When I talked to Stuart Gordon about his excellent and mean adaptation of David Mamet’s Edmond, we spent a little time chatting about House of Re-Animator, the next film in the series of Herbert West splatter films. The concept, Gordon told me, had Dick Cheney dying while getting a lapdance and Dr. West is called in with his green goo to bring the man back to life. Gordon told me that the film would be his next after Stuck, a truly creepy sounding movie based on a true incident where a woman hit a homeless man who got stuck in her windshield. She drove home with him imbedded in the glass and left him in the garage to die.
But now Jeffrey Combs, Herbert West himself, is saying that House is probably all dead. Why? Let’s just say that we have finally seen the negative side of the Democrats taking over Congress. "A year ago I would have told you that looks like that’s happening," he told splatter.com. "At this time I’d say maybe the air has gone out of that. … That’s sleeping right now. I don’t imagine that will wake up. The problem is the script we wanted to do is very topical." With the Bush presidency ending and everybody sort of realizing that this phase of American history is drawing to a close in 08, it seems like House won’t have anything left to satirize.
But does the end of House mean the end of Re-Animator? I wouldn’t bet on it. Gordon talked about doing more films after House, so it’s quite possible that he could pick one of those other stories and run with it. Honestly, I got the impression that he was excited to be revisiting that particularly gory world again. Let’s not give up hope.