the film, just so afterwards you could be annoyed for 1 hour of podcasting, because her opinion dissented from your own. And to complain at the end that they hadn't covered the "fun-parts" of why this film was an indulgence pick, while she actually wanted to talk about that stuff right at the very beginning - that's really not helping your case, man. Seriously, you know you can be smarter and do better.

 

 

Devin always does that. When he has a movie he likes he always bullies Amy and cuts her off when all she is doing is trying to have a discussion and state her opinion.

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Voting yes because there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure. I watched it under the worst possible circumstances - I had a grumpy baby I was trying to rock to sleep, I had work to do, and I needed to go to sleep. Any movie that wasn't great, I would have turned off or tuned out halfway through and focused on that stuff, but this movie stayed on and kept me interested as every scene was on point.

 

Both hosts were pretty full of it this time, though.

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Voting no. I never saw this movie before the weekend and I was intending to vote yes before I heard the episode. Amy made a lot of great points. She totally swung me into the opposite opinion!

 

Devin uses some of the same arguments for genre movies and, while I'm sure Re-Animator is different from Evil Dead II, I don't want this canon to turn into nerd/male friendly movies only. I doubt Devin would fight so hard for "girl" movies that meant a lot to girls 20/30 years ago. We already saw him dismiss 16 Candles and Working Girl, despite obvious evidence that those were influential movies for a generation of women.

 

Re-Animator is a fun movie, really enjoyable. But Amy's right. Fun isn't enough. I didn't see much that elevates this movie to Canon beyond "Devin watched on VCR when he was 10" which got a round of applause for me.

 

It's also a fun game to compare Devin's reasons for liking this movie against his reasons for disliking The Force Awakens. Usually they add up pretty well.

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I voted no, partially because I'm frustrated (along with Amy) that it would get in before any Cronenberg movie, and partially because I found Devin's argument for "fun" movies really short-sighted. It seems as if only horror, thriller, and sci-fi movies are "allowed" to be both campy and Canon-worthy -- I would like to see a lot more "fun" movies, but maybe next time fun movies like Mommie Dearest, Funny Girl, Pink Flamingos should be allowed to get in based on the same argument.

 

This is a weird argument because we haven't done those movies yet and I can tell you that I would be 100% YES for PINK FLAMINGOS.

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I feel a bit bad about making two negative comments about Devin the the last two weeks (and I fear that like Trump, criticizing D. only makes him stronger) but I was just so blown away and annoyed by the way the conversation went this week.

 

Devin is seemingly incapable of making or understanding an argument. I mean this as a criticism, and I mean it in a very specific way. He's knowledgable and passionate, but at the end of the day he mostly just talks like an articulate fanboy who nevertheless can't quite understand that movies he likes aren't the best just because he likes them.

 

It's an attitude that's literally the opposite of being a film critic. And that makes it so frustrating and really off-putting to hear him take an undeserved shit on well-thought-out arguments that Amy provides when he both refuses to make an argument himself or acknowledge that he even understands what Amy is saying. It's childish to constantly interrupt, make fun of, hyperbolize and outright misrepresent what your conversational partner is saying. But that was fun and entertaining for like 50 episodes so whatever, it's part of the format I guess, but by this episode it got really old and annoying.

 

You'll always notice when Devin realizes he's wrong because he'll be silent and then just say something about another movie he doesn't like. Amy drew an analogy about the cannon and explaining movies to aliens and what the implications are for whether Re-Animator makes it in. Rather than simply answering the question of whether you'd show the alien Evil Dead II or Re-Animator, or even acknowledging that a good point was made about niches and the overall quality of movies, he just said "I wouldn't show them Working Girl," and said Amy, a working film critic, doesn't understand genre. WTF. Actually, I'm glad I mentioned Trump earlier, because really, Devin is the Donald Trump of film critics — except that Devin he can put together a grammatical sentence. But his approach to conversation is basically identical. Change the subject, adopt your opponent's point as your own when you think they're not paying attention, then insult them. Pretty simple to figure out.

 

Anyway. Re-Animator is fine. It's the the exact same argument we already had about They Live, ironically re-animated for no good reason in a second episode. Except this time there's no relevant political message that still resonates to push Re-Animator over the line undeservedly. Otherwise they're in exactly the same category of decent, competent, slightly above average movies that don't deserve to be remembered except by film historians.

 

You know I read these, right?

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I like Re-Animator but I voted no. Amy's argument convinced me. It's a good movie to have a discussion on and I'm glad we had this episode, but it just isn't canon for me.

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It's going to be a hard no for me. I think Amy nailed it with her arguments about Evil Dead 2 already representing the comedic horror gore fest and that adding ReAnimator before something truly excellent like The Fly just because it's 'fun' and nostalgic is a disservice to this arbitrary list of movies.

 

Sorry Devin, but 'it's fun' and 'I like it' aren't good enough arguments to put ReAnimator into the canon. Also, choosing ReAnimator partially because it would ensure more listeners smacks of bolstering your ranks by pandering to the horror gore dude fans.

 

So far so good with the voting but here's hoping the people see the light and vote No for ReAnimator.

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