Re-Animator: The Musical Reviewed!

A huge thanks to our friends over at Green Galactic for not only allowing our very own Vinvectrex and his compatriot to experience Re-Animator: The Musical for themselves but for being gracious enough to allow us to interview the cast of the production to boot which we will post just a bit later today!

Here is Vinvectrex’s excellent review:

“Reanimator: The Musical shouldn’t work. I mean, how exactly does one take a classic horror film and turn it into a comedic stage show with catchy tunes? It should defy the laws of physics somehow – sort of like the subject matter itself. And yet, the creative forces behind this production have fashioned an astounding success. What’s more, it should please both fans of the original film as well as newcomers to the material. I fall into the former category and decided to attend the show with a compatriot – let’s call her Vixenvectrex. She is not a fan of gory horror films to say the least. But, the comedy, amusing songs (my hat’s off to Mark Nutter who managed to craft a fun tune about a basement) and overall energy of the show won her over.

Stuart Gordon directed both the play and the original film. I can only guess that his intimate knowledge of the subject matter gave him the insight into just how far the material could be stretched. To say the show was superbly cast would be a gross (no pun intended) understatement. I was skeptical at first, especially since I’m a big fan of Jeffrey Combs who played Herbert West in the original film. (Not only was he brilliant in that, but I think his work on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a highlight of the series.) Graham Skipper assumes the role of Herbert West in the stage version but doesn’t attempt to duplicate Mr. Combs in the role. Instead, he brings his own unique energy and is a highlight of the production. He’s in good company. Other members of the cast are equally well-suited to their roles. Rachel Avery is stunning as Meg and Chris L. McKenna exudes charm and determination as the likeable Dan. My personal favorite was Jesse Merlin as Dr. Carl Hill who was creepy, repulsive, and eminently watchable in ever scene – whether his head was attached to his body or not.

The staging of the play is both deceptively simple and incredibly complex. All the action takes place using the same backdrop of a single door – which is repurposed in each scene. My compatriot and I were both blown away at the technical aspects of the production. The special effects are simply amazing – and I’m still puzzling out how some of the stunts were performed. And, while many scenes feature literal fountains of blood, it is campy enough to be inoffensive to most. Not that I’m suggesting the show for children!

Okay, I’m gushing as much as the severed heads in the play. Honestly, I enjoy writing the occasional negative review. But the only negative thing I can say about this production is that it is scheduled to end all too soon. Get yourself to Los Angeles and the Steve Allen theater to check out Reanimator: The Musical. Sit in the “splash zone” which should be more aptly called the “drench zone.” You’ll be glad you did.”

Friday Flyers: Atari Soccer (1979)

Do you like Atari? Well then, do you like Soccer? You do? Then I have the game for you!

I’m sure I’ve played Atari’s Soccer in my youth, I can’t quite recall where…though it was probably at the bowling alley. I do however remember getting the flesh on my hand pinched on one of the trak-balls. I was surprised to see it spelled as Trak-Ball by the way, but it’s right there on the second flyer.

As always I want to give a very large thanks to the Arcade Flyer Archive for the awesome scanned flyers you see above.

Retroist Game Room Challenge #6: Completed!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the H.E.R.O. challenge. Mordrach received top honors with an impressive 48,020 point score! We’ll be sending Mordrach a 1,600 point Microsoft XBLA card in recognition of his supreme H.E.R.O.ness. Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact count of the miners rescued, spiders vaporized, or rock walls demolished. But, I’m guessing they number in the hundreds. And, hopefully we had the opportunity to introduce this classic Activision game to a few new players. If you missed this challenge, there are more to come. In the meantime, strap on that rocket pack and get back to the mines for some rescuing action!

I would like to everyone to join me in giving not only Mordrach a big round of applause for his impressive victory but to our very own Vinvectrex as well for being kind enough to host this week’s Retroist Game Room Challenge!