Re-Animator: The Musical Is a Bloody Good Time

Wendt in  Re-Animator: The Musical.

Wendt in Re-Animator: The Musical.

When they say “splash zone,” they aren’t screwing around. Re-Animator: The Musical must go through 50 gallons of fake blood each performance, and most of it winds up on the folks in the first three rows. But everything about this show is excessive: There’s over-the-top performances; pseudo-operatic songs about death, dismemberment and marriage; and zingers such as this line, “I should probably call it a night. I’m lobotomizing a chimp in the morning.” All of it works together to create one damn entertaining evening of theater, which you can see through January 18 at The Smith Center’s Troesh Studio Theater.

Re-Animator is the story of Herbert West, a medical student who discovers a serum that will bring the dead back to life. He convinces his classmate/roommate Dan to aid in his experiments, but the Dean and the Dean’s daughter—who happens to be Dan’s girlfriend­­—disapprove. And, of course, there’s the professor who’s been working on some sinister experiments of his own…

Stuart Gordon directed the 1985 horror film on which the play is based, as well as the newer musical version, which has previously played in Los Angeles and at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Re-Animator, the movie had a strong current of black humor; Re-Animator: The Musical is nothing but—zombies, severed heads, dead cats and dance routines have never been so much bloody fun.