NOVEMBER 22 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE REJUVENATOR (1988)
The Rejuvenator (or Rejuvenatrix in some markets) is so very, very, very dumb. The characters are dumb. The writing is dumb. The effects are dumb. Triple stupidity. This is a disappointing fact considering that I remember the VHS cover from my youth and recall being intrigued by the image of the woman on the left and the waxen, melting mutant on the right. Now that I've seen it, I want the time back. The few decent monster effects this film can be proud of are completely torpedoed by some of the most annoying characters and ham-fisted acting I've ever seen. In fact, the acting is so bad I have awarded The Rejuvenator my coveted HAM-FIST AWARD.
We all get old and we all lose our beauty, but aging actress Ruth Warren (Jessica Dublin) isn't going to take nature lying down. She hires research scientist Dr. Gregory Ashton (John MacKay) to develop a youth serum to make her young again -- and it works! Rejuvenated (and now played by Vivian Lanko), Warren and Ashton enter into an awkward romance. Everything seems great, but there's one tiny catch. If Warren is not administered increasingly higher and higher doses of the serum, she mutates into a hose-headed, rubber-fingered monster driven to consume human brains. Oh yeah, Warren neglected to find out how Dr. Ashton made his serum -- illegally and from the brains of dead or murdered junkies, of course! And Ashton neglected to tell Warren that the first and only test subject, a lab rat, turned into a horrible monster before melting into a disgusting puddle. Trivial details! Kids, that's what you get when your drugs aren't FDA approved.
After Warren goes on a killing spree, Ashton attempts to create a synthetic serum to feed her addiction. At the same time, Ashton's melodramatic rival, Dr. Germaine, tries to kill his research project. Academic politics meets goofy monsters in this stale attempt at gross-out horror.
Rating: 1 / 5 Rubber Monster Hands
IS IT SILLY?
Everything about this movie is ridiculous. While the gruesome transformation scenes could have been shocking, the acting is so ham-fisted that almost every scene evokes bored laughter. Check out the pure vomit of exposition in the first 10 minutes of the film. Be prepared for a boring 10 minutes.
NOVEMBER 22 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE REJUVENATOR (1988)
Directed by Brian Thomas Jones
86 Minutes / Pack-In-Video VHS (Japan) / Cropped from 1.85:1 to full screen (w/ small white Japanese subtitles)
Funded by a vain aging actress (Jessica Dublin/Vivian Lanko), a doctor (John MacKay) develops a serum to reverse natural aging by altering a unique DNA chain that controls the process. The only problem is the serum needs to be constantly administered and it's derived from grey brain matter. The actress hastily demands the operation and it's a success, but building tolerance resulting in increasing dosage places extra strain on that pesky brain-gathering issue. Elated, the now youthful looking actress starts catting around with strange men despite horrific relapses of growing severity that demand huge serum doses. With the good doctor becoming ever-beleaguered trying to develop a synthetic serum and the mutant actress resorting to killing for brains, how will this grotesque cycle end?
This film is said to be a riff on Corman's Wasp Woman, and despite not seeing that particular film, by the looks of it I'd say that rings very true. The Rejuvenator is a bit Stuart Gordon and Frank Henenlotter with a lite dash of Peter Jackson. Though the creative aplomb that enlivens the gooier works of those directors is all but missing here. There's little laughs, either intended or not, despite the goofy premise. Jones and cast quickly settle into the motions and the story's resolution is pretty much telegraphed long before its arrival. Gore is quick being mostly relegated to bloody slashes and a few head-shattering decaps by the altered actress's crustacean-like hands. Disappointingly, we never get to see her transformation on-screen, just some pulsing bladders blooming on her face. Also we're treated to what's basically a music-video-in-movie from the all-girl hair metal band Poison Dollys. Why? You got me on that one. Watchable, but certainly not essential.
NOVEMBER 22 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE REJUVENATOR (1988)
Much like the Re-Animator (who's popularity I imagine this film tried to play off of), Rejuvenatrix covers the issue of messing with a part of life that should not be meddled with. In the Re-Animator, it was death, but in this movie the concept of eternal youth and beauty is the main focus.
The fountain of youth has long been a holy grail, either as a literal fountain out in a remote location, or has a solution that can be discovered. As with The Granny, it never ends well and usually a zombie/demon/monster is the result which will stop at nothing to kill others.
In this story, a rich older woman is privately funding research into an anti-aging formula. Her team of two scientists are dissecting brains in an attempt to fulfill this request. Much money has been invested, with little to show for it. As she grows impatient, she jumps at the first chance to test the product, even though it isn't fully tested, and only gave initial signs of success in one lab rat.
With much reluctance, the scientist gives her the formula and a few days later after the transformation is complete, she is over 20 years younger and ready to hit the night life and live. After a period of success, she suddenly starts to revert. Not to her old self, but to a horribly mutilated monster. The initial stages are rather gross, what with the lack of hair and pulsating cheeks, but after the doctor gives her a quick fix via another injection, each return to the monsterous form takes on new levels of horror.
As each injections proves to be less effective, and the side effects more intense, the scientist discovers something new. Human brains work much better, and the animal brains he tested earlier seem to be more effective as well. Combining this logic would dictate that fresh human brains would produce a much better solution. However these are not the easiest to obtain, especially at the frequency needed.
Naturally a lack of moral fiber and a strong desire to be beautiful end in a murderous rampage as the women finds that she doesn't even need to refine the brains into a solution, she can just eat them as-is. This goes beyond the original intent, and the scientist wants out, be she's not about to let him get in her way.
While not a complete copy of the Re-Animator, you can tell they wanted to ride the coat tails a bit. But it does deliver on the visuals, and the prosthetics are rather interesting. There is a twist at the end, and naturally it isn't a happy one.
NOVEMBER 22 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE REJUVENATOR (1988)
What do you get when you take the legend of Elizabeth Bathory, the tragic tale of Jekyll & Hyde, David Cronenberg's remake of THE FLY, Stuart Gordon's film adaptation of FROM BEYOND, and several gallons of ultraslime n' store-bought vampire blood, mix 'em together moonshine-style in your bathtub, and then dump the whole concoction into the toilet n' hit the flusher? Well, I'm not really sure. But I have a feeling that whatever winds up coming outta the other side o' that damned sewer pipe is gonna look a helluva lot like 1988's THE REJUVENATOR.
Also known as "THE REJUVENATRIX" (a title I, personally, prefer), THE REJUVENATOR tells the story of an aging Hollywood debutante named Ruth Warren, and her obsessions with youth and beauty. Before you nod off, keep in mind that this ain't no classy character study/slow-paced melodrama full of somber meditations on the superficiality of contemporary society. No way, Jose'. This is a low budget horror flick from the decade of decadence, daddy-o. You don't have to worry 'bout sitting through any tiresome ruminations on the supposedly sinister side of fame, 'cause instead of that crap, REJUVENATOR offers a cheapjack dark ride full of monsters, murders, geysers of gore, and tumors galore. Can I get an amen?
The back of the REJUVENATOR video box says that this movie is "reminiscent" of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND, so it's obvious that what the distributors of this picture were trying to do was plainly piggyback the success of those flicks with a sordid li'l creature feature all their own. Even the title "REJUVENATOR" is uncoincidentally similar to "RE-ANIMATOR." As good as this movie is, though, I gotta tell ya... it ain't as good as either of these pictures that it claims to be "reminiscent" of. I guess that's why just about everybody's heard of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND, whereas just north of nobody is familiar with REJUVENATOR. Nevertheless, the similarities that this filthy flick claims to share with those Stuart Gordon-helmed sex-and-splat masterpieces are not just the work of zealous promotional spin doctors. There are, indeed, some nifty parallels between those movies and this one. Despite the fact that H.P. Lovecraft never penned anything like this story, he very well could have. The themes it touches upon (obsession, insanity, monstrous transformations, science gone awry, etc.) are all themes that Lovecraft himself was fixated on, and the look of the picture itself, though not as well-developed or consistently performing as the look of Gordon's films, is similar in many ways (with its poppy uses of vibrant color, and its exuberant willingness to not shy away from blood-and-guts goodness). Chances are, if you did, in fact, like FROM BEYOND and RE-ANIMATOR, then you might want to at least give THE REJUVENATOR a look-see. With an open mind, I think you'll find that it's actually better than you'd probably expect.
So what exactly is the whole story of this quirky creeper of a film? It goes like this: Ruth Warren, as I already mentioned, is a withering Hollywood rose who yearns for the vigor, vitality, and beauty that she experienced in her younger days. Her character kinda reminds me of latter-day Liz Taylor, actually.
Lucky for Ruth, she's got herself a very, very fat bank account, being a monumental silver screen superstar n' all, and enough money to play god, at least on a limited scale. When you're rollin' in rubies, there's lots of ways to keep from growing old. Plastic surgery. Truckloads of cosmetic products. Oh, and, lest we forget, there's always questionable medical experimentation. That's right, when you've got purse strings as heavy to hold as Ruth Warren, you too can have the gall to dare n' defy Father Time himself, provided you're willin' to flirt with the Grim Reaper just a tad. Or more than a tad. Seems there's a regular Herbert West lurkin' around the local hospital with his own grab bag of radical scientific ideas. In this case, the syringe-spinnin' labcoat jockey in question is Dr. Gregory Ashton, and he's working on (what else?) a rejuvenation serum capable of not only halting the aging process, but actually reversing it.
It should come as no surprise that the washed-up actress and the devious doctor are destined to find their fates entangled with one another. Ruth, obviously, is gung-ho from the get-go to fund Dr. Ashton's risky research, clearly hoping that the final product will ultimately be the fountain of youth she's been praying for. And despite the many qualms Dr. Ashton has about letting Ruth volunteer, desperate n' foolishly impatient as she is, to be the first guinea pig for the untested elixir, he ultimately allows her to do so, out of his own desperation and fear over loss of funding.
Unsurprisingly, it doesn't go well.
At first, it seems that Dr. Ashton's medical breakthrough is a smashing success. Ruth is once again young and beautiful. However, there's just this one itsy bitsy snag. Apparently, the secret ingredient in the professor's powerful potion is (bum bum bum!!!) human brains harvested from grave-robbed cadavers!
And because of the fact that this freaky formula is still in its early n' dangerous experimental stage... well, let's just say that it doesn't quite work 100% perfectly. Instead of keeping Ruth young n' beautiful, the stuff keeps wearing off.
Okay, that's not so bad, right?
Because the big problem is that, instead of just turning her back into the feeble ol' geezer she started out as, it transmogrifies her flesh and makes her mind go blood simple. She degenerates into a grotesque, demonoid mutant creep! And this ain't just any grotesque, demonoid mutant creep, mind you. This, my friends, is a grotesque, demonoid mutant creep... with a taste for murder. Shock! Horror!
See, kids. This is why it's a bad idea to offer yourself up as a lab rat for science.
The only way Ruth can undo the psycho side-effects of the cuckoo chemicals coursing through her vericose veins is to feed on fresh gray matter. Thus, the bodies begin to pile up, and the fabled bucket o' blood begins to overflow.
If all that doesn't sound to you like a party-and-a-half, then I don't know what to tell ya, fucko. In the immortal words of Iggy Pop, "go read a book and flunk a test." REJUVENATOR rocks!
To an overwhelming degree, THE REJUVENATOR is startlingly good. You certainly don't expect it to be anywhere near as good as it is the first time you cram this obscure 80's oddity into your V.C.R. It really takes you by surprise. Everything about this movie is above-average in quality. In truth, it's better than it has any right to be. Most of the forgotten Video Boom relics you find floatin' 'round in the cinematic ether, entertaining as they might be, are poorly written, poorly directed, and poorly acted. They're entertaining, yeah, but they're not really well-made in the technical sense. THE REJUVENATOR, however, is. The writing, the directing, and the acting is all highly impressive, especially for this type of movie. Additionally, the music is great, and the F.X. work is extra-excellent.
Though the plot sounds like something of an old school pulp horror comic (which is, in fact, one of the reasons I like it so much), the story itself is told with a surprising amount of skill and smarts. The characters are very well thought-out, with great care taken towards all the character development, psychology, and chemistry. The emotion within the film feels very real, and it succeeds in striking a chord with its viewership. Astonishingly, THE REJUVENATOR is actually able to convey an effective sense of woe and pathos, building up a potent yarn of tragedy and terror in the middle of all kinds of trashy b-movie wackiness. If that ain't something in life deserving of applause, then what else is?
The picture's plot progresses in a logical, skillfully paced manner. The story, settings, and individuals involved in the movie are all rich, multi-dimensional, and deftly designed. Best of all, REJUVENATOR takes the time to ask real questions and examine important social and philosophical issues (morality within the fields of science and medicine, the justifiablity of unjustifiable acts in times of desperation, surgical addiction, chemical dependence, personal responsibility, the price of popularity, America's self-destructive preoccupation with image, the true definition of beauty, whether vanity is a vice or a curse, the politics of body modification and cosmetic surgery, etc.), and it delivers honest-to-god messages... all without getting preachy, grating, or dull.
At times, the film rises above its own exploitation trappings and tastes more like a serious dramatic tale than a skeezy, slime-slathered horror programmer. At the same time, the picture manages to not get bogged down by its more sober side. It keeps things fun. There's enough plasma, puke, and putrid brain fluids flyin' about between all that plot n' character development (my god! ...a low budget schlock horror movie with actual plot n' character development! ...be still, my beating heart!) to keep any ardent genre junkie soarin' high as a kite on blood n' beasties. There's almost no humor to speak of whatsoever, and only a painfully small amount of gratuitous nudity (you'd expect more considering the key plot point is Ruth Warren's reverse-aging resurrection as lusty young looker). But, hey, I won't hold that against this flick. Because it gets enough right otherwise, and it's better to have most of the ingredients of a kick-ass movie and do 'em right than it is to have all of the ingredients only to do 'em wrong.
As I commented earlier, Brian Thomas Jones' directing abilities aren't on par with Stuart Gordon's, but they're very good in their own right. He isn't prudish about splatter (that's for damn sure), and he does play with color quite well from time to time. For the most part, Jones chooses to opt for a less garish, less in-your-face style than many of his peers (including Gordon). Instead, he generally chooses to play things with a calm, composed coolness, a kind of dry, almost disconnected disposition that keeps things quiet enough so that the evils explored on-screen can echo and reverberate without inessential ornamentation. That's not to say he doesn't know how to compose dynamic shots. He does. But he doesn't bludgeon you over the head with misguided attempts at overstylized impact. Simply put, he knows when to get stylish (though he never takes it too far), and he knows when to just sit back and let the story tell itself.
It's kind of a bummer that the hasn't had any real directing credits of note since this flick, aside from helming a few episodes of the short-lived MONSTERS anthology series and the Americanized tokusatsu BEETLEBORGS kids' shows.
More than anything, Brian Jones knows where to place a camera, and he has an extreme fondness for light and shadow. It is his use of deep shadows that defines the look of REJUVENATOR perhaps more than any other element of its visual language. Jones keeps things dark, both visually and thematically. And he treats the gore in a similar manner. There's so much goop n' gunk spilled n' spattered all about THE REJUVENATOR, that'd be easy for it to get utterly cartoonish, as is so often the case. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with cartoonish gore in excess amounts. But its nice, and refreshing, to see a movie that has a gazillion gallons of Karo n' catsup on display without getting too jolly about it. This isn't a Troma movie, after all, although the sheer amount of red stuff drippin' down the screen would typically suggest otherwise.
Yup, we got on our hands a real damn special effects pigout jamboree with this one, kiddies. Though its far from a start-to-finish soppin' wet bloodbath, things do get pretty damn squishy. Pretty damn squishy indeed. That tends to be the case when a major story item is the main character's need to consume raw human gray matter plucked straight from the smooshed brainpans of whatever poor sap she happens to wrap her twisted claws around. Whenever Ruth goes all "grotesque, demonoid mutant creep" on us, heads get split open n' drained dry like the grapefruits in a fat chick's all-juice diet.
Keep in mind, though, that the violence doesn't really begin in earnest until the movie's third, final act. While that may seem like a long time to wait for some splatter, REJUVENATOR does a fine, fine job of not only keeping our attention all that while, but being extremely engaging and entertaining the whole time as well. There are no dull bits, and nothing ever drags. The pace is brisk, and the story's very absorbing. I tell ya, that 90-minute runtime just flies right by. And, besides, ...once the splatters starts... it never lets up.
So, yeah, we may not get a whole lot o' viscera for the first hour, but that just means that the last half-hour is pretty much blood n' guts nonstop until the credits go a-rollin'.
30 minutes of unyielding ultraviolence? I'd buy that for a dollar.
Aside from those impromptu encephalon extractions, THE REJUVENATOR's also kind enough to throw us various unsorted organs, some scarlet vermin viscera, a broken bottle stabbing, a cute nurse who meets her end at mutant Ruth's slashin' talons, and that oh-so-classic "fist through the sternum" gag.
The big star of REJUVENATOR, though, is not the gore effects, but, rather, the creature effects. They have a great organic vibe to them, and they feel pleasantly unique in comparison to the typical monster make-up designs visible in other lesser-known low budget mutant schlockers from the Video Boom underground. The design of Ruth's deformities looks somewhat serpentine and insectoid, in a creepy, yet oddly beautiful, kind of way. Disgusting growths and tumors form all over her face, hands, and head, as well as huge, elongated, exposed veins and jagged bone extrusions. Special kudos to whoever decided to make her gnarled hands look like the contorted branches of a dead tree in the winter. It's a great look.
Ruth's own reactions to her gradually deteriorating physical state help sell the reality of her horrible, atrophic transmogrification. Everytime Ruth reverts back to her monstrous form, that form is even more appalling than the last time we saw it. Suitably, Rush's repulsion and dread increases as much as her hidden hideousness does, and so to does our own repulsion and dread. It is that very repulsion and that very dread that acts as the central terror at the horrendous heart of THE REJUVENATOR, which is what makes it a true cult classic example of the "body-horror" subgenre.
The prosthetics don't quite hold up for the entire length of the movie, which is a bit disappointing, but, thankfully, the moments where they do fail are quite brief, quite rare, and concentrated entirely in the third and final act of the picture, during Ruth's big "rampage" sequence, wherein the big, bloated, "swollen skull" prosthetic begins to, um, bounce. 98% of the time, though, everything's kosher.
On the F.X. front, we also get some ephemeral mutant-rat abomination attack scene action that culminates in said monstrosity toasting in a flickering flash of flames, and, the coolest effects sequence of them all, a wonderfully wicked mutant meltdown that sees poor Ruthie girl droppin' chunks of her own putrefying face to the floor while she spews up her insides and enough unidentifiable multi-colored liquids to make any soda fountain envious come a-spurtin' right out o' her head. It's the tippy-top best scene in the movie, and if you were to see it as a little kid then it'd freak you out bad enough to the point where you'd never, ever forget it.
I know this from experience.
Still, blood ain't the whole thing this picture's got. It's also got a little fromage. Don't worry, though. Not too much. Just enough to warm the blood of all my b-movie brethren out there. A wonky line-reading here, an awkwardly blocked sequence there. The best example of REJUVENATOR's cinematic stringcheese, however, has gotta be the nightclub scene. At one point, somewhere around the 50-minute mark, the whole movie gets hijacked by an all-girl 80's metal band called Poison Dollys who, despite looking like a second-rate version of Vixen, are actually not half-bad, as they strut their stuff onstage, robbin' the film of any audio aside from the sound of their own musicianship. If you've got a hard-on for trashy 80's pop culture, you'll definitely get a kick out of this scene. Also, I gotta make mention of the way RejuveRuth cuts a rug with some lunkheaded tool in a bolo tie on the Poison Dollys' dancefloor. It's one of the film's few moments of unintentional comedy. Here you have this glampunk metal band shreddin' like there's no tomorrow. And then there's Ruth, in an elegant gown, dancing with some jockhole jerk-off in an antiquated, semi-sensual fashion that makes it look like they're listening to some tango or ballroom music. The juxtaposition is surreal.
Like I told ya before, REJUVENATOR rocks. It's an esoteric, largely undiscovered gem of the Video Boom that should have a bigger cult following than it's got. It's a smorgasbord of grave-robbing, skull-squashing, brain-eating, potion-mixing, face-flaying, monster-mutating, scum-barfing, and rock-and-rolling nuttiness. Hand to heaven, what more could ya ask for?
Well, I'll be hornswaggled! It's even got a good goddamned story to boot!
While it takes many of its cues from other well-known horror and sci-fi favorites, THE REJUVENATOR remains its own picture and is able to stand out despite the multitude of familiar cinematic D.N.A. strands encoded in its genetics. Aside from the aforementioned parallels to RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND, REJUVENATOR also borrows ideas and imagery from films like ATOM AGE VAMPIRE, THE WASP WOMAN (above all other films, REJUVENATOR owes its greatest debt to WASP WOMAN, ...there's no doubt about it), RABID, Brian Yuzna's SOCIETY, Robert Wise's THE BODY SNATCHER, the 1986 remake of THE FLY, and even the legendary 1950 film SUNSET BOULEVARD. It also brings to mind later films like GINGER SNAPS, as well as the many different interpretations of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde", the 1974 Berni Wrightson/Bruce Jones Creepy comic story "Jenifer" (adapted in 2005 as a Masters Of Horror episode), and last but not least, the infamous legends surrounding Hungary's savage and youth-obsessed 17th Century Countess, the diabolical Elizabeth Bathory (for shit's sake, Ruth even changes her name to Elizabeth after the regenerative procedure proves itself a success, ...if you don't think that doesn't show where REJUVENATOR's rejuve-roots lie, then you're a nutbag). Instead of coming across like a half-baked mish-mash of all these different elements, however, THE REJUVENATOR manages to fuse them together and put its own spin on the whole shebang, providing a story that is, at once, both unique and modern (modern for 1988 anyway) as well as timeless and classic.
THE REJUVENATOR is essentially a tragedy. There are no truly "bad" characters, and none deserving of the unfortunate ends that befall them when all is said n' done. They sin, yes, but their only true sin is, quite simply, desperation. Both Ruth and Dr. Ashton (who, in the film's closing moments, looks for all the world like Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING) are ultimately damned by desperation. Ruth's desperation to relive her golden glory years as a beloved studio starlet, and her fear of her own encroaching mortality, ultimately drives her to act rashly and put herself in unneccessary jeopardy. Meanwhile, Dr. Ashton's desperation to keep his funding and see his dream of a better world, a world free of the damaging effects of time's passage, realized causes him to compromise his ethics and integrity, allowing the whole plot to occur in the first place.
Both characters are basically undeserving outcasts. Ruth is forsaken because society has discarded her, deeming her of little worth and relevance since her youthful beauty has faded. At the same time, Dr. Ashton struggles to step out from the suffocating shadow of his own father's reputation, and is continually the subject of much ridicule and condescending condemnation from the rest of the medical community as well. His revolutionary and controversial theories about age and its connection to neuroscience are considered ridiculous, and the arcane, little-understood experimental methodology he uses to refine his anti-aging procedure are considered shocking and strange.
When all is said and done, Ruth and Dr. Ashton both are both basically decent human beings, sadly misunderstood and wrongfully discriminated against. They're not bad folk, and they're not generic, cardboard cut-out stereotypes. She's not just some pampered rich bitch, and he's not just some wild-eyed, crazy-haired mad scientist. At the same time, they're not both innocent babes lost in the woods either. Rather, they're both well-rounded characters, with relatable motivations and real-world personalities. Their own undoings come, in the end, from their own humanity and their own flaws as real people.
Hand-in-hand with that comes another aspect of the storyline that deepens the emotional thrust of the events that occur within it. That aspect would be the subtle, nearly romantic, symbiotic relationship that Dr. Ashton and Ruth form with one another (thanks, I'm sure, in no small part to the one-night stand they share shortly after Ruth's initial rejuvenation seems to work). As the two spiral further and further into a mutual hell of their own creation, she becomes more and more dependent on him, not just because of her addiction to his serum, but also because of the fact that he quickly becomes the only person she can turn to, the only person she can count on, the only person able to help her. And he becomes more and more determined to save her from the entropy taking place within her very body, not just to save his ass or to prove the validity of his experiments, but also as a means of penance for his own selfish n' reckless behavior, and because he's come to genuinely care for her. As his own life has begun falling apart following the hospital management's discovery of the morally objectionable nature of his work, she has become, little by little, the only thing left in his life, much as he has become the only thing in her's.
And that just makes the downbeat finale' all the more touching and terrible.
Together, they descend. Into murder. Into madness.
What else would you expect from the same producers who brought DEADTIME STORIES into the world?
The strength of REJUVENATOR's characterizations, and the picture's own pessimistic worldview, in which we're forced to watch these basically good-natured individuals fall inescapably downward into the gutters of such cruel and lamentable demise, ...these are the things that serve as this flick's greatest virtues.
That, and the balls-to-the-wall, ass-kickin', cunt-puntin', ooey gooey mutant monster meltdown scene at the very end! Hot diggity dawg!!!
Until next slime...
Your pickled pal,
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 chunky, gunky mouthfuls of mushed up skull pudding
Recommendation: rent it
Best moment: RejuveRuth's sloppy liquification fatality