38. Stuart Gordon: Lovecraft, Poe and Theatre.

Born 1947, Stuart Gordon would enter into the world of theatre making it 38 years before he collaborated with Producer Brian Yuzna to create the classic Re-Animator (1985). Starring Jeffery Combs in the title role, Re-Animator is a gory, twisted horror-comedy that found its inspiration from a H.P Lovecraft serial that was written out of desperation. Never intending it to be a comedy, Stuart Gordon was able to bring new life to the story of a medical student that finds a way to bring the dead back to life and his hapless roommate that gets roped into ever increasing insanity and danger. The fact that the film works when it wasn’t intended to be a comedy is a miracle onto itself but the reality is that Re-Animator is one of the best horror-comedies ever produced and it’s success was capitalized on immediately.

Gordon followed Re-Animator with From Beyond (1986), another Lovecraft adaptation and again staring Jeffery Combs. From Beyond injected more gore and sexuality into Lovecraft and managed to be more straight-laced than Re-Animator, for the most part. From Beyond was also a second collaboration with Yuzna and a third collaboration followed just a year later with Dolls (1987). Dolls was Gordon’s first original concept film and brought a fantasy charm combined with Lovecraftian grandiosity. After Dolls, Gordon and Yuzna would part ways until the the adaptation of Lovecraft’s Dagon (2001) – which actually had more in common with The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

While Gordon is most well known for his work with Yuzna, he also had a strong tract record for working with Charles Band, first under Empire Pictures then under Full Moon Pictures. Among the horror films Gordon directed for Band were: The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) and Castle Freak (1995), adapting Poe and Lovecraft, respectfully. In recent years, Gordon has stepped away from film and turned his attention back towards the theatre, even putting on a stage production of Re-Animator this time as a musical and putting on Nevermore…An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe.

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