Spotlight – Jeffrey Combs Vol 1

Jeffrey Combs is one of my horror hero’s and I’ll save the long story about his brilliant career and obsession with H P Lovecraft for another article but I’m sure hes no stranger to anyone reading my blog so I’ll dive right in.

Re Animator (1985)

Whenever I think of Jeffery Combs the first movie that comes to mind is Stuart Gordons, Re-Animator. It’s one of those Cult Classics that never gets old and is a staple for any horror fan, even if you don’t like it, it’s cemented its place on the path to horror enlightenment. Combs plays Dr Herbert West a slightly deranged and very determined scientist who may have found a way of bringing the dead back to life he’s energy in this role is outstanding, as he experiments on anything that crosses his path, no man or beast is safe. Things get out of hand in this horror comedy with hellish overtones, but Comb’s love for everything Lovecraft really shines in this role alongside the infamous Barbara Crampton.

From Beyond (1986)

An obsessive scientist Dr Pretorius (Ted Sorel) discovers a way to access a parallel universe by tapping into the brain’s pineal gland. When he’s seemingly killed by beings from this dimension his assistant Dr Tillinghast (Combs) is accused ot murder. Teaming up with a psychiatrist (Barbara Crampton) and Detective (Ken Foree) the trio attempt to unravel this unusual case that opens more than one gate into the unknown. As the primary character has already descended into madness and vanished, Combs is pretty much the central character, and the movie loops in and out of “sanity” along with his discoveries of this parallel dimension. Foree and Crampton are brilliant supports to this trippy psychotropic horror.

Fortess (1992)

In Stuart Gordon’s sci fi adventure, our dystopian future is pretty bleak, especially if you’ve committed a crime, such as having a second baby, you might find yourself in an advanced prison with no walls, instead it’s run by a super computer and a system of Instestination, where each prisoner has a device attached to their gut which can cause extreme pain or death. Combs plays a hacker called D-Day, who befriends the main star, pairing up like some underworld avengers to take over the prison and escape. He’s pretty awesome with his giant glasses and conjures up a whole new persona unlike a lot of his other darker roles, the ultimate geek who finds ways to get out of manual labour, a tactful observer with wild hair and a drive to take down the mainframe and corporations, this kid would be a member of Anonymous today.

Faust: Love of the Damned (2000)

Another devilish movie but with a historical twist as opposed to dropping into the madness of Lovecraft but this modern work has been updated by a seasonal metal soundtrack and lots of stretchy gory body horror from Brian Yuzna who’s famous for his contributions to Society and other such gory films. A young artist sells out for a mysterious character called M after his girlfriend is killed and he wants revenge, not realising that he’s now a Spawn like soldier of death who unwittingly is working for M. Hot on the trails of body parts is Lt. Dan Margolies, for me this is one of my all time favourite comb roles, as he slowly transforms from a diligent detective to a frenzied mad man who is instrumental with opening the door to the enemy of mankind but he keeps it under wraps quite well and even though he’s not the star he’s still quite brilliant.

Castle Freak (1995)

Originally a Lovecraft classic remade with a new vision, Castle Freaks is one of Combs more involved films where he stars as a loser dad,John Reilly who inherits a European mansion and it’s crazed inhabitants with a taste for raw flesh. It’s a gothic tale where combs ability to play the down and out really helps cement his character in the gutter, constantly looking at the stars, his previous delinquent actions has caused a huge riff between his family but when he realises they are in danger, he does what he can to protect them at all costs. It’s charming, funny (at times) and pretty dark, a wonderful film and role.

Which films do you like with Jeffrey? What would make your top 5? What should make the next list!?

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